Research - Book Chapters
On this page please find links to my published chapters in edited collections, with the most recent towards the top. Please hover your cursor over the book covers below for chapter title summaries, or scroll down for more information and links to publisher, library and purchasing websites. Thank you for your interest in my research. To get in touch please click About Me.
サラリーマンマンガにみる男女のライフコース ――『島耕作』『サラリーマン金太郎』シリーズからの考察 (Sarariiman manga ni miru danjo no raifu kōsu: ‘Shima Kōsaku’ ‘Sarariiman Kintarō’ siriisu kara no kōsatsu - Understanding men’s and women’s life courses through salaryman manga: Case studies from the Shima Kosaku and Salaryman Kintaro series)
Chapter Authors: K. Ishiguro and P. Matanle.
Book Title: ライフコース選択のゆくえ ――日本とドイツの仕事・家族・住まい (Riafu kōsu sentaku no yukue - Nihon to Doitsu no shigoto ・ie ・ sumai - Beyond a Standardized Life Course: Biographical Choices about Work, Family and Housing in Japan and Germany).
Book Editors: H. Tanaka, M.Godzik, and K. Iwata-Weickgenannt.
Publication Date: 15 February, 2013.
Lifetime Employment in 21st Century Japan: Stability and Resilience Under Pressure in the Japanese Management System
Chapter Authors: P. Matanle and K Matsui.
Book Title: Emerging Perspectives in Japanese Human Resource Management.
Book Editor: S.A. Horn.
Book Series: Wirtschaftspsychologie.
Publisher: Peter Lang.
Publication Date: 24 October, 2011.
Despite repeated predictions of its demise, lifetime employment remains the core institution of the Japanese management system, and regular employment in a large and prestigious organization continues to be the aspiration of the majority of Japanese younger people.
Although organizations have continuously adapted their systems to developments in the domestic and international political economies, prompting debates as to the nature and significance of such change, assertions that lifetime employment is disappearing, or has even collapsed, have thus far provend incorrect. In this chapter we root our analysis in the social constructionist assumption that all employment relationships are produced and reproduced as a continuously negotiated settlement between the past, current, and anticipated requirements of employers and employees. Thus, the persistence of lifetime employment depends upon both the willingness of employers to offer it to current and prospective employees, and the extent to which current and prospective employees wish to accept that offer. However, we also assume that all meetings of employers’ and employees’ needs are to some degree context dependent, and it is therefore necessary to frame our analysis within an understanding of the environment within which lifetime employment rests.
After reviewing the key literature, we will pull together statistical data since the late 1980s to analyse job tenure in the post-Bubble era, as well as provide a summary of qualitative research from the same period, to argue that the institution of lifetime employment shows little sign of weakening; that from the employer’s perspective the rationale for maintaining it continues, and that it still provides the best means available within Japan for the satisfaction of employees’ needs over the course of their working lives. We base much of our discussions around analysis of labour throughput mechanisms, including legal constraints on organizational flexibility, and we end with the conclusion that lifetime employment remains stable, despite the pressures that Japanese organisations have encountered in recent decades. In this way, the Japanese management system demonstrates its fundamental strength and resilience throughout the long period of Japan’s postwar expansion, and its subsequent globalization and post-industrial transformations.
Author: P. Matanle.
Publication Name: Researching Twenty-First Century Japan: New Directions and Approaches for the Electronic Age.
Book Editors: T. Iles and P. Matanle.
Publisher: Lexington Books.
Publication Date: 12 January 2012.
With the growing ubiquity of the internet, and with it electronic information storage and exchange, it is sometimes easy to forget that these technologies are still in their infancy. Even in 2000, when the electronic journal of contemporary japanese studies (ejcjs) began publishing on contemporary Japan online, the internet was for some an unfamiliar medium for the dissemination of research and writing in the social sciences and humanities, though it had already been in common use for some years before that by scholars in the medical, natural and engineering sciences.
Today, with younger generations growing up in a world where electronic connectivity can be taken for granted, there remain some doubts as to the reliability or quality of purely electronic scholarly publishing. I firmly believe that these misgivings will eventually be proven to be on the wrong side of history; indeed they are as old as printing itself, which was also regarded by some as a dangerous and unreliable instrument. Most of all, these arguments ignore the fact that the internet, like the printing press, is essentially a neutral technology that can do no more than simply mediate between humans who have their own values, abilities and motivations. It has no life of its own beyond this function. Like paper, the quality of information available on the internet is determined only and simply by the qualities of the people and organisations that produce that information, and their determination to ensure that the work is permanently archived. Hence, the more that talented, knowledgeable and resourceful people engage with and use the internet to place their ideas and knowledge into the public domain, the more the internet will establish itself as a respected information resource on a par with paper. Moreover, the more that people are attracted into using the internet for serious study, the more practiced they will become in being able to judge accurately the quality of the knowledge resources that they access, and the more that high quality electronic resources will come to be seen as such.
Shrinking Sado: Education, Employment and the Decline of Japan’s Rural Regions
Chapter Author: P. Matanle