© 2004 – Routledge
The remarkable success of Japanese industry has frequently been attributed to the inter-corporate alliances and networks that exist in the Japanese economic system. Many commentators argue that is has been these networks that have been key to both the rapid growth and success of Japanese industry. Business Networks in Japan explores the creation of supplier-customer networks through case studies of two of Japan's largest companies: the Toshiba Corporation and the Nippon Steel Corporation. Jens Laage-Hellman examines the advantages that have been gained from cooperation with suppliers and customers in industrial markets and how they have been utilized to develop and commercialize new products. Importantly, the study reveals the differences and similarities in the networking and interacting behaviour of Japanese and Western companies, highlighting the importance of the Japanese industrial culture in fully realising the benefits of networks.