Industrial Relations in Japan: The Peripheral Sector (Nissan by Norma J. Chalmers

By Norma J. Chalmers

The normal photograph of and business relatives in Japan is of a couple of very huge corporations offering tremendous appealing operating stipulations for his or her chuffed and contented team. Norma Chalmers exhibits that there's in reality one other, very diverse facet to the image, which happens within the the peripheral area. the following, stipulations are usually bad, wages very low and continuity of employment almost non-existent. there are numerous small corporations the place the effectiveness of employee supplier and bargaining declines because the firm's measurement and proximity to the economic centre lessen. in addition, as Chalmers indicates, the peripheral zone is massive, and the traditional photograph of the version team should still most likely be restricted to some flagship businesses. The publication argues that the version nature of the big companies might stem partly from the truth that they may be able to off-load difficulties onto smaller organisations who produce the elements worthwhile for the massive company region at disadvantageous subcontract phrases.

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Sample text

They are closely related to the debate on the continuity of value systems, in which hierarchical relationships and the enterprise as a community are seen to be crucial elements. As has been noted, the debate pervades Japanese studies, although the question of ‘tradition’ is also raised in other culture-specific and comparative studies. In the Japanrelated literature it is evident in the good management (unitary) school, and to an extent in variants of the compromise, consensus and coalition (pluralist) school.

Crawcour’s assessment clearly implies that the efficiency of segmented systems of deployment of labour is related in large degree to ‘comfortable’ industrial relations within the modern firm. What is not yet sufficiently clear in Crawcour or elsewhere is the reverse—the extent to which the secondary sector is affected by the comfortable industrial relations in the primary economic sector. This issue will be expanded upon in an analysis of the effects of sub-contracting and the just-in-time (kanban) production process (Chapter 4), and an examination of unionization, communication, and conflict (Chapters 6 and 7).

The age factor In the overall greying of the workforce, the employment of older workers is increasing more rapidly in the small and medium sector. According to MITI (White Paper, 1981:69– 70), by 1979 more than 75 per cent of all workers aged 45 years or more were employed in small and medium firms in the private sector. 4 per cent). A continuing shortage of young workers is a characteristic of the small and medium sector, despite a tendency for large firms to reduce their intake of graduates since the oil crisis of 1973–4.

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