Venture Review

Japan Ventures Review No.4 Abstract

Japan Ventures Review Japan Ventures Review No.4 Abstract
November 2003


Kozo Yamada/Yoshihiro Eshima
Management and Strategic Decision in Innovative Small Firms in Japan

 In this paper, we investigate the characteristics of innovative small firms (ISFs), which are certified by the ‘Temporary Law Concerning Measures for the Promotion of the Creative Business Activities of Small and Medium Enterprises.’ This law was the first legal foundation established in 1995 to support new and growing businesses in Japan. Based upon a questionnaire survey and personal interviews of ISFs managers, we identify the style of strategic management of ISFs and examine their differences. Our results show that entrepreneurial top managers in ISFs make a clear strategic decision that is categorized as a ‘prospectors’ strategic type. It is also found that younger ISFs make much critical strategic decisions and there are no significant strategic differences between family and non-family businesses. Strategic decision and entrepreneurial management style are key factors for high performance in ISFs.

Key words:Innovative Small Firms, Strategic Decision, Entrepreneurship, Family Business, Prospectors

Masayuki Kondo
Venture Cluster

 Although a cluster, which is the accumulation of companies and institutions that belong to or related to a specific industry, is important for industrial development and industrial competitiveness, this paper proposes a new concept of ‘a venture cluster,’ which focuses the function of creating venturing start-ups. A venture cluster has four components: intellectual sources, hardware support functions (incubators, venture capital funds, etc.), software support functions (consulting, training, staff recruiting, accounting service, etc.), and industrial and social acceptance.
 Using this concept the paper analyzes the situation in Sapporo, where many university spin-offs are being created in the biotechnology area. The analysis has found that a venture cluster, especially for university spin-offs, has been dynamically formed with a multi-layered and well-collaborated network structure in Sapporo.

Key words:Venture, Cluster, University, Sapporo, Biotechnology

Teruyuki Bunno
An Empirical Analysis Of The Cluster Function On Venture Businesses

 Though a number of researches have been made on venture businesses, and the government implemented various policy programs to support them for about thirty years, it is seemingly very difficult in Japan to nurture fast growing enterprises that help to form new industries, unlike the case in the United States. What we have learned from the experience of the past few decades was that a new business or industry would not be created alone without connecting to the regional economy. As we recognize many cases around the world, the cluster as a form of agglomeration has played a very important role to grow a new industry.
 This article thus focuses on the cluster function as a mean to foster advantages of agglomeration, and empirically reveals its effectiveness on generating venture businesses. In particular, the analysis identified that the “regional resources” factor, one of the functions of the cluster, contributed to enhance productivity and profitability of venture businesses, as well as to promote their location within an agglomeration. It implies the significance of the public policy for generating new businesses or industries; that is, it needs to develop the environment that enables enterprises to utilize various resources endowed in a region, which encourage their continuous innovation leading to the state-of-art technology and products.

Key words:Venture Business, New Industry, Cluster Function, Agglomeration, Innovation

Tomomichi Yoshikawa
Regional Innovation System for Sustaining Cluster

 Tsubame-Sanjo area has been known in Japan for tableware exporting industry especially after World War II. But for the high evaluation of Yen and increasing of wages, this cluster lost her competitiveness in terms of export in the middle of 1980’s. However some of the companies are now innovating their competitiveness to entry into new industries based upon their accumulated technologies. We would like to describe the way in which they drastically changed their structure of industries in 1990’s.
 When we research for the past history of industries in this area, firstly we confirm they have been sustaining industry cluster for 400years. First of all, we ask why Tsubame-Sanjo has been sustaining cluster. The answer is that they have been changing the structures of economy during 400years.
 Secondly we observe for the past 400 years similar kinds of mechanism and dynamics to promote changing industries. Tsubame-Sanjo area has been sustaining clustering 400 years by innovating their structures of industries to changing situations. We will describe the characters and dynamics of these innovations as regional innovation system.
 We observe and analize two different dimensions of mechanizum, one is in the firm level , and another is in the cluster as a whole. 1) in the firm dimension, each firm promotes its own business into new industries and 2) in the cluster dimension, cluster leads competition to each firm that induce differentiation in term of technology to each firm. If R& D based start ups or development based firm did not exist there were no integrations among the professional firms. We realize the importance of the function of R& D based start-ups in the cluster.

