The face of Japanese management as it is emerging today is one of disappointment about the present and insecurity about the future. Although Japanese industry and the Japanese economy is likely to remain a dominant global player for at least another human generation, the social and cultural confidence which appeared to underpin typically Japanese models of management practice is at an ebb. Essential elements of the Japanese management experience are undergoing a fundamental transformation across a full range of business sectors and organisations: for example, changes in terms of expectations of lifelong employment and of loyalty as expressed in a 'social contract' with politicians and families and a 'psychological contract' with employers. The authors have generated sufficient evidence to suggest that this transformation impacts particularly on recent university or college graduates seeking employment, middle-level managers seeking promotion, and women managers at all stages of their career.
This book setsout to identify the essential currents of change and explain how and why these impinge on the experience of managers in Japan. Working mainly with interview material, the book gives 'voice' to managers whose task it is to interpret changes in the Japanese working environment and implement change in the workplace. Too often, the perceptions, loyalty and motivation of these managers have been assumed rather than brought to critical light. Finally, the book suggests ways in which all managers with an international perspective can learn from the Japanese experience.
Understanding the impact of this transformation is important for those who already work as, with or for managers inJapan or in Japanese-run enterprises worldwide. It is of value also to those who teach Japanese management students and to staff of non-Japanese companies who recruit or work with Japanese managers.