Japan's employment practices were long considered a cornerstone to its economic success. However, the reversal in economic
performance during the 1990s altered the positive perception and inspired major adaptations like the rise in performance-related
pay (`seikashugi') and non-regular employment. This book presents case-studies of the adaptations in personnel management
by major Japanese firms. It highlights the diversity, the stability and the considerations behind the adaptations that are
implemented by these firms. Drawing on insights from institutional theory, it shows how factors such as legitimacy and institutional
interlock have guaranteed an important continuity in employment practices. It discusses how the adaptations have not actually
replaced the existing practices but have been shaped by them and, as a consequence, the result may not be as revolutionary
as once expected but is likely to last. Furthermore, it argues that the employment practices remain specifically Japanese
and that expectations of convergence have so far proved misplaced.
Overall, this book
is a valuable contribution to the study of employment issues. It provides an effective framework to analyse the ongoing developments
in Japanese employment practices and demonstrates that Japanese developments continue to offer important insights for human
resource management and labour market institutionalisation in general.