Japanese Management 20 years on – This report discusses the contemporary relevance of Japanese management practices to managers, policymakers and academic researchers.
In the 1980s, a period marked by strong performance of the Japanese economy and the emergence onto the global stage of a number of leading Japanese corporations, managers and management academics in the UK and other Western countries studied Japanese management with great interest. There was widespread recognition of the efficiency and competitive advantage afforded by certain management practices and several features of the ‘Japanese model’ were adopted by companies in the UK, continental Europe and North America. However, two decades of weak economic growth have undermined this belief that Japanese management can serve as a role-model for Western firms.
This report starts with an introduction into Japanese management practices. It sets them int
Ho their historical context in the 80s and 90s. The once positive perception changed when the Japanese economy experienced stagnation and minimal growth. Thus, many Japanese practices have been criticized as outdated and suitable for a developing rather than a mature economy. However, this negative view ignores the changes that have taken place since then.
The Report lists changes in employment and employment practices, such as off-shoring, performance-related pay, and the rise of non-regular employment. These new practices are explained in detail and with examples. Following that, the report explains how these changes have updated the Japanese model. The Conclusion part finally summarizes the contemporary relevance of this updated model.