سیستم های مدرسه-کار در جوامع فراصنعتی: شواهد از ژاپن
|کد مقاله||سال انتشار||مقاله انگلیسی||ترجمه فارسی||تعداد کلمات|
|22211||2010||18 صفحه PDF||سفارش دهید||11815 کلمه|
Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)
Journal : Research in Social Stratification and Mobility, Volume 28, Issue 2, June 2010, Pages 215–232
The Japanese system of school–work has been widely admired for the strong communication and recruitment relationships that exist between high schools and employers. We develop a framework for understanding the macro-level conditions that fostered the effectiveness of the system up until the early 1990s. These conditions included a stratified secondary educational system, a large supply of high-quality high school graduates, and high demand for young workers to fill entry-level positions in the internal labor markets of large firms. We use original data from a sample of urban high schools to analyze how Japanese employers’ recruitment patterns changed in the 1990s and beyond. The results of that analysis and a counterfactual analysis suggest that recent changes, especially in Japanese employment institutions, have significantly weakened high school–employer relationships. We suggest implications of the Japanese case for school–work processes in other postindustrial societies.
The youth labor market is an important area of policy concern in postindustrial societies. Many countries have witnessed deterioration in youths’ employment prospects over the past two decades, as seen in heightened rates of unemployment and idleness as well as depressed wages relative to prime-age workers. These outcomes contrast with what some social scientists had predicted for the early 21st century: that increased educational attainment, growth in economic sectors that tend to be youth-intensive, and increased labor demand due to population aging would privilege young people in the labor market (Blanchflower and Freeman, 2000, Freeman and Katz, 1995, Honda, 2003 and Ryan, 2001). The widening of labor market outcomes between highly educated and less-educated young people has been of particular concern. This has led social scientists and policymakers to be very interested in the positive contributions that institutional arrangements can make to smoothing the transition from school to work for high school graduates (Breen, 2005, Freeman and Katz, 1995, Rosenbaum and Kariya, 1989, Rosenbaum, 2001 and Ryan, 2001). In particular, the German and Japanese school–work systems have frequently been singled out as models of efficiency. Many observers in the 1980s and early 1990s linked the strong economic performance of those two economies and the lack of severe problems in their youth labor markets to the nature of their national educational and employment institutions (Bailey, 2001, Blanchflower and Freeman, 2000, Mitani, 1999, Mortimer and Kruger, 2000, OECD, 1999 and Rosenbaum and Kariya, 1989). Indeed, many social scientists have discussed high school–work policies in terms of the key features of the German and Japanese systems: apprenticeship (the “German system”), and long-term recruitment relationships between high schools and employers (the “Japanese system”). However, in recent years the Japanese school–work system appears to have unraveled to a considerable extent, and the German system has also been under duress (Honda, 2003 and Müller et al., 1998). What does the faltering nature of these heretofore effective institutional arrangements tell us about the macro-level conditions that supported them? While the German and Japanese systems have attracted less attention in their faltering phase than they did in their heyday, this paper argues for a closer look at “what went wrong.” We suggest that when institutional performance declines, social scientists have a prime opportunity to analyze the underlying conditions that nurtured institutional effectiveness to begin with. Our focus in this paper is the Japanese system of high school to work. Japan is an important case for two reasons. First, figuring out how and why its high school–work institutions have changed is significant from a policy point of view. The main reason American social scientists have paid attention to the Japanese model is because they have been interested to find features of it that might be “exportable” to the U.S. The strong points of Japanese school–work institutions have garnered attention in broad comparative studies as well as in more focused comparisons with the U.S. (Blanchflower and Freeman, 2000, Rosenbaum and Kariya, 1989, Rosenbaum, 2001 and Ryan, 2001), with many observers in the 1980s and into the 1990s asserting that the U.S. would benefit from the adoption of some of these features. Second, Japan is a strategic research site from an empirical point of view: because its high school–work system is undergirded by a set of nationwide policies, we are able to focus in on a local context and analyze in-depth the operation and unraveling of the system. This is an empirical advantage because the data requirements for analyzing institutional change are very demanding, and we believe the workings of a school–work system can best be seen by looking in depth at a local labor market. We analyze how Japan's nationally uniform, well-articulated system of moving students from upper secondary school into work has performed under significant recent change in three macro-level conditions: (1) The transition from a manufacturing-based to a service-based economy. (2) The rapid increase in the proportion of high school graduates who proceed to higher education. (3) Employers’ restructuring of job openings away from entry-level positions in firm-internal labor markets to part-time or temporary positions. This tendency has been particularly pronounced in the labor market for new high school graduates. These macro-level changes are similar to the experience of many other postindustrial economies, allowing us to utilize change in Japan as a “laboratory” to see how high school–work transition processes are affected. We draw on three original datasets generated for this project: (1) All recruitment advertisements sent by Japanese employers to high schools in a representative urban area in the mid-1990s. We use these data in a network analysis to examine which types of high schools attract the most interest from potential employers. (2) Longitudinal job placement data over two decades for graduates from a sample of these schools. These data illuminate the extent to which high school–employer ties have survived or been buffeted by the macro-level changes outlined above. (3) Qualitative data from interviews with teachers involved in graduates’ job placement in 20 high schools. These data inform our general perspective and our quantitative analyses. We argue from our data that pockets of effectiveness in Japan's school–work system remain: the system appears to be robust for certain types of schools and employers. Our network data from the 1990s show that industrial high schools received many more job opening announcements than general academic high schools. Consistent with this, our longitudinal graduate placement data suggest a significant decline in long-term recruitment relationships between general high schools and firms but the resilience of such ties between industrial high schools and firms.2 The continued importance of qualified high school graduates for skilled manufacturing jobs seems to underlie the privileged position of industrial high schools. These findings in conjunction with qualitative evidence lead to a number of broader conclusions about the conditions necessary for effective high school–work institutions in postindustrial economies.
نتیجه گیری انگلیسی
We have argued that Japan's highly praised high school–work system thrived during a period when three macro-level conditions were present: a stratified secondary educational system that sorts students into relatively homogeneous schools (on quality and on vocational vs. academic content); the existence of a large pool of high-quality secondary school graduates and high labor demand for them; and an employment system with firm-internal labor markets that included positions for high school graduates. The latter motivated employers to select not just university graduates but also high school graduates based on as much information as possible, thus encouraging reliance on high schools for signals. While the first of these macro-level conditions did not change in Japan in the 1990s, the second and third conditions did. We used recruitment data between employers and a set of local high schools as well as fine-grained data over the past two decades to explore which types of secondary schools and employers tend to have recruitment relationships with each other, and how the prevalence of these recruitment relationships has changed over time. Simulation analysis provided further insight into whether economic downturn alone predicted a decline in high school–firm relationships or whether some high schools were able to maintain their relationships with firms. Our results show that general academic high schools in the 1990s attracted little recruitment attention from employers, and workbound graduates from these schools increasingly had to fend for themselves. This is a change from the past. While the general vs. vocational high school comparison was not emphasized in their study of high school–firm relationships in Japan, Rosenbaum and Kariya found that a significant proportion of workbound graduates from medium- to low-ranking high schools were able to enter low-level white-collar jobs in the 1980s. Similarly, teachers at two of the low-ranking general academic high schools included in our study commented that up until the mid-1990s their schools had been able to place some students in positions in banks or department stores (positions in the latter are considered prestigious ones in the Japanese sales sector). As one teacher commented, “Up until now we have had an understanding with several companies in the finance field that they would hire some of our graduates every year. But this is no longer the case.” While low-ranked high schools undoubtedly placed fewer graduates in such white-collar positions than higher ranking high schools even during the years of strong Japanese economic growth, it is notable that high school graduates could aspire to such jobs at all. The pecking order among general academic high schools has changed little over time, but the employment situation for all of their graduates has worsened significantly. To wit, the vocational school is the only one in our sample that has continued to be involved in recruitment relationships with firms in recent years. This is related to the greater propensity of manufacturing firms to continue to be engaged in stable recruitment relationships with high schools; to the extent that positions in firm-internal labor markets continue to exist at all for high school graduates, they are likely to be in Japan's remaining manufacturing companies. What do these findings suggest for the adoptability of the Japanese school–work system's main features in the U.S. or other postindustrial economies? Our results do not engender great optimism. Our theoretical framework and analysis suggest that Japan's high school–work system was the most robust when there was high labor demand for young people in entry-level positions in firm-internal labor markets, as this created incentives for employers to rely on schools’ intimate knowledge of their students in order to screen for the best applicants. A distinctive feature of Japan's labor market structure was that firm-internal labor markets developed during the high-economic growth period for a segment of blue-collar as well as white-collar workers. When new high school graduates far outnumbered university graduates, high school graduates could be hired not only into these blue-collar jobs but into some white-collar jobs as well. But economic recession and employment restructuring since the early 1990s has in many ways brought Japan closer to the situation of other postindustrial economies where school–work institutions are weak and high school graduates struggle to find employment. The remaining white-collar jobs in firm-internal labor markets can be filled by the increased number of university graduates, and employers have little need to engage in cooperation with high schools to recruit students and graduates into other jobs in the service and sales sectors that are increasingly short-term and/or part-time. Most employers in postindustrial economies face an incentive structure similar to this current one faced by Japanese employers—one that hardly encourages emulation or development of an institutionalized high school–work system. Nevertheless, we do see a limited positive lesson that can be learned from the recent history of Japan's school–work system. The minority of schools in the U.S. and elsewhere that equip students with vocational knowledge and skills could benefit from taking cues from the Japanese school–work model of strong communication and partnership efforts with manufacturers and other employers who seek a high-quality blue-collar labor force. Our data suggest the durability of links between vocational schools and employers even in Japan's postindustrial landscape. Many postindustrial economies including the U.S. retain a small but robust manufacturing sector. We believe that is where the Japanese model is likely to have its greatest applicability. In the U.S., local examples of high school–industry partnerships are scattered throughout the reports of state workforce commissions. These make only occasional appearances in the academic sociological literature. An important direction for future research is to compare the lessons from these partnerships with those from the Japanese case to draw out common implications for policy.