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Japanese Management Abroad: A Literature Review and a Research Agenda

Serie Documentos de Trabajo No. 452

121 Pages Posted: 23 Jun 2011 Last revised: 23 Jul 2011

Enrique Yacuzzi

University of CEMA

Date Written: April 1, 2011


The purpose of this review is to evaluate the status of scholarly research on Japanese management as it is applied outside Japan. The first part of the review deals with the concept of Japanese management. The second part aims at understanding how Japanese management is applied in foreign countries, both at subsidiaries of Japanese corporations and in non-Japanese firms; in particular, the issue of transferability of concepts and techniques is considered in detail. Primarily EBSCO databases were used, but other sources were consulted as well.

A set of seven steps was used to organize the literature search, analysis, and report. These steps, presented in a section on methodology, are: 1. Rationale; 2. Sampling procedures; 3. Measures and operations; 4. General procedures; 5. Data analysis and results; 6. Interpretations, limitations, and implications; and 7. Reporting the review.

There is general agreement among different authors on the main tenets of Japanese management (especially those referred to Human Resources Management) and on the ability of firms - Japanese and non-Japanese alike - to use some practices of Japanese management in foreign lands; in particular, the Japanese production management "paradigm" seems to travel everywhere with the Japanese.

An attempt is made to detect changes in the nature of themes studied by scholars through the years. To this end a number of variables is explicitly considered for a subset of the literature. While most variables seem to be receiving the same amount of attention from scholars through time, the issue of corporate governance seems to be getting more attention in recent years.

On the basis of the literature search, the final part of the paper provides a sketch of a general research agenda. Methodological appendices are provided, as well as a reference list.

Keywords: Japanese management, Japanese management abroad, transferability of Japanese management, international corporations, multinational corporations, Japanese multinational corporations

JEL Classification: F23, M10, M11, M12, M14, P51

Suggested Citation

Yacuzzi, Enrique, Japanese Management Abroad: A Literature Review and a Research Agenda (April 1, 2011). Serie Documentos de Trabajo No. 452. Available at SSRN: or

Enrique Yacuzzi (Contact Author)

University of CEMA ( email )

1054 Buenos Aires

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