Corporate Organization in Japan and the United States: Is There Evidence of Convergence?
62 Pages Posted: 28 Jun 2004
Date Written: June 15, 2004
We investigate the changing structure of Japanese and U.S. companies and ask whether there are signs of national convergence in corporate organization. We present three types of evidence to address this question: longitudinal data, cross-sectional survey data, and structural equation modeling (SEM). The models are ideal types of Japanese and U.S. companies and relate human-resource strategy and corporate governance to organizational outcomes such as employment practices and the role of the executive HR function. We find mixed evidence of convergence. The longitudinal data show some Japanese companies becoming more like those in the United States and the SEM results show a Japanese-style model emerging in some U.S. companies. However, there is also evidence from the survey data and from the SEM results of continuing differences in corporate governance, employment, and executive-decision making in Japan and the United States.
JEL Classification: A13, D21, G30, J41, L20, M12, P52
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