Human Resources Practices and the Labour Market in Japan
(9 pages of text)
Human resource (HR) management practices in Japan are significantly different from those in Europe and North America. A knowledge of the traditional Japanese HR system, including practices relating to recruiting and compensation, unions and the labour market, is crucial for foreign companies operating in Japan as well as those seeking to do business with Japanese firms. While Japan’s distinct HR system was once considered a source of competitive advantage, changing economies and labour markets have called its current effectiveness into question. The traditional system primarily provided stable long-term employment for full-time employees; however, for a variety of reasons, non-regular forms of employment, including part-time and short-term positions, are on the rise. HR managers in Japan must consider relevant societal and economic changes and develop more effective HR systems in response.
This note is intended for use in international management and international HR management courses. Japanese HR practices, laws and institutions are examined in order to provide helpful examples of the differences international managers may face when operating in international markets. The note also provides the opportunity to consider the situation from a Japanese standpoint, and to develop effective HR practices from a business or government standpoint accordingly.
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