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Title: The transformation of the Japanese business system
Author: Takeshita, Seijiro
ISNI:       0000 0004 2674 1923
Awarding Body: Birkbeck (University of London)
Current Institution: Birkbeck (University of London)
Date of Award: 2007
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This thesis investigates the structural transformation of the Japanese business system. Internal decay of the system, caused by the unprecedented length of a recession through the 1990s and reluctance to transform has resulted in a decline of bank-led governance and the deterioration of a cross-holding structure. Concurrently, external pressure was imposed by a dramatic increase of foreign ownership; advocates of convergence theory which adopts a single optimal strategy of increasing profitability. They are also critics of Japanese non-liberal capitalism, urging Japanese firms to transcend into the structure of liberalist Anglo-American governance. Investigations for this thesis suggest these internal and external pressures did not steer Japanese firms to abandon their core competencies of sustaining human resources and the willingness to compete. The seniority method, once thought to have been terminated with the introduction of meritocracy, was kept virtually intact by preserving a grading system. The core structure of their human resource management (HRM) was not overturned, despite pressures imposed by foreign shareholders, because Japanese firms did not discard their institutional capabilities " they may want to be able to use for comparative and competitive advantage in future. The study reveals that many Japanese firms partially moved towards Anglo-American governance, but continued to maintain their competencies at their core. This hybridization indicates Japanese governance may be undergoing a period of stress and transformation that will see the adoption of some of the features of Anglo-American corporate governance, although there is little evidence that it is likely to converge completely with the Anglo-American system in its current configuration (Kester, 1996). Moreover, the study suggests that the Anglo-American model, based on liberal capitalism, is not sufficient to induce the paradigm shift necessary for Japanese firms to carry out a transformation in their systems.
Supervisor: Not available Sponsor: Not available
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available