What it Means to Take Japan Seriously
Chapter 25: The firm as community: the road to industrial democracy*
This chapter has a simple thesis. On several counts the Community model firm is superior to the Company Law model firm: innovativeness, efficiency, competitiveness, the quality of life and kinds of satisfaction it delivers to those who work in it. Japan manages to have firms which are predominantly of this type, partly because they were clever enough to understand about these things, and lucky enough to have industrialized late when it was easier to do something about them; partly because the employee interest is quite strong vis-à-vis the shareholder interest in the Japanese form of capitalism for a variety of historical reasons; and partly because Japan is a society where authority is not in principle problematical, where hierarchy is more acceptable than in Britain, and subordinates are more willing to assume competence in their superiors and to accept instructions from them when the assumption appears to be confirmed. How can Britain, with none of these advantages, get more Community model firms? Once again, as in the case of incomes policies, we need deliberate social-engineering legislation to achieve by artifice what the Japanese enjoy largely by historical and cultural inheritance…. [The favourite British prescription: give employees a piece of the owners’ action - a tiny portion of the company’s shares - has severe limitations, so what can] alternatively be done to give employees a stake in their firm by giving them a share in the shareholders’ controlling power, and giving it to them qua employees? What, in other words, should...
You are not authenticated to view the full text of this chapter or article.
Elgaronline requires a subscription or purchase to access the full text of books or journals. Please login through your library system or with your personal username and password on the homepage.
Non-subscribers can freely search the site, view abstracts/ extracts and download selected front matter and introductory chapters for personal use.
Your library may not have purchased all subject areas. If you are authenticated and think you should have access to this title, please contact your librarian.