Rethinking the commitment balance between corporations, institutional investors, workers/consumers, and the government in Japan
(Kyoto University of Foreign Studies)
Paper short abstract:
This paper provides insights on how the commitment balance in the six mutual relations between companies, institutional investors, workers/consumers, and government can be sustained in the long run and how the country should tackle some of the unbalanced relations.
Paper long abstract:
In the aftermath of the bubble economy of the late 1980s, corporations have been racing to streamline their balance sheets and to maximise their short-term profits in Japan. The fundamental problem was that this happened collectively, creating a fallacy of composition at the macro scale and sparking a vicious cycle of low growth and deflation. Such behaviours can be found not only in corporations but also among institutional investors. Hypothesis in this paper is that commitment balance between the major constituents should be maintained for sustaining healthy corporate activities in Japan. The four major parties, namely corporations, institutional investors, workers/consumers, who are employed by corporations, and government, who collects tax from the rest of these three sectors, are considered as important constitutors in a modern society. The ideal optimal balance in this paper is defined as a condition that each party can maintain mutual interests with the rest of the three counterparts. As a measure to investigate the balances of interests, the following three factors are taken into consideration: information symmetry, willingness to engage, and sustainability of the relations. By organising the analysis in the matrix format, it provides insights on how the commitment balance in the six mutual relations between companies, institutional investors, consumers, and government can be sustained in the long run and how the country should tackle some of the unbalanced relations. As for methodology, it relies mostly on literature reviews on company-investor relations and multi stakeholder approach, as well as analyses on recent policy measures in the related field, such as releasing integrated corporate information, the governance and stewardship codes, and institutionalising companies' integrated reports. This paper attempts to sum up and find remaining issues from the results in the author's recent analyses on fallacy of composition of corporate activities, integrated reports, stewardship codes, and employer-employee relations.
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