Keiretsu Economy, New Economy? Japan's Multinational Enterprises from a Postmodern Perspective

Keiretsu Economy, New Economy? Japan's Multinational Enterprises from a Postmodern Perspective

Keiretsu Economy, New Economy? Japan's Multinational Enterprises from a Postmodern Perspective

Keiretsu Economy, New Economy? Japan's Multinational Enterprises from a Postmodern Perspective

Synopsis

This book combines a theoretical study of Japan's economic structures and multinational enterprises with an analysis of the contemporary multinational enterprise. Kensy assesses the value of the post-modern approach to understanding the New Economy, as well as Japanese society and culture. He analyses Japan's economic structure, interpreting its methods, strategies, and results in a postmodern context and surveys socio-economic development in Japan since the beginning of Westernization. He examines Japanese models for the transformation of society in the future, with particular reference to the Keiretzu.

Excerpt

Reading this comprehensive work on the strategies and special characteristics of Japanese firms was an extremely interesting and revealing experience. the perspective used by a young European to explain well-known Japanese facts is entirely new to me and has given me much to think about. Unusual combinations used in this book bring to light some fascinating perspectives, which for myself and my colleagues, not only in Japan but also in other places around the world, are extremely useful and valuable.

I consider it important that, for once, this book demonstrates undogmatically that Japan is not a strong, impregnable fortress but a country which has, by centuries of extremely hard work and perpetual improvement of the status quo, successfully transcended an evolutionary phase (and is just entering a new one), for which we should all be heartily grateful. the fragile nature of good fortune has been demonstrated to us and the world by the recent earthquakes, some volcano catastrophes and the current problems in our financial and corporate world.

Rainer Kensy uses many examples to demonstrate the importance of fully comprehending difficult situations, that American-style ‘quick fixes’ can never lead to a long-term result and that it is only a commitment to education and communication which can guarantee success. I hope that, for numerous other researchers of current affairs, as well as for many others who, in their positions of responsibility, have cause to contemplate the future of their companies, their markets and their workforce, this type of study will represent an exciting concept which will serve to stimulate new impetus. Hopefully, it will also help readers, who are not directly involved with Japan, to take on board the problems and solutions of Japanese companies and adapt them to achieve new and constantly higher levels of productivity, efficacy and values in all multinational companies, for the benefit of all the company's ‘stakeholders’: employees and their families, customers and consumers as well as shareholders and creditors.

New visions are necessary in an ever-more rapidly changing world, in which mutual understanding is often the resource in shortest supply. I am convinced that the questions which Dr Kensy attempts to answer in his study are among the most important of this decade, at the turn of the millennium. I hope the following pages will present a fascinating stimulus for debate and communication. I wish this book great success.

November 1999 seiichi mitani (former) Executive Director, Mitsubishi Bank, Tokyo . . .

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