イギリス：イギリスの資本主義·日本の資本主義 (Great Britain: British Capitalism - Japanese Capitalism)
University of Sheffield - School of East Asian Studies; Electronic Journal of Contemporary Japanese Studies
January 6, 2012
THE CONTEMPORARY JAPANESE ENTERPRISE 3: GLOBAL REVIEW, pp. 143-166, A. Kudo, T. Kikkawa, G.D. Hook, eds., Tokyo: Yuhikaku, 2005
In 1973 the British academic Ronald Dore published what was to become one of the most influential books ever written in the fields of industrial sociology and Japanese studies. British Factory-Japanese Factory: The Origins of National Diversity in Industrial Relations (Dore, 1973) was a brilliantly conceived comparative investigation of two factories, English Electric in the UK and Hitachi in Japan. Coming as it did against the backdrop of a relative decline in Britain’s economic performance and international prestige, and at a time when western commentators and policy makers were becoming more aware of the seriousness of the Japanese industrial challenge, this book was as much a wake-up call for British industry as it was a presentation of a thorough and deep empirical study of the two factories.
In this sense Dore’s book was to the UK what Ezra Vogel’s (1979) Japan as Number 1: Lessons for America, was to the United States. Published six years after Dore’s work, Japan as Number 1 was aimed at goading American policy-makers and business leaders into taking decisive action to counter the emergence of Japan as the world’s pre-eminent industrial manufacturer and it can be said that Dore, when he wrote his book, was also as much aware of the climate of opinion in the UK as he was of Japan’s rise. For, around the time Dore’s book was published the British industrial system was under tremendous strain, not least because of the consequences of a disastrous macro-economic and industrial relations climate that included among its effects a collapse in the value of Britain’s currency and external trading position, rampant double-digit inflation, the introduction of a three day working week and, in a failed effort to assert the government’s authority over the trade unions, the first of two general elections in 1974 called and lost by the then Prime Minister Edward Heath, under the slogan: ‘Who governs Britain?’. Indeed, towards the end of that decade the term igirisu byō, or the British disease, had gained common currency in Japan to describe, with not a little irony, a relative and perhaps terminal decline in Britain’s international prestige and power as a consequence of class conflict and general social malaise, as well as indicating the rise of Japan to becoming a member of the top rank of the world’s industrialized countries.
This chapter presents a historical analysis of some of the principal social science research on the Japanese firm produced in the United Kingdom since Dore published British Factory-Japanese Factory. Prominent within this research have been studies on foreign direct investment (FDI) by Japanese firms in the UK, industrial relations in Japan and in Japanese plants in the UK, the employment system in large Japanese enterprises and more theoretical and wide-ranging discussions on Japanese-style management and Japanese-style capitalism and their relationship to worldwide economic development and the possible convergence of industrial systems.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 30
Keywords: employment, industrial change, comparative studies, Japan, UK, varieties of capitalism
JEL Classification: E2, E22, E24, F02, F21, F23, J4, J41, J44, J5, J53, L2, L60, L62, M1, M12, M5Accepted Paper Series
Date posted: January 6, 2012
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