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Whatever happened to the Japanese model?

posted on 2023-06-08, 06:06 authored by Kevin McCormick
Japanese institutions no longer enjoy their awesome reputation of the 1980s and the heyday of 'learning from Japan'. Japan's relatively poor economic performance through the 1990s has brought criticism and calls for reform. Does this mean the end of 'the Japanese model' of business and management? This paper will argue: (1) that there was not one but several models of Japanese business and management; (2) that this variety reflected the variety of purposes and interests of the creators of the models; (3) that accounts of the Japanese model are being revised in the light of current reform attempts; (4) that dismissal of Japanese business and management is premature, that current reforms are unlikely to lead to a simple adoption of the 'Anglo-Saxon model' in Japan, and that the variety of Japanese business and management practices are more likely to be seen in terms of a variety of Japanese models rather than a singular model of Japanese organization.


Publication status

  • Published



Presentation Type

  • paper

Event name

Paper to RC 23 Sociology of Organisation at the International Sociological Association conference

Event location


Event type


Event date

July 7-13, 2002

Department affiliated with

  • Sociology and Criminology Publications

Full text available

  • No

Peer reviewed?

  • Yes

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