Report: Understanding Japanese Firm Longevity

About the Report 

Understanding firm longevity has always been at the forefront of research for both academics and practitioners alike. Most of the world’s oldest firms are found within Japan raising the question as to why this occurs. This report, hence, aims to understand such a phenomenon through critically analyzing a variety of different academic and professional literature on the phenomenon of Japanese firm longevity. This is then followed by a comparative analysis on the reasons as to why certain Western firms have also shown their ability to survive for a long period of time. We argue that Japanese and Western firms that showcase longevity follow certain key characteristics:

  • They are family-oriented firms
  • They are long-term focused with non-economic goals in mind
  • They employ merit-based succession systems
  • They focus on tradition and craft mentality
  • They focus on engaging with the wider society.

Furthermore, we argue that the core reasons firms tend to fail is due to:

  • The bifurcation bias
  • The lack of being able to transmit core values and practices across time and generations.

Finally, this report also explains the methodology of how Japanese and Western firms overcome such issues

About the Expert

Ioannis Tzoumas is a trilingual financial economist focusing mainly on financial risk management and financial stability. He holds a Master’s degree in Finance from Lund University (Sweden), and a Bachelor of Accountancy with Finance from the University of Glasgow (U.K.). Ioannis Tzoumas has had the opportunity to experience Japanese firm management firsthand during his time at Keio University and Fukushima University. Ioannis Tzoumas has also acted as a research intern for the EU-Japan Centre for Industrial Cooperation, where he was tasked with conducting research in Financial issues EU firms face in the Japanese market. Ioannis Tzoumas has finally, also had the opportunity to co-author a financial research paper and conduct financial economic research during his time as a trainee at the European Investment Fund.

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