Edited by Kosmas X. Smyrnios, Panikkos Z. Poutziouris and Sanjay Goel
Chapter 24: Secrets of family business longevity in Japan from the social capital perspective
This chapter focuses on century-old Japanese family firms in order to explore the key factors for their longevity, starting with an analysis of their family constitution. Despite the importance of longevity, its sources are not well understood (Astrachan and Pieper, 2010). Another area missing in this research is Japan itself, even though it is known as the home of many century-old family firms and the average age of family firms there is more than double that of the USA. The chapter reveals Japanese family firms’ commitment to perpetuation and, more importantly, their devotion to the public welfare as the most relevant factors for their longevity, which is discussed in the social and economic context under which they have striven to uphold these values as documented in the constitution. The ie (household) institution is presented as the most relevant factor in the social context, while business ethics, called Shingaku, are presented as a base for their public welfare orientation.
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