keiretsuKeiretsu is a Japanese term that describes an interbusiness alliance or enterprise group.[1]

According to The Economist: “Keiretsu is a Japanese word which, translated literally, means ‘headless combine.’ It is the name given to a form of corporate structure in which a number of organizations link together, usually by taking small stakes in each other and usually as a result of having a close business relationship, often as suppliers to each other.

“The structure, frequently likened to a spider’s web, was much admired in the 1990s as a way to defuse the traditionally adversarial relationship between buyer and supplier. If you own a bit of your supplier, reinforced sometimes by your supplier owning a bit of you, the theory says that you are more likely to reach a way of working that is of mutual benefit to you both than if your relationship is at arm’s length.”[2]


  1. ^ American Marketing Association. AMA Dictionary.
  2. ^ The Economist, Keiretsu.

Comments are closed.