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The Japanese Firm : Sources of Competitive Strength - Masahiko Aoki

The Japanese Firm

Sources of Competitive Strength

By: Masahiko Aoki (Editor), Ronald Dore (Editor)

Hardcover Published: 26th May 1994
ISBN: 9780198288152
Number Of Pages: 422

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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.

Industry Reviews

`An excellent overview of issues including training, quality control, R&D organization, strategic alliances, product development strategies, and corporate governance issues ... This volume is the most comprehensive and up-to-date analysis of the Japanese firm and will be very useful in courses on Japan.' Journal of Asian Studies `An interdisciplinary is convincingly deployed by a number of the authors and this gives the book an overall sense of coherence ... all of the essays are to be higly recommended ... This collection blows away yet more of the fog and some of the myths behind it.' Business History `This is an excellent collection of papers for which the authors, the editors and the conference organizers should be congratulated. I found valuable insights in almost every chapter, and the whole was even better than the sum of its parts. One point that was brought out by a number of authors was what the editors referred to in their introduction as `systemic awareness' - that specific attributes of the Japanese firm should not be considered in isolation, as they are all interrelated elements of a broader system. This book brings together many of these elements, and provides the reader with that vital systemic awareness.' Asia Pacific Business Review `Many of the papers reflect the use of the new institutional economies to explain the nature of the Japanese firm and the sources of its competitive strength. They also display a laudable attempt to show the dependency between institutions, something which is important, but difficult, to do ... The papers are not only theoretical and empirical studies of the Japanese case, they also often contain a comparative aspect ... the account of the Japanese firm under the wartime planned economy given by Tetsuji Okazaki is fascinating ... higly informative and expertly combines modern approaches to the theory of the firm with empirical studies of a diverse range. I recommend this volume for those interested in the firm, the Japanese firm, and the skilful application of theories of the firm. The papers will undoubtedly enhance people's knowledge of the Japanese economy, but also stimulate new avenues of enquiry.' Japan Forum `This is an excellent collection of papers for which the authors, the editors and the conference organizers should be congratulated. I found valuable insights in almost every chapter, and the whole was even better than the sum of its parts.' Asia Pacific Business Review

Forewordp. v
Prefacep. viii
List of Contributorsp. ix
Introductionp. 1
The Japanese Firm as a System of Attributes: a Survey and Research Agendap. 11
Notes to Chapter 1p. 36
Referencesp. 37
Learning and Incentive Systems in Japanese Industryp. 41
Notes to Chapter 2p. 64
Referencesp. 65
Different Quality Paradigms and Their Implications for Organizational Learningp. 66
Referencesp. 82
Notes to Chapter 3p. 82
Training, Productivity, and Quality Control in Japanese Multinational Companiesp. 84
Notes to Chapter 4p. 114
Referencesp. 115
Co-Ordination Between Production and Distribution in a Globalizing Network of Firms: Assessing Flexibility Achieved in the Japanese Automobile Industryp. 117
Notes to Chapter 5p. 149
Referencesp. 152
The Evolution of Japan's Industrial Research and Developmentp. 154
Referencesp. 174
Note to Chapter 6p. 174
R&d Organization in Japanese and American Semiconductor Firmsp. 178
Referencesp. 207
Smes. Entry Barriers, and 'strategic Alliances'p. 209
Notes to Chapter 8p. 230
Referencesp. 231
Japanese Human Resource Management from the Viewpoint of Incentive Theoryp. 233
Notes to Chapter 9p. 258
Referencesp. 261
Co-Ordination, Specialization, and Incentives in Product Development Organizationp. 265
Referencesp. 283
Notes to Chapter 10p. 283
The Economic Role of Corporate Grouping and the Main Bank Systemp. 285
Notes to Chapter 11p. 307
Referencesp. 308
Interlocking Shareholdings and Corporate Governancep. 310
Notes to Chapter 12p. 339
Referencesp. 345
The Japanese Firm Under the Wartime Planned Economyp. 350
Notes to Chapter 13p. 374
Referencesp. 376
Equality-Efficiency Trade-Offs: Japanese Perceptions and Choicesp. 379
Notes to Chapter 14p. 390
Referencesp. 391
Indexp. 393
Table of Contents provided by Publisher. All Rights Reserved.

ISBN: 9780198288152
ISBN-10: 0198288158
Series: Japanese Business & Economics S.
Audience: Professional
Format: Hardcover
Language: English
Number Of Pages: 422
Published: 26th May 1994
Publisher: Oxford University Press
Country of Publication: GB
Dimensions (cm): 24.77 x 17.15  x 3.18
Weight (kg): 0.87