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Modernization and the Japanese Factory

Modernization and the Japanese Factory

Copyright Date: 1976
Pages: 454
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  • Book Info
    Modernization and the Japanese Factory
    Book Description:

    While some writers account for Japan's postwar economic "miracle" in terms of a distinctively Japanese, traditional model of social organization, the writers of this study consider Japan's technological growth to have been accompanied by convergence toward modernized social organization. The authors test both of these theoretical models. Their data are derived from a nine-month period of observation, analysis of company records, interviews of personnel, and questionnaire responses from production, staff, and managerial employees in three main Japanese firms. Other firms were visited more briefly. The analysis shows that the most distinctively Japanese variables have less causal impact on performance within a firm than do more universal variables such as employee status, sex, and job satisfaction.

    The authors test both of these theoretical models. Their data are derived from a nine-month period of observation, analysis of company records, interviews of personnel, and questionnaire responses from production, staff, and managerial employees in three main Japanese firms. Other firms were visited more briefly. The analysis shows that the most distinctively Japanese variables have less causal impact on performance within a firm than do more universal variables such as employee status, sex, and job satisfaction.

    Originally published in 1976.

    ThePrinceton Legacy Libraryuses the latest print-on-demand technology to again make available previously out-of-print books from the distinguished backlist of Princeton University Press. These paperback editions preserve the original texts of these important books while presenting them in durable paperback editions. The goal of the Princeton Legacy Library is to vastly increase access to the rich scholarly heritage found in the thousands of books published by Princeton University Press since its founding in 1905.

    eISBN: 978-1-4008-7027-1
    Subjects: Management & Organizational Behavior, Technology

Table of Contents

  1. Front Matter
    (pp. i-vi)
    (pp. vii-x)
    Robert M. Marsh and Hiroshi Mannari
  3. Table of Contents
    (pp. xi-xi)
  4. List of Tables
    (pp. xii-xvi)
  5. List of Figures
    (pp. xvii-2)
  6. CHAPTER ONE Introduction to the Problem
    (pp. 3-14)

    A society may be considered modernized “to the extent that its members use inanimate sources of [energy] and/or use tools to multiply the effects of their efforts” (Levy 1966:11). This definition has at least two virtues. First, it is an objective definition and therefore lends itself to operational measurement: a society’s level of modernization is its inanimate energy consumption per capita. Second, it is a deliberately narrow, rather than broadly inclusive, definition. It therefore treats the question of what kinds of polity, family patterns, values, etc. are associated with varying levels of energy consumption per capita as a question for...

  7. CHAPTER TWO Three Japanese Firms in Their Industry Settings
    (pp. 15-32)

    We take a middle ground between the older method of the case study of a single organization and the newer strategy of collecting aggregate or structural data from one or a few informants in each of a large number of organizations. Our research questions can only be answered on the basis of a comparative analysis of firms and factories. At the same time, the paternalism model of the Japanese firm which we are testing concerns the properties of individuals as well as those of organizations. To test this model we need data on employees’ behavior, attitudes, and values. Our analysis...

  8. CHAPTER THREE Formal Structure
    (pp. 33-53)

    As stated in Chapter 1, as an analytical property of a complex organization, formal structure refers to the number of employees and the scale of operations, the division of labor (role differentiation), the degree of differentiation of productive units, such as plants, the hierarchy of authority, and the span of control.

    Traditionally, a sake factory produced on the average 1,000 koku (180 kiloliters) a year, so the scale of operations and number of employees were small. A plant that produced 1,000 koku of sake a year typically had a master (tōji), a head (kashira), a subhead in charge of malt...

  9. CHAPTER FOUR Technology and the Division of Labor
    (pp. 54-98)

    This chapter will describe the production process in each factory in terms of the technology, the work flow, and the division of labor, both manual and non-manual. This discussion is presented in some detail because there are few reports in Western languages, based on direct observation, on what specific Japanese factories are actually like. This chapter will set the stage for the next, in which we shall relate attitudes and values concerning work to the technological and social structure of the work situation.

    We begin with a description of technology and work flow in the traditional plants of Sake Company....

  10. CHAPTER FIVE Job Satisfaction and Work Values
    (pp. 99-119)

    Several items in each questionnaire were conceptualized as measures of employees’ attitudes toward their own specific job, or of more general values concerning work, as distinct from performance in the job. These attitudes and values are viewed as subjective responses to the more objective conditions of work described in the previous chapter.

    The 1969–70 Sake questionnaire contained six job attitude questions, responses to which appear in Table 5.1. These can be summarized by an ordering in terms of the degree of expressed favorableness toward the job. The success of the three traditional brewing plants in structuring their jobs in...

