Economic crisis tends to spur change in the 'rules of the game' - the 'institutions' - that govern the economic activity of firms and employees. But after more than a decade of economic pain following the burst of the Japanese Bubble Economy of the 1980s, the core institutions of Japanese capitalism have changed little. In this systematic and holistic assessment of continuity and change in the central components of Japanese capitalism, Michael A. Witt links this slow institutional change to a confluence of two factors: high levels of societal co-ordination in the Japanese political economy, and low levels of deviant behaviour at the level of individuals, firms, and organizations. He identifies social networks permeating Japanese business as a key enabler of societal co-ordination and an obstacle to deviancy, and sheds light on a pervasive but previously under-explored type of business networks, intra-industry loops. Includes a foreword by Gordon Redding.
• An important contribution to the debate about how much Japan has changed since 1990, with a foreword from Gordon Redding, Director of the Euro-Asia and Comparative Research Centre, INSEAD • Provides a clear understanding of social networking activities within Japanese industries • Arguments are backed with cross-sectional data from 20 countries
Figures; Tables; Acknowledgements; 1. Introduction; 2. Continuity and change in the Japanese business system; 3. Coordination and institutional adjustment; 4. Coordinating networks in the Japanese business system; 5. Intra-industry loop networking; 6. R&D consortia and intra-industry loops in new industries; 7. Conclusion; Appendix; References; Index.
Review of the hardback: 'Michael Witt has made here an excellent contribution to our understanding of Japanese capitalism, by focussing on societal co-ordination and institutional adjustment. Witt's initiative is to draw attention to what he has defined as 'intra-industry loops', a phenomenon taken for granted in Japan as natural or commonplace. Thanks to Witt's assessment, we can begin to see reasons for Japan's slow pace of change, and also how its economic circumstances are related to critical issues of institutional reform and capitalist diversity.' Harukiyo Hasegawa, Doshisha Business School, Kyoto
Review of the hardback: 'Changing Japanese Capitalism provides a superb portrayal and somber assessment of firms and industry-level adjustments. Suitable for business majors, sociologists, economists, and political scientists alike, this book is certain to raise the standards of the ongoing debate on the real changes within Japanese capitalism.' Nobuhiro Hiwatari, Institute of Social Sciences, University of Tokyo
Review of the hardback: '… this book offers new insights into the process at work in networking, focusing specifically on the importance of intra-industry loops … the book is crisply written, well organized and informative and would appeal to a wide range of readers … this book offers us new evidence and intelligent analysis on Japan's slow rate of institutional change and the role that social networks play in deferring that process.' Work Employment and Society
Review of the hardback: '… well-researched, systematic exposition … the book is proleptic - discussing and anticipating changing capitalism, and chiming with contemporary debate …' Asian Business and Management
'An adept and intriguing assessment of Japanese domestic capitalism as it attempts to lift itself from the economic sick bed of the 1990s.' Critical Perspectives on International Business
'This book is rich in information, analysis and perspectives. It can be recommended strongly to both students and scholars of Japanese business systems and of the Japanese economy as a whole.' Asia Pacific Business Review
'There has been a flurry of publishing recently analyzing Japanese corporations in the post-bubble economy and the extent to which change is or is not happening and why. … Michael A. Witt's Changing Japanese Capitalism: Societal Coordination and Institutional Adjustment … provides a good point of departure.' Journal of Asian Studies