1st Edition

Operations Management in Japan The Efficiency of Japanese Manufacturing

By Hiromichi Shibata Copyright 2022
    180 Pages 4 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    180 Pages 4 B/W Illustrations
    by Routledge

    This book provides insights into Japanese production and operations management through the roles and human resource management of Japanese manufacturing engineers and how their roles contribute to efficient manufacturing.

    The book looks at six industries i.e. automobile, electronics, business machine industries of the parts processing and assembly sector, steel, chemical and pharmaceutical industries of the material processing sector, and 13 Japanese leading multinational companies. It also compares Japanese automotive firms with their German, French, and American counterparts. The analysis reveals that many managers, employees, and scholars underappreciate the roles and contributions of manufacturing engineers in the United States.

    The book will offer invaluable lessons to management scholars interested in operations management and global supply chains, especially in the context of the Japanese manufacturing industry.

    1. Introduction: How Manufacturing Engineers Contribute to Efficient Manufacturing 2. Manufacturing Engineers at a Benchmark Japanese Car Component Firm 3. A Typical Work Day of a Japanese Manufacturing Engineer (Benchmark Firm) 4. Manufacturing Engineers in the Parts Processing and Assembly Sector: Automobile, Electronics, and Business Machine Industries (Japan) 5. Manufacturing Engineers in the Material Processing Sector: Steel, Chemical, and Pharmaceutical Industries (Japan) 6. Sectoral, Industry, and Company Variations in the Roles of Manufacturing Engineers in Japan 7. Manufacturing Engineers in the Automotive Industry in Germany, France, and the United States 8. Conclusions: The Hidden Linchpin Roles of Manufacturing Engineers


    Hiromichi Shibata is Professor Emeritus in the Faculty of Business Administration, Yokohama National University, Yokohama, Japan. His publications include Explaining Productivity Differences: Comparative Analysis of Automotive Plants in Japan, the United States, Thailand, and China from Springer (2016), "A Comparison of the Roles and Responsibilities of Manufacturing Engineers in Japan and the United States" in the International Journal of Human Resource Management (2009), "Productivity and Skill at a Japanese Transplant and its Parent Company" in Work and Occupations (2001), and "A Comparison of American and Japanese Work Practices: Skill Formation, Communications, and Conflict Resolution" in Industrial Relations (1999).

    "This book fills a major gap in previous research and policy discussions by addressing the central role played by manufacturing engineers. It provides a wealth of original data including interviews with manufacturing engineers in a number of countries to compare and contrast what these engineers actually do. A key theme of the book is the lynchpin role engineers play communicating up and down the workplace. It will be of interest not only to academics but also to policy makers and those concerned with the practice of manufacturing." - Harry C. Katz, Jack Sheinkman Professor and former Dean, Cornell University and President-elect, International Labour and Employment Relations Association (ILERA)