The Japanese way of work is notoriously ‘different’. But is it Japan or Britain which is the odd man out? When originally published this was the first book to explore the real differences, through a point-by-point comparison of two Japanese factories with two British ones making similar products. In the first half of the book this comparison is pursued in systematic detail and clear illustration of the attitudes and assumptions which underlie what the author calls the ‘market-oriented’ system of Britain and the ‘organization-oriented’ system of Japan. One chapter shows how the employment institutions of the two countries fit into their political, family and educational institutions – an exercise in functionalist sociology which dominates t he later chapters and makes a major contribution to the discussion of development and of the ‘convergence’ of different systems.
Part 1: The Factories 1. Four Factories: A First Look 2. The Workers: Who They Are, How They Are Recruited and Trained 3. Wages 4. Unions: Membership and Organization 5. Industrial Relations: Mainly England 6. Industrial Relations: Mainly Japan 7. Industrial Relations: Summary 8. The Enterprise as Community 9. Authority, Function and Status 10. Two Employment Systems 11. Some Implications Part 2: Convergence? 12. The ‘Japanese Employment System’ and Recent Trends of Change 13. Britain Catching Up? Part Three: The Past and the Future 14. The Origins of the Japanese Employment System 15. Late Development Appendix: The Survey Index.