Inventing the Enterprise System

W. Mark Fruin

in The Japanese Enterprise System

Published in print June 1994 | ISBN: 9780198288985
Published online November 2003 | e-ISBN: 9780191596285 | DOI:

Series: Clarendon Paperbacks

 Inventing the Enterprise System

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This chapter looks at the emerging modern enterprises of early twentieth‐century Japan and divides them into three main categories: zaibatsu firms (national enterprises) formed in large part by the devolution of government‐founded businesses (accounts are given of the four main groups before 1945 – Mitsui, Sumimoto, Mitsubishi, and Yasuda); independent urban enterprises that harnessed economies of scale and scope based on the technologies of the day, such as Hattori Seiko, Takeda Chemical Industries, and Kirin Beer; and independent rural firms such as Onoda Cement and Noda Shoyu, which grew on the basis of both city and countryside demand. The attributes of each type are discussed. The nearly universal separation of production and distribution in early twentieth‐century Japanese enterprises is discussed in relation to the development of trading companies and enterprises of scope and scale.

Keywords: enterprise system; enterprises of scale; enterprises of scope; history; independent rural firms; independent urban firms; Japan; Japanese firms; separation of production and distribution; trading companies; zaibatsu firms

Chapter.  16044 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Business and Management

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