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Japan has many long-lived companies that have been in business for a hundred or two hundred years. Not losing trust, keeping a balance between tradition and innovation, and being committed to prudent, appropriate management have long been considered as essential traits of such companies. However, these traits may not be enough for a company to adjust to changes in today’s business environment.
Many long-lived companies, as a matter of fact, possess their own unique business know-how. The prevalence of concepts such as the “corporate gene” or “corporate DNA” has been increasing in companies, mainly large enterprises, in recent years. However, many such concepts do not reflect the characteristics of genes in a living organism. It is considered that by understanding the characteristics of genes in a living organism and the mechanism of genetic duplication or genetic activation, we can gain a business perspective that can be applied to the inheritance of a corporate gene.
Focusing on corporate genes that contribute to the individuality of companies, this paper discusses the background of companies’ “gene seeking” and examines methods for building, transferring, and utilizing corporate genes.