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Highlights: October 2003 Issue

A Single Alliance That Counts: The Kone Japan Story

One of Finland's most important companies is well-placed in Japan and China as a result of a key alliance with a Japanese firm it formed in the mid '90s.  At first it was a standard alliance, and then it deepened, and now it ties the two companies together in all aspects of operations, marketing, staffing and product development worldwide.  Those who study cross-border partnerships, as well as those responsible for forming them at individual companies, would do well to read the story of Kone elevators in Japan.

A Specialist Offers Advice: Excerpting Some of the Best Academic Research on Japan Business

In an expanded column this month, we present excerpts from a select group of the most thought-provoking academic papers recently published on Japan business topics by scholars all over the world.  Japan managers would do well to stay up on what these academics have learned.  Topics include: the future of Japan's automotive industry; job burnout in Japan; trends in cross-shareholdings; the changing character of Japan's unions; Japan's service companies; Western vs. Japanese firms in winning loyalty of Japanese employees; Japan's biotech industry; convenience stores as leaders in e-commerce; language selection on Japanese corporate websites; and explaining the failure of some major retailers.

A Well-Known Company in the Energy Industry: The Dresser Japan Story

Dresser is no longer part of one of the world's largest oil engineering conglomerates.  Now it's just a private company with alot of debt as a result of a private-equity-led management buyout in 2001.  And it competes against some of Japan's most traditional old economy companies, like Yamatake, Nihon Koso and TSK.   But the Dresser name still carries alot of weight among local energy, gas, oil and construction companies, and that allows the company to lead in a variety of Japanese markets that most would consider very unsexy, but are very profitable.  For a different perspective on Japan's energy industry, you should check out this profile.

Japan Insight: Get the Scoop

Combe seeks to expand in Japan; More details on Vivit Square Mall; Etc.

From the Editors

Private Equity Copycats...

Plus much more...

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