Who Runs Japanese Business?: Management and Motivation in the Firm

The nature of Japanese firms has come under intense scrutiny because of their international success and their distinct structure, employee relations and working practices. This book sheds light on the reasons for promotion within firms, the distribution of power within companies, business management methods and the relationship between shareholders, executives and employees. The authors use empirical data from comprehensive surveys to support their research on the nature of Japanese business. They survey 1,816 white-collar employees in several large corporate enterprises, and 2,246 shareholder appointed board members in listed corporations. The authors' primary concern is to explain the prerequisites for promotion to middle management and executive positions. Many criteria are analysed, including the extent of desire for promotion, working style, lifestyle, the effect of university education including the name of the university, the level of education attained, the effect of university education including the name of the university and the degree subject, the economic incentive behind severe competition for promotion and the role of trade unions. The book also deals with issues of corporate governance and the role of the incentive system and examines the popularity of labour managed firms in Japan. This detailed work will be of great interest to economists, businessmen and students wanting to learn more about Japanese business.