Rediscovering Japan: some thoughts on change and continuity in traditional Japanese careers

John Van Maanen (The MIT Sloan School of Management, Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA)

Career Development International

ISSN: 1362-0436

Publication date: 1 June 2006



The purpose of this paper is to comment on the articles presented in the Special Issue of Career Development International on “Change and continuity of traditional Japanese careers” (Vol. 11 No. 3).


Commentary is provided to contextualize traditional careers and a quick overview is presented on the likely forces of change at work in Japan.


Continuity is seen as being more prominent in Japan than change because the so‐called employee sovereignty model of organization still holds sway in most large Japanese firms.


The paper offers some observations, exhortations and prophecies that pertain to the research reported in the Special Issue and locates this work in a context slightly one‐off from the work itself.



Van Maanen, J. (2006), "Rediscovering Japan: some thoughts on change and continuity in traditional Japanese careers", Career Development International, Vol. 11 No. 4, pp. 280-292.

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Copyright © 2006, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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