The Japanese Firm: The Sources of Competitive Strength

ISBN : 9780198292159

Masahiko Aoki; Ronald Dore
424 ページ
156 x 233 mm

Masahiko Aoki and Ronald Dore have edited an authoritative account of the Japanese firm and the sources of its 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, organizational theory, economic history, political science, and sociology. Chapters range from contemporary descriptions-of training (in overseas subsidiaries as well as 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. The contemporary media would have us believe that the Japanese system of management-characterized by lifetime employment, emphasis on long-term, slow consensual decision-making, heavy investments in training, R&D, and quality, close inter-enterprise ties, and short rations for shareholders-is in crisis and about to change fundamentally. This book will enable the reader to decide just how solid the foundations of the Japanese enterprise system are, and to identify the rationale that lies behind it.


The Japanese firm as a system of attributes, Aoki
learning and incentive systems in Japanese industry, Koike
different quality paradigms and their implications for organizational learning, Cole
training, productivity and quality control in Japanese multinational companies, Sako
co-ordination between production and distribution in a globalizing network of firms, Asanuma
the evolution of Japan's industrial research and development, Westney
R&D organization in Japanese and American semi-condutor firms, Okimoto and Nishi
SME's, entry barriers, and "strategic alliances", Whittaker
Japanese human resource management for the viewpoint of incentive theory, Itoh
co-ordination, specialization, and incentives in product development organization, Itoh
the economic role of corporate grouping and the main bank system, Hoshi
interlocking shareholdings and corporate governance in Japan
the Japanese firm under the wartime planned economy, Okazaki
equality-efficiency trade-offs - Japanese perceptions and choices, Dore


Masahiko Aoki, Kyoto University, Japan, and Stanford University, USA; Ronald Dore, London School of Economics, and at Massachusetts Institute of Technology