Under the influence of evolutionary models developed in the 1980s, which describe the development of mankind as intermittent and in ruptures, a model of institutional change which regards ruptures as essentially necessary for progress has gained in importance in economics. Two considerations form the basis of this model. First, institutions need to have a long-term dimension in order to offer orientation and relief to the individual. This is achieved by the stabilizing elements of culture, investments, uncertainty and interest. Secondly, institutions eventually become maladjusted to their environment in the long run because of this stability. In contrast to this position, the author postulates a differing theory: Because cognitive restrictions reduce the quantity of possible decisions, they encourage members of institutions to open the door and search for new solutions. Institutions do not need radical change. Their stability allows for gradual congruence with their environment - if they have the chance to adapt to competition. Within this framework the author reflects the ability of Japanese enterprises to change and adapt. Due to their long-term orientation, restrictions in terms of a high degree of uncertainty, specific investments and consolidated interests are immanent to them. But another perspective can also be added: the specific qualities of the Japanese culture in which their enterprises act. A culture that encourages long-term contracts - such as the Japanese culture - can contribute to the solution of a problem which has been identified by Hayek as the main problem of modern economies: the ability of institutions to adjust to a changing environment. Enterprises may gain new leeway of action, since a long-term oriented culture can reduce the prisoner’s dilemma and facilitate learning. A specific cultural orientation offers a potential that is difficult to construct, and in this sense the Japanese culture represents a comparative advantage of Japanese enterprises. This potential can, to be sure, be reduced. Other stabilizing factors such as uncertainty, investments and interests, as well as the impact on the formation of human relations induced by a culture oriented towards the long term, the preference of certain personal relations for example, make a more favourable orientation towards abstract and general rules difficult, on the political as well as on the enterprise level.