The Japanese firm : the sources of competitive strength / edited by Masahiko Aoki and Ronald Dore.

Oxford [England] ; New York : Oxford University Press, 1994.
xi, 410 pages ; 25 cm


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Summary note
  • 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.
Bibliographic references
Includes bibliographical references and index.
  • Introduction / Masahiko Aoki and Ronald Dore -- 1. The Japanese Firm as a System of Attributes: A Survey and Research Agenda / Masahiko Aoki -- 2. Learning and Incentive Systems in Japanese Industry / Kazuo Koike -- 3. Different Quality Paradigms and their Implications for Organizational Learning / Robert E. Cole -- 4. Training, Productivity, and Quality Control in Japanese Multinational Companies / Mari Sako -- 5. Co-ordination between Production and Distribution in a Globalizing Network of Firms: Assessing Flexibility Achieved in the Japanese Automobile Industry / Banri Asanuma -- 6. The Evolution of Japan's Industrial Research and Development / D. Eleanor Westney -- 7. R&D Organization in Japanese and American Semiconductor Firms / Daniel I. Okimoto and Yoshio Nishi -- 8. SMEs, Entry Barriers, and 'Strategic Alliances' / D. Hugh Whittaker -- 9. Japanese Human Resource Management from the Viewpoint of Incentive Theory / Hideshi Itoh.
  • 10. Co-ordination, Specialization, and Incentives in Product Development Organization / Hideshi Itoh -- 11. The Economic Role of Corporate Grouping and the Main Bank System / Takeo Hoshi -- 12. Interlocking Shareholdings and Corporate Governance in Japan / Paul Sheard -- 13. The Japanese Find under the Wartime Planned Economy / Tetsuji Okazaki -- 14. Equality-Efficiency Trade-offs: Japanese Perceptions and Choices / Ronald Dore.
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