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Published & Distributed titles: INDEX Publishers
Japanese Engineers in the Early Nineties : Tendencies in Personnel Management and Working Conditions
By Luis Alberto di Martino
Leiden; Bradenton FL: INDEX Books, 1999
Tables / Figures. ISBN 9789058000019 (Leiden) / 9780966465402 (Bradenton FL): Hardback: EUR 79.50 excl VAT & shipping

This book considers an aspect of the often applauded Japanese personnel management system in a manner which is refreshingly critical. Through a series of case studies, personal interviews with staff concerned, and detailed analysis of historical and present-day developments, Di Martino shows that policies of Japanse industry toward engineers' education, working conditions and career paths are not only often lacking in attention to personal aspirations and private life, but that they can sometimes be described as inefficient and even counter-productive from a managerial point of view.

Now that Japanese giant corporations are no longer booming, the shortcomings of their style of management come to light more clearly. Its success and resulting benchmark status in the Western literature on the subject in a period of unmatched growth had made its built-in weaknesses almost invisible. By being unable to fulfill their promise of lifelong employment to their workers and especially the tacit trade-off between total commitment of engineers and their ultimate promotion to management now that managerial posts have become scarcer, Japanese companies are facing problems they have never had to deal with before.

It is the author's achievement that he has clearly identified these problems and explored the road ahead for Japanese industry in an area essential to its survival in a world where knowledge is vital, the personnel management of its engineers. He also re-establishes European and American policies as more balanced and thus helps to end the obsession in Western management literature with the Japanese Style of Management.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Luis Alberto di Martino studied Economics at the University of Buenos Aires and the National University of Mexico, as well as Japanese Studies at the Colegio de Mexico. He was a Visiting Scholar at the Ohara Institute of Social Research, Hosei University, Tokyo from 1987 to 1989 and has continued his research at Kyoto University since then, where he obtained his PhD with this book in March 1997. The author has traveled extensively, addressing numerous international conferences on the subject.

Full Table of Contents

PREFACE

FIRST PART: A HISTORICAL APPROACH TO ENGINEERS' CAPITAL-LABOUR RELATIONS.
Chapter 1: An overview of capital-labour relations in postwar Japan.
Chapter 2: A short history of Japanese engineers.
Chapter 3: Engineers' capital-labour relations in manufacturing in the early nineties.

SECOND PART: Chapters 4-6 Case studies
(each consisting of:
Outline of the company.
R&D organization.
R&D personnel composition.
R&D personnel organization.
Education and training.
R&D personnel assignments and transfers.
Management career and technical career.
Evaluation system.)
Chapter 4: Computers and telecommunications companies.
Chapter 5: General electronics and home electronics giant corporations.
Chapter 6: Factory and office automation and precision instruments (companies with less than 10.000 employees)

THIRD PART: INTERNATIONAL COMPARISONS AND CONCLUSIONS.
Chapter 7
A comparative view of engineers' personnel management in Great Britain, Germany, the United States and Japan.
Historical comparison of engineers' education and training and their social status.
Engineers' personnel management in the 1980s.
German engineers and Japanese engineers.
American engineers and Japanese engineers.
Japanese engineers' personnel management tendencies in the early nineties from a comparative perspective.
Chapter 8
A Regulationist interpretation to engineers' capital-labour relations.
The Japanese mode of regulation and wage-labour nexus.
The importance of technological innovation in large firms from the late seventies.
Large private companies looking for radical innovations.
Education, training and engineers' career path.
Career prospects for senior engineers.
Engineers' wage labour nexus and technological innovation in large companies.
The management dilemma: how to motivate engineers under hard inter-firm competition and low economic growth.
Towards a new wage labour nexus?

BIBLIOGRAPHY

About the Author
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