Japanese Company Histories as Repositories of Tacit Knowledge

Maureen Donovan


A special issue commemorating 115 years of its publication of Shūkan Tōyō Keizai, devoted its cover story, comprising some 45 pages, to a survey of other Japanese companies that had passed the one hundred year milestone. Kunisada Fumitaka advises readers to seek the kind of tacit knowledge needed to revive Japanese economic engines by reading histories of successful companies that survived for more than a century,  “Company histories are treasure troves of business knowledge for turning point eras, such as the present. Read them!!” The appendices of shashi are rich in statistics, but the narrative portions of the books have their own value as primary sources as well. A well-known limitation of shashi is that the stories they tell are self- serving, extolling the feats of their founders and achievements over the years without any criticism. Those narratives can be used to derive insights into the past. Perhaps they can also be a stimulus for imagining the future.


Shashi: Japanese Company History

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.5195/shashi.2016.31


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Copyright (c) 2016 Maureen Donovan

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