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Edited by Panikklos Zata Poutziouris, Kosmas X. Smyrnios and Sabine B. Klein
Chapter 27: Family-Firm Relationships in Italian SMEs: Ownership and Governance Issues in a Double-Fold Theoretical Perspective
28 Longevity of Japanese family ﬁrms Toshio Goto Introduction This chapter presents an overview of Japanese family ﬁrms, highlighting their longevity based on empirical data to provide a broad view of their uniqueness as well as their commonality when compared with their counterparts in other countries. The study aims to ﬁll some gaps in the research on family ﬁrms from a Japanese point of view by proposing that, although there are important diﬀerences in the factors contributing to the longevity of Japanese family ﬁrms compared with their counterparts in other parts of the world, there are also some factors which are held in common with family ﬁrms in the rest of the world. These factors will be examined to test the validity of this proposition. The ﬁrst part of the chapter focuses on aspects of the longevity of Japanese family ﬁrms. As a part of this research, a total of 1157 family ﬁrms that have been in operation for more than 200 years were identiﬁed. The major attributes, including age, industry segment and geographical distribution of these long-lived ﬁrms are given, along with a brief description of the background of selected industries. In order to better understand the magnitude of Japanese family ﬁrms’ longevity, a preliminary survey was also conducted on the longevity of family ﬁrms worldwide. The second part is devoted to the analysis of three major factors contributing to the longevity of Japanese ﬁrms, with a special focus on the Tokugawa period of 1603 to 1867...
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