Annals of Business Administrative Science
Online ISSN : 1347-4456
Print ISSN : 1347-4464
Two Sides of Management in Distribution System Integration
The Case of Harley-Davidson Japan
Yoshiaki Yamashiro
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JOURNALS FREE ACCESS Advance online publication

Article ID: 0171122a

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Abstract

Many motorcycle dealers are family businesses, and they are rather oriented to short-term sales and do not operate only on logic without an emotional stake. Harley-Davidson Japan (HDJ) set up an authorized dealership system made up only of dealers with no capital relationship and did not directly manage dealers. This paper examines the period from 1991 to 2008, when Toshifumi Okui was the CEO of HDJ, during which time HDJ maintained top market share among large motorcycle companies in Japan and was a successful example of distribution system integration for other motorcycle manufacturers. For the dealers to implement HDJ’s intentions, the formal side of HDJ’s distribution system integration focused on the institutionalization of a “no control sales zero policy” and a “multilayer human relationship building policy.” However, critical to these were informal handwritten letters from the top-level management and the “Tokyo Court.”

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