From its inception period, Mitsui Bussan (MB) actively recruited graduates of Shoho Koshujo (a business school, Hitotsubashi University) and other schools, and the posts of chiefs at overseas MB branches were occupied by the graduates around the 1890s. In fact, MB had already established branches in Shanghai, Hong-Kong, Paris, New York, London, Lyon, and Milan between 1877 and 1880. This paper aims to clarify who had taken charge of each branch and what career they had had before those posts were occupied by the graduates of such higher educational institutions as Shoho Koshujo. MB established the above seven offices mainly at the request of the Japanese government, which encouraged trade through Japanese trading merchants rather than through foreign trading houses. While the higher educational system was being established in Japan, MB struggled due to the shortage of Japanese staff who were able to cope with work in overseas offices. MB, however, did not entrust its overseas work to local merchants at its overseas branches. Instead, MB sought out capable Japanese nationals who had gone abroad to study, worked as overseas consular officials, or worked at international exhibitions as civil servants or private citizens. MB dispatched them to overseas branches as chief, and the graduates of the higher schools worked under them. Until those graduates were trained and promoted as branch chief, the staff recruited overseas played a temporary, yet important role in establishing the MB's overseas offices.
This paper analyzes the growth process in the Japanese IC (Integrated Circuit) industry during the 1960s and 1970s and focuses on the interfirm relations (specifically, the relations between IC firms and NTT) and intrafirm relations in the development process of ICs for usein communication equipment. The Electrical Communication Laboratory (ECL) of NTT and several semiconductor firms, so to speak “DEN-DEN Families” that have supplied NTT with communication equipment continuously, frequently collaborated in the development of advanced ICs, and ECL initiated the development of advanced ICs that use the “admission principle.” In addition, ECL transferred the state-of-the-art technologies of ICs to DEN-DEN Families. Different from the Division of Defense in the United States, which primarily ignored cost issues in the procurement of ICs, NTT perceived the importance of cost-down activities. Moreover, DEN-DEN Families had competed and cooperated with each other for a long time. The interaction between IC engineers and communication equipment engineers within each firm has been important. In comparison to the 1960s, in the 1970s NTT collaborated more actively with member firms and used technology levels appropriate to each. NTT was thereby able to alleviate the strict in testing standards for the ICs. Also, NTT was able to realize low costs more effectively. The rise of the composition of exports in the communication equipment market led to more intensive interaction between IC engineers and communication equipment engineers within Japanese semiconductor firms. Moreover, even in the development of ICs for use in communication equipment, Japanese firms realized the importance of lowering costs.
In 1952, General Electric Co. (GE) absorbed their completely owned subsidiary, International General Electric Co., Inc. (IGEC) and made IGEC a division of the company. This article explores the reason for this absorption from the viewpoint of GE's export trading. If we limit ourselves to only some indicators of international cartel and foreign direct investment, we cannot fully examine GE's international business history. During the interwar period, GE had led international cartels, the Phoebus Agreement in the electric lamp field, and the International Notification and Compensation Agreement in the electrical apparatus field to protect the American market and to compete in the export market. Because of the segregation of the domestic market from the foreign market and the different way in which business was conducted, the structure of IGEC was appropriate for its international strategy. But World War II changed the export market. First, the war cut off the relationship between IGEC and the London-based cartels. Second, the German and Japanese industries dropped out of the international market. And, after the war, the general demand for electrical apparatus and appliance rose significantly. In this favorable environment, GE decided to strengthen its export effort. It, however, met with stiff competition from Westinghouse Corporation (WH). In order to compete with WH, GE needed to adapt its own manufacturing facilities to the exporting business. GE then absorbed IGEC and changed its managing structure into a multidivisional one.