This article deals with the role of purchasing supply relationships in organizational learning and knowledge creation in Japan and how such relations are currently in transition. Based on interviews with managers, are case studies of customer-supplier partnerships of three prominent Japanese industrial companies: Hitachi, Matsushita, and Toyota. The Hitachi case shows in a slightly new way, the dominant paradigm, such as long-term, trusting relationships to improve supply in Japan o … Read more »

This article deals with the role of purchasing supply relationships in organizational learning and knowledge creation in Japan and how such relations are currently in transition. Based on interviews with managers, are case studies of customer-supplier partnerships of three prominent Japanese industrial companies: Hitachi, Matsushita, and Toyota. The Hitachi case shows in a slightly new way, the dominant paradigm, such as long-term, trusting relationships supply in Japan to improve organizational knowledge creation, learning and innovation. The Toyota and Matsushita cases show that the dynamics of learning are behind two very different types of change in supply keiretsu networks. Toyota developing relationship with long-term partner Denso Corp. seems to fit the popular view that globalization and technological change erodes Japanese keiretsu ties. The Matsushita case, however, shows that these same forces of change in other industrial settings may in fact be strengthening partnerships keiretsu style.
«Hide

from
James R. Lincoln,
Christina L. Ahmadjian,
Eliot Mason
Source: California Management Review
25 pages.
Release date: 01 April 1998. Prod #: CMR118-PDF-ENG
Organizational learning and purchase-supply relations in Japan: Hitachi, Matsushita, and Toyota compared HBR case solution