Key words:Industry cluster, Sustaining, New industry, R&D based start-up firms, Innovation

Yoshinori Takatsu
Business crises, failure and recovery of Starting-ups

 In Japan, if a business-venture attempt fails, recovery from the failure is thought to be very difficult. But in the real business world, we encounter quite a few entrepreneurs who have recovered from past business failures.
 For this reason, we have made inquiries to the Japanese executives of start-ups, asking various questions about their experiences in failure and recovery in businesses.
 Main questions are as follows: What have the causes of their business crises been? How would the situations after business failure be? What the secrets or conditions for recovery are? How often they have found recovered businessmen? How do they think about the entrepreneurial climate of Japan? What would the key to change this climate be? And so on.
 From this research, we have obtained the following results.
 In order to assure recovery, the entrepreneur should always be very cautious about the status of her business and make quick decisions when necessary. She must make utmost efforts in avoiding the setting her business partners into trouble and to minimize the default of obligations. She should get business funds from investments in place of debt and loans.
 And the government is expected to consolidate the laws or regulations about bankruptcy and attachment. Financial bodies should amend the procedures for loans, including the personal guarantee system.
 Japanese economy has passed the catch-up stage and is now one of the front-runners of the world. In this stage, the technical innovation through venturing is a must. We must be more tolerant of business failures, because risks are inevitable in ventures.
 We must change the Japanese business climate. The fruits of innovations from the recovered entrepreneurship due to her profound experience may be great.

Key words:business ventures, business crises, failure, recovery, business climate

Takuma Fujihashi
Ventures of the software Industry in Japan

 Of the software industry in Japan, venture firms and non-independent companies coexist.
 The achievements of the non-independent companies are stable because of the parent company’s supports. On the other hand,the venture firms are dipped into the hard competition.
 The condition of the market competition is not set up and resource allocation is not optimized.
 If we define the software by using the concept of compatibility and on the premise of Shy(2001), social wealth increases in the case of developing the compatible software.
 But compatibility cannot be gotten a priori.
 To get the compatibility, cooperation, improvement of the government procurement and the suitable due-diligence to the venture firm can be thinkable.

Key words:software industry, ventures, social wealth, compatibility

Harumi Shindo
SMEs’ Growth and Development Involved in Bussiness Model Change

 In order to clarify the mechanisms causing SMEs’ growth and development the following research questions were asked: What have been the key factors in a SME’s sustainable growth and development? and What is the process of a SME’s growth and development? This study attempts to analyze the mechanisms involved in SMEs’ Business Model change. The Business Model can be defined as a kind of business system or structure which is based on business concepts and also creates and maintains the company’s original value. The Business Model has not been discussed sufficiently in existing studies but it is a useful concept for understanding the mechanisms of SMEs’ growth and development.

Key words:SME, Entrepreneurship, Growth and Development, Business Concept, Business Model

Yoichi Hiramatsu
Venture Business and Strategic Human Resource Management

 The subject of this study is considered from the viewpoint that the source of sustained competitive advantage is strongly influenced through Strategic Human Resource Management(resource-based view). Attention is especially given to Human Resource Management System output in employee commitment tendency and emergence power. This author coined the term”emergence power”to define the power of influence of emergent employees. Mail survey studies were used to verify the necessity of Human Resource Management Policy in every growth stage of Venture Business. The survey verified that emergence power influenced employee commitment tendency and that a variety of Human Resource Management Policies was needed from the start-up stage to the sudden growth stage and to the stable stage. Thus both on and after the sudden growth stage of Venture Business this author foresees the increasing importance of Strategic Human Resource Management Policies.

