Japanese Success? British Failure?: Comparisons in Business Performance Since 1945

ISBN : 9780198290582

Etsuo Abe; Terrry Gourvish
300 Pages
163 x 243 mm
Pub date
Oct 1997
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The significance in business and economic history of Japan's startling rise in international competitiveness since the mid-1950s has not only given business academics much food for thought but has also served to increase the amount of English-language writing on modern Japan. Many researchers have sought to dissect the 'economic miracle', isolating key factors which range from the national character and 'consensus' to the favourable conjunction of market forces, from unique structural elements and government policy to a 'free ride' based in American support and free trade. This new book uses a comparative perspective to shed important new light on the components of the miracle. By looking at the key components of international competitiveness in Japan and Britain, new light is shed on the secrets of Japanese growth and refinement of allegations of British 'failure'. There are two contributions, one written by a Japanese scholar, the other by a British scholar, on the key variables: the government-industry relationship; management structures; education and training; and finance. The book concludes with new case studies of automobiles and electronics. The essays revise many established notions concerning the two countries. Differences in education/business links, for example, are not as pronounced as is often claimed, and the performance gap in financial services is now much narrower. The book will serve as a starting point for further research on the critical aspects of modern corporate behaviour and international competitiveness.

About the author: 

Etsuo Abe, Meiji University, Tokyo; Terrry Gourvish, London School of Economics

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