Despite the recent economic problems experienced in Japan, its extraordinary long-term growth is partly the result of its sophisticated use of its workers to increase productivity. This book examines the employment system practiced widely in Japan and compares it to the system found most oftenin the US, considering how the two systems have evolved and how they have affected economic performance since World War II. The authors develop two basic models, one characterized by long-term job security, worker involvement with work practices, and continuous training or retraining of workers (the Japanese model), and one characterized by less job security, rigid job classifications, adversarial relations betweenmanagers and workers, and minimal training (the US model). The authors argue that these models are not qualitatively different and that there is no single best practice that yields the best performance. Alternative systems can produce equally good results, they contend, if the elements of workpractices at the firm level are integrated with governmental policies that complement those practices. Based on a large research project carried out in both countries, the book concludes with the lessons that each country can learn from the employment practices of the other.