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Japanese Industrial Organization in Comparative Perspective

James R. Lincoln and Kerry McBride
Annual Review of Sociology
Vol. 13 (1987), pp. 289-312
Published by: Annual Reviews
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/2083250
Page Count: 24
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Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
Japanese Industrial Organization in Comparative Perspective
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Abstract

This review examines theory and research on Japanese patterns of work and industrial organization in broad comparison with the United States and other Western societies. Four topics are considered: labor markets, internal organization structure, employee work attitudes, and industrial organization. Two issues that pervade the discussion are: (a) the extent to which real differences exist between Japan and Western industrial economies in the orientations of workers and the structure of labor markets, firms, and industries; (b) the extent to which such differences can be explained within general theories of social and economic organization, as opposed to heavily culturalist or historicist claims for Japanese uniqueness. Our general stance is that while internal labor market theory and other rationalist models of Japanese work organization have considerable explanatory power, there are limits to their capacity to account for Japanese distinctiveness.

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