  11. CHAPTER SIX The Reward System: Pay
    (pp. 120-156)

    Throughout much of this century, pay in Japanese companies has depended more on age and seniority than on job classification or performance. Recently there have been signs of change: “Allowance for age and length of service have declined in frequency from 1956 to 1966, while allowances for position and job classification (shokumukyū) … have increased…. This reflects an effort on the part of many companies to move toward compensation based on job output and away from compensation based on age and education (Abeggelen 1969:112–13).” We shall treat this change as an aspect of modernization: the shift from seniority, an...

  12. CHAPTER SEVEN The Reward System: Promotion
    (pp. 157-177)

    By “promotion” we mean the movement of employees upward (downward would be called “demotion”) in the formal hierarchies of job position (Sake Company), job classification (Electric Company), and rank (Electric and Shipbuilding companies). As an employee moves up in these hierarchies, his pay increases. But advancement means also increasing authority over others, a greater voice in decision making, and greater status and honor. To be promoted is intrinsically satisfying and also means that one has measured up well in terms of achievement value standards. This chapter will analyze both the objective and the subjective aspects of promotion, as an element...

  13. CHAPTER EIGHT Social Integration of the Employee into the Company (1)
    (pp. 178-202)

    We have had much to say about processes of social differentiation, in connection with formal organization, work, and the reward system. But any social system also requires processes of integration to offset the forces of differentiation. Processes of internal integration have the function of coordinating and unifying the differentiated, specialized elements of the system.

    We shall analyze social integration in each firm in terms of the concepts introduced in Chapter 1: employee cohesiveness, company paternalism, employee participation in company recreational activities, company identification, conflict, interfirm mobility, and lifetime commitment. We conceive of these as analytically distinct areas of the social...

  14. CHAPTER NINE Social Integration of the Employee into the Company (2)
    (pp. 203-224)

    Like most large Japanese firms, Electric Company and Shipbuilding Company provide facilities and encouragement for a number of cultural, athletic, and other recreational activities. There are, for example, group outings, which an Assembly Section worker in Shipbuilding described as follows: “Once a year workers contribute a total of about ¥ 40,000, and all members of our han go to a hot springs resort on a trip.” The variety of recreational activities sponsored by Electric Company can be seen in Table 9.1.

    Shipbuilding Factory personnel have a larger number ofnon-company recreational alternatives, provided by the immediate Osaka metropolitan area. The...

  15. CHAPTER TEN Social Integration of the Employee into the Company (3)
    (pp. 225-253)

    The controversy over the extent of lifetime commitment in Japanese industry was described briefly in Chapter 1. A number of studies in Japanese and in English have refuted the usual assumptions about the high level of commitment. But the stereotype persists among non-Japan specialists, and Dore’s 1973 book will probably give these assumptions a new lease on life. The controversy has lacked both conceptual and methodological rigor. There has been little attempt to measure the normative and value aspects of lifetime commitment, apart from single, isolated questions in surveys. No adequate conceptual distinction has been made between actual rates of...

  16. CHAPTER ELEVEN Performance in Japanese Firms
    (pp. 254-296)

    Most studies relevant to the lifetime commitment model have been concerned only with the nature of the social organization of large Japanese firms, what Dore (1973) calls their employment systems. Chapters 3 through 10 of our study have accordingly been devoted to a reexamination of this topic. At least one proponent of the lifetime commitment model, however, has gone beyond this, and advanced an intriguing proposition concerning the relationship between the social organization of firms and their performance. The central purpose of this, our penultimate chapter, is empirically to test Abegglen’s assertion that “it is as a consequence of having...

  17. CHAPTER TWELVE The Social Organization of Japanese Firms
    (pp. 297-338)

    In this study we have made parallel analyses of three Japanese manufacturing firms’ social organization and personnel. This concluding chapter has four objectives. The first is to recapitulate our main findings. Since this chapter is meant to stand alone as a summary of the entire monograph, those who have read the earlier chapters are asked to forgive a certain amount of repetition. The second objective is to make more explicit interfactory comparisons.¹ The third is to compare factories on each aspect of social organization after controlling for the sex composition of personnel. The three firms vary in the percentage of...

  18. APPENDIX A Research Methods
    (pp. 339-346)
  19. APPENDIX B Construction of Indexes
    (pp. 347-358)
  20. APPENDIX C Correlation Matrices
    (pp. 359-364)
  21. APPENDIX D Multiple Regression Analyses
    (pp. 365-422)
    (pp. 423-430)
  23. INDEX
    (pp. 431-437)
  24. Back Matter
    (pp. 438-438)