Annals of Business Administrative Science
Online ISSN : 1347-4456
Print ISSN : 1347-4464
ISSN-L : 1347-4456
Why can Toyota's keiretsu recover from earthquakes quickly?
Shumpei IwaoYumi Kato
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2019 Volume 18 Issue 6 Pages 251-262


The keiretsu, or long-term stable business network that exists between Toyota and its suppliers, seems to demonstrate exceptional resilience in the face of natural disasters. Toyota shares production knowledge among the firms in its keiretsu through long-term kaizen-based inter-company learning activities (jishuken). In this regard, we have confirmed that (A) in times of normal operations, jishuken adopt a flat structure of interpersonal connections among firms that facilitates mutual trust. From case studies, we also found that (B) in times of disaster response, the structure “switches” to a hierarchical one with a clearly delineated leadership to bring knowledge and human resources into play.

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© 2019 Shumpei Iwao and Yumi Kato. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted reuse, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.

This article is licensed under a Creative Commons [Attribution 4.0 International] license.
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