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THE END OF JAPANESE-STYLE EMPLOYMENT?

D. H. Whittaker
Work, Employment & Society
Vol. 4, No. 3 (September 1990), pp. 321-347
Published by: Sage Publications, Ltd.
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/23747664
Page Count: 27
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THE END OF JAPANESE-STYLE EMPLOYMENT?
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Abstract

'Japanese-style' employment is confronting serious challenges in the form of rapidly ageing workforces, changing youth attitudes, rising numbers of female employees, new technology, 'internationalization' and 'servicization'. Japanese companies are responding to these challenges with notable innovations in personnel management. These include: 'multitrack employment' with specialist tracks; 'group employment' whereby workers are transferred beyond individual enterprises; increased scouting and 'new job-based wages'. The innovations are significant, but do they constitute the end of Japanese-style employment? Seen in a historical perspective, Japanese-style employment has evolved; in fact change may be considered an inherent feature (as are predictions of its demise). This paper concludes that we are witnessing significant evolution but not yet outright abandonment.

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