Supplier Relations in Japan and the United States: Are They Converging?
A follow-up survey to one published in the Summer 1991 issue of Sloan Management Review ("How Much Has Really Changed between U.S. Automakers and Their Suppliers?" by Susan Helper) shows that long-term, closely linked relationships have performance advantages for automakers and their suppliers in both the United States and Japan. Although such high-performance relationships with customers are still more prevalent in Japan than in the United States, the nature of supplier relations in the two countries is converging in some respects. The current survey includes more than 600 automotive suppliers in the United States and almost 500 suppliers in Japan.