A Comparison of Business Management Characteristics in U.S., German, and Japanese Manufacturing Corporations

Open access

Abstract

Comparing the management characteristics of business firms in different countries has been a popular research topic in business administration. In this paper, we compare the management characteristics of U.S., German, and Japanese manufacturing corporations. The findings of our study can provide valuable insights for corporate managers and global investors. We find that U.S. manufacturing corporations have the lowest liquidity risk (i.e., U.S. manufacturing firms have higher liquidity levels) compared with German and Japanese manufacturing corporations. German manufacturing corporations have the highest bankruptcy risk (i.e., German manufacturing firms have higher liability levels) compared with U.S. and Japanese manufacturing corporations. The average collection period of accounts receivable and the average payment period of accounts payable are significantly shorter in U.S. manufacturing corporations compared with their German and Japanese counterparts. Due to the extensive use of the just-in-time inventory management system in Japanese Keiretsu industry groupings, Japanese manufacturing corporations have higher inventory turnover rates (i.e., Japanese manufacturing corporations carry lower inventory levels) compared with U.S. and German manufacturing corporations. U.S. manufacturing corporations are able to earn higher operating profit margins compared with their German and Japanese counterparts because they are able to charge higher product prices to customers and/or they are able to have lower manufacturing costs. Japanese manufacturing corporations have the lowest annual sales and total assets growth rates compared with U.S. and German manufacturing corporations.

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