chapter  3
28 Pages

Labour Markets In Japan: Change and Continuity

WithJOHN BENSON

Introduction The global success of Japanese manufacturing companies in the latter half of the twentieth century led to considerable overseas interest in Japanese business strategies and practices. National governments intent on reforming or developing their manufacturing sectors focussed on manufacturing systems, such as Just in Time, or the structure and role of enterprise unions. Business enterprises and their managers were particularly concerned with these issues where it was perceived that efficiencies and improved productivity could be achieved. Academic researchers, although more cautious in their assessments, were also keen to understand why Japanese manufacturing companies were successful and whether their ‘unique’ systems and practices, seen as instrumental to the Japanese success, could be transplanted elsewhere.