The Japanese Firm: Sources of Competitive Strength / Edition 1

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Overview

Masahiko Aoki and Ronald Dore have edited an authoritative account of the Japanese firm and its sources of success, including contributions from some of the best, and best known, scholars in the field. The book represents an attempt to explain and understand aspects of the firm in the Japanese economic system, and to explain the corporate success of Japan. It is interdisciplinary in approach, containing both theoretical and empirical work, and has contributions from the fields of labour economics, comparative institutional analysis, information economics, finance, organization theory, economic history, political science, and sociology. Chapters range from contemporary descriptions - of training in overseas subsidaries as well as in Japan, of R & D structures, of product development practices, of finance and corporate governance, of trading relations, especially between small and large firms - to an historical overview of the evolution of Japanese management in the wartime planned economy. The book also situates Japan in the literature of economic analysis and in the on-going debate about trade-offs between equality and efficiency. It is held together by a strong introductory chapter by the editors. But is the Japanese system of management - characterised by lifetime employment, emphasis on the long-term, slow consensual decision making, heavy investments in training, R & D, and quality, close inter-enterprise ties, and short rations for shareholders - all in crisis and about to change fundamentally, as the contemporary media would have us believe? This book will enable the reader to decide just how solid the foundations of the Japanese enterprise system are, and to identify the rationale which lies behind it.
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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher

"Contributions are incisive, original, and informed, all authors being established scholars....should be required reading in schools of management."--Choice

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780198292159
  • Publisher: Oxford University Press, USA
  • Publication date: 9/28/1996
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 424
  • Product dimensions: 9.19 (w) x 6.13 (h) x 0.95 (d)

Meet the Author

Kyoto University, Japan, and Stanford University

London School of Economics, and at Massachusetts Institute of Technology

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Table of Contents

Introduction 1
1 The Japanese Firm as a System of Attributes: A Survey and Research Agenda 11
2 Learning and Incentive Systems in Japanese Industry 41
3 Different Quality Paradigms and their Implications for Organizational Learning 66
4 Training, Productivity, and Quality Control in Japanese Multinational Companies 84
5 Co-ordination between Production and Distribution in a Globalizing Network of Firms: Assessing Flexibility Achieved in the Japanese Automobile Industry 117
6 The Evolution of Japan's Industrial Research and Development 154
7 R&D Organization in Japanese and American Semiconductor Firms 178
8 SMEs, Entry Barriers, and 'Strategic Alliances' 209
9 Japanese Human Resource Management from the Viewpoint of Incentive Theory 233
10 Co-ordination, Specialization, and Incentives in Product Development Organization 265
11 The Economic Role of Corporate Grouping and the Main Bank System 285
12 Interlocking Shareholdings and Corporate Governance in Japan 310
13 The Japanese Find under the Wartime Planned Economy 350
14 Equality-Efficiency Trade-offs: Japanese Perceptions and Choices 379
Index 393
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