Key words:Venture Business, Strategic Human Resource Management, Resource-based view, Commitment, Emergence

Misanori Takahashi
The Relation of Venturing and Culture

 The purpose of this paper is reconsideration of entrepreneurship research from cultural perspective.
 In entrepreneurship research, cultural perspective understanding entrepreneurial behavior and emergence of innovation in relation to culture of a nation, a group, a region, is traditional viewpoint. But preceded research didn’t pay attention about cultural perspective. Because we use culture for explain inexplicable domain in term of existed theory.
 For this reason, we can’t dispute about culture in entrepreneurship research. For instance, we can’t define culture in entrepreneurship research. Because we didn’t pay attention to “How and why are people influenced by culture in selecting entrepreneurial action?”
 To solve these problems, this paper reviews preceded research from cultural perspective, taking notice of two viewpoints, culture as a source of motivation and culture as a principle of organization or group.
 At First, this paper reviews psychological and social psychological research in entrepreneurship research from the view point of culture as a source of motivation.(2.1) Second, from the view point of culture as a principle of organization or group , Organizational culture in intrapreneurship research, immigrant entrepreneurship research in U.S. are reconsidered. (2.2)
 After these reviews, this research point out cultural reproduction model in entrepreneurship research. Cultural reproduction model is perspective, culture not only induces people to entrepreneurial action, but also entrepreneurial action maintains culture. Under this model, preceded research elucidated the relation of venturing and culture. (3.1)
 But cultural reproduction model have limitation. This model can’t explain phenomenon, people change their culture very frequent under the influence of economical or political context. To overcome this limitation, this paper suggests two approaches by reviewing recent research.(3.2)

Key words:culture as a source of motivation, culture as a principle of organization or group, cultural reproduction model socialization, institutionalization

Case Study

Hitoshi Iwama
Interaction between Entrepreneurship and the Market Circumstances

 Japan is now in difficulties in creating new businesses or new industries. The critical point for creating a new business or a new industry is the product planning process that decides what should be made.
 First, this article describes the model that the practicable product planning is made from the interaction process between entrepreneurship and the market circumstances. The process is as follows: At first, market research is executed by the scientists or engineers driven by the strategic domain and vision, where they feel potential needs tacitly (market-in). A product concept is created based on the potential needs and then the “semi-product” drawn or produced based on this product concept is presented to potential customers (product-out). Through such a presentation, the potential needs are confirmed explicitly and at the same time the detailed needs are collected (market-in). These information are utilized for the detailed planning. Next, effectiveness of this model is discussed in the case study of the Japanese word processor industry which was initiated by Toshiba Corporation.

Key words:new industry, entrepreneurship, product planning, Japanese word processor

Daisuke Nogi
The construction process of the business incubator concept

 By reviewing the contemporary studies on business incubators of the Western Countries, and based on the trends of business incubators in the U.S., we clarified the evolution of discussion about business incubators, and presented the applicability of the findings in Japan.
 Research and study on business incubators began in the Western Countries in the 1980s. Its definition and component were then organized, and a theoretical base was established. Furthermore, the 1990s saw substantial development in research and study, and an accumulated common data was established.
 The discussion on business incubators focused on three items: component, availability and feasibility. Major issues raised include: availability of business sites, examination of the availability of start-ups, and the method of setting feasibility levels.

Key words:business incubator, contemporary studies, concept construction, Western Countries, Japan

Yongju Kang
Consideration on the existence and conquest of Chasm in the growth process of an Innovation Cluster created by policy

 The purpose of this paper is studying the existence of Chasm, which is generated in the growth process of a cluster created by policy. In this paper, the generating mechanism of Chasm is clarified by investigating and analyzing the case of Taedok-Valley, which is a typical high-tech cluster in South Korea.
 Moore defines a term called Chasm as “the big challenge or a deep slot which a venture business experiences in the growth process”, and supposes that Chasm must be overcome for a venture business to grow rapidly. In this paper, the term of Chasm is regarded as “a challenge which Innovation Cluster (IC) experiences in the growth process itself”, and it supports that the cluster experiences clearly different Chasm from IC formed spontaneously. Whether IC continues to grow further or falls to Chasm and declines depends on greatly how each of IC can overcome the Chasm.

Key words:Innovation Cluster, Chasm, Cluster Created Policy, Spin-off, Selection and Concentration

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