دانلود مقاله ISI انگلیسی شماره 24118
عنوان فارسی مقاله

اواخر عمر استخدام در ژاپن؟: شواهد حاصل از بررسی های ملی و تحقیقات میدانی

کد مقاله سال انتشار مقاله انگلیسی ترجمه فارسی تعداد کلمات
24118 2001 26 صفحه PDF سفارش دهید محاسبه نشده
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عنوان انگلیسی
The End of Lifetime Employment in Japan?: Evidence from National Surveys and Field Research
منبع

Publisher : Elsevier - Science Direct (الزویر - ساینس دایرکت)

Journal : Journal of the Japanese and International Economies, Volume 15, Issue 4, December 2001, Pages 489–514

کلمات کلیدی
اشتغال در دراز مدت - طول عمر اشتغال - ثبات شغلی - ژاپن
پیش نمایش مقاله
پیش نمایش مقاله اواخر عمر استخدام در ژاپن؟: شواهد حاصل از بررسی های ملی و تحقیقات میدانی

چکیده انگلیسی

Using both quantitative data from national surveys and qualitative data from our recent field research, this paper provides evidence on the recent transformation of Japan's celebrated practice of lifetime employment (or implicit long-term employment contracts for the regular workforce). Overall, contrary to the popular rhetoric of the end of lifetime employment, evidence points to the enduring nature of this practice in Japan. Specifically, we find little evidence for any major decline in the job retention rates of Japanese employees from the period prior to the burst of the bubble economy in the late 1980s to the post-bubble period. In general, our field research corroborates the main finding from the job retention rates by describing vividly that large firms in Japan have been trying to accomplish their restructuring and downsizing targets by relying heavily on transfers of their employees to their subsidiaries and related firms and hiring cuts, thus avoiding layoffs. Last, the burden of downsizing appears to fall disproportionately on young workers and middle-age workers with shorter tenure. J. Japan. Int. Econ., December 2001, 15(4), pp. 489–514. Department of Economics, Colgate University, Hamilton, New York 13346; Center on Japanese Economy and Business, Columbia Business School, New York; and TCER. © 2001 Elsevier Science (USA).

مقدمه انگلیسی

Using both quantitative data from national surveys and qualitative data from our recent field research, this paper provides evidence on the recent transformation of Japan’s celebrated practice of lifetime employment (or implicit long-term employment contracts for the regular workforce).2 Though traditional Japanese employment practices, such as lifetime employment, are not universal phenomena among Japanese firms, they apply to the core of the Japanese labor force, or blue-collar male employees in large firms and white-collar male workers (see, for instance, Koike, 1991). Furthermore, the employment relationship is found to be considerably more of a long-term nature in Japan than in the United States (see, for instance, Hashimoto and Raisian, 1985).3 Japanese employers have always felt a need to introduce flexibility into their employment practices. Until recently, however, employers’ attempts to weaken traditional employment practices do not appear to have produced any major changes.4 Therefore, it is of great topical interest to find out whether Japan’s prolonged economic slowdown in the 1990s following the burst of the bubble economy is finally ending these traditional employment practices. While the rhetoric of “the end of lifetime employment” is presently rampant, concrete data on changes in traditional employment practices are relatively scarce (Dore, 1996). We have been collecting and analyzing such data (including both quantitative data from national surveys and qualitative data from our own field research), and this paper presents the first main findings from our analysis of the data. A closer look at the recent transformation of Japan’s lifetime employment system is of particular public policy interest. First, the practice of lifetime employment points to an industrial relations system favorable to successful employee participation which has contributed to the postwar success to Japanese firms, in particular inmanufacturing.5 Probably as a result of these favorable environments in the postwar Japanese economy, in particular in manufacturing, participatory employment practices were widespread and were established firmly.6 Indeed these practices became the hallmark of Japanese management, which has been inspiring (or necessitating in some instances) many corporations in the world to experiment with employee involvement and labor–management cooperation in recent years (see, for instance, Levine, 1995). In short, the practice of lifetime employment can be considered an indispensible ingredient of successful Japanese management. Second, it has been suggested (see Aoki, 1990, for example) that the Japanese employment system (characterized by lifetime employment, “neuko,” enterprise unions, extensive training, and participatory employment practices) is complementary to the Japanese financial system (characterized by stable financial corporate grouping, such as banks and institutional shareholders as stable, long-term suppliers of capital). A closer look at the recent transformation of the Japanese employment system will provide fresh insights on a growing literature on the transformation of the Japanese financial system (see, for example, Hoshi and Kashyap, 1999, and Patrick, 1998). The economic slowdown in the 1990s (in particular the recent banking crisis) has allegedly been eroding the environments favorable to the practice of lifetime employment. Has the practice of lifetime employment been surviving in Japan since the burst of the bubble economy? If so, how has it been evolving to cope with the new environment that began in the 1990s? Are there any differences between different sectors of the economy in the survival of lifetime employment? Our analysis of quantitative data from national surveys and qualitative data from our own field research on evolving employment practices in the 1990s will shed light on these important questions.

نتیجه گیری انگلیسی

In this paper we have shown that contrary to the popular rhetoric of the end of lifetime employment, evidence points to the enduring nature of this practice in Japan. Specifically, we have found little evidence for any major decline in the job retention rates of Japanese employees from the period prior to the burst of the bubble economy in the late 1980s to the post-bubble period. Generally, our field research has corroborated the main finding from the job retention rates by depicting vividly that large firms in Japan have been trying to accomplish their restructuring and downsizing targets by relying heavily on transfers of their employees to their subsidiaries and related firms and hiring cuts, and thus avoiding layoffs. Last, we have found some evidence that the burden of downsizing appears to fall disproportionately on young workers and middle age workers with shorter tenure. These are still preliminary observations. Clearly morework is necessary to make more definitive answers to these important questions. In particular, additionalwork in the following two areas is needed. First, our field research at large firms reveals their extensive use of transfers (both fixed-term and permanent) of regular workers to their subsidiaries and related firms as a way to avoid laying off their regular workers. An obvious question is in what way those subsidiaries and related firms have been absorbing an increasing flow of labor force from their parent firms. A closer look at these outlets of transfers (or subsidiaries, related firms, and other firms to which employees have been transferred) is urgently needed. Second, our qualitative data were obtained from extensive interviews with HR managers, line supervisors, and top union officials, and thus the perspectives of the rank and file were not fully accounted for. For example, both HR managers and top union officials tend to view the increasing incidents of permanent transfers in recent years as a necessary modification of the notion of lifetime employment rather than the end of lifetime employment. Do ordinary employees feel the same way? Especially, those permanently transferred employees may viewthe rising use of permanent transfers as reneging a no-layoff pledge on the side of the company. We cannot address these issues fully until we conduct extensive worker interviews or worker surveys. However, we did ask both HR managers and top union officials how ordinary employees react in general when they are asked to be transferred. Both HR managers and union officials acknowledged that these employees were generally unhappy about the prospect of becoming employees of somewhat less prestigious subsidiaries and related firms. Nonetheless, those employees are also fully aware, as both HR managers and union officials point out, that there would be no future career advancement for them in the parent firm and that they will likely be assigned to dead-end jobs even if they stay in the parent firm.27

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