This paper reports on the initial results of a study on the changing personnel systems of large Japanese manufacturing companies. The study used participant observation to take two distinct snapshots of the changing personnel system of a major Japanese company over a three‐year period, and also involved two sets of interviews with four other leading companies to gather comparative information on contemporary changes to their personnel systems. It appears that changes in these companies are moving beyond time‐honoured incremental adjustments, yet seem to fall short of indicating a transition to Western norms. Apparently, due to a continuing belief in the efficacy of some elements of the approach, Japanese managers are attempting to redefine it without losing its distinctly Japanese flavour. Whether this will be enough to prevent a transition of the Japanese personnel approach to Western norms remains to be seen.
Dalzell, T. and Wallace, J. (2000), "The durability of Japanese personnel management?", Journal of European Industrial Training, Vol. 24 No. 2/3/4, pp. 167-177. https://doi.org/10.1108/03090590010321133
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