Japanese Firms in the UK
Chapter 2: The Double Embeddedness Barrier
2. The double embeddedness barrier In this chapter, the application of the analytic framework, constructed in Chapter One, is discussed. The process of work systems diﬀusion is examined within Anglo-Japanese collaborations. The Japanese and UK contexts are discussed as nationally distinct social settings with speciﬁc organizational structural and cultural legacies. For this purpose, detailed descriptions are provided for each country relating to the nature of HRM systems or employment practices, such as the following: reward systems and employee governance, workplace relations and task organization and control or structural forms. The variation in the structural and cultural legacies between the two countries is shown to hinder the diﬀusion of ‘new’ work systems. A discussion of the institutional limits to the diﬀusion of work systems at the national level is followed by an outline of the diﬀerence in emphasis placed on tacit and explicit knowledge between Japan and the UK. The resulting insights on work systems diﬀusion are related to the analytic framework to fomulate a set of propositions with regard to the inﬂuence of institutional and organizational characteristics on the implementation and internalization of knowledge-driven work systems. 1. LIMITS TO DIFFUSION OF WORK SYSTEMS As was discussed in Chapter One, the diﬀusion of work systems can be inﬂuenced by the variation in the institutional settings of the source and adopter ﬁrms. This section discusses the diﬃculty in the diﬀusion of work systems, speciﬁcally from the Japanese context to that...
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