Vertical Keiretsu

Vertical Keiretsu

In Japan, a number of independent but related companies financed by a single bank and/or a joint stock company that controls every stage of the supply chain. For example, a mining company may sell a metal to a refinery in the same keiretsu, who then sells it to an auto company, who then sells cars to consumers. These consumers are often employees of the very same keiretsu because they have such strong company loyalty. Critics of this system contend that it is inefficient; proponents, however, argue that it is sustainable and has helped Japan recover from the post-war period.
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The relocation of Boeing Corporation's headquarters from Seattle to Chicago (Garcia-Mila, et al., Brookings-Wharton Papers on Urban Affairs, 2002) and the vertical keiretsu partnership in the case of Japanese manufacturing firms (Blonigen, et al., Journal of International Economics, 2005) are examples of this line of argument.
This horizontal linkage of corporate groups around a core bank and trading company through cross long-term equity ownership of production facilities, strategies can be coordinated through layers of companies, including transactions in intermediate component parts among members, leading to the emergence of 'vertical keiretsu' which link component suppliers, manufacturers and distributors in an industry.
But recent studies suggest emergent American practices differ from traditional Japanese vertical keiretsu practices.
Constand, 2000, "Ownership Structure and Performance of Japanese Firms: Horizontal Keiretsu, Vertical Keiretsu, and Independents," Review of Pacific Basin Financial Markets and Policies 3, 535-556.
The focus of this study is on the financial performance of first-tier suppliers that are affiliated with a vertical keiretsu in the Japanese automobile industry in contrast to the mostly descriptive nature of previous studies.
Japanese firms often have much more formal and public connections between suppliers and assemblers, which are called vertical keiretsu. Head et al.
Included also in that section are papers on consolidated financial reporting in Japan, the Japanese auditing system, and a very useful listing of the members of six large corporate groups (vertical keiretsu affiliations) and their auditors.
For example, contingent, project-based contracting in American employment systems may involve limited domination and formal coordination, at least relative to traditional bureaucracies (see Barley and Orr, 1997), while the extent of domination and formal coordination in vertical keiretsu is quite extensive (Aoki, 1988).
Vertical keiretsu can be explained by emergence of a large manufacturer dominating integrated distribution system.
Some call them horizontal keiretsu and vertical keiretsu. Others call them Kinyu or financial keiretsu and Kigyo or capital keiretsu.
These groups of manufacturers and parts suppliers are often called vertical keiretsu. Examples are the Toyota keiretsu and Honda keiretsu.
Subsidiaries of parent companies that belong to a vertical keiretsu with strong intra-keiretsu supplier relationships also have a higher local content, in particular in ASEAN countries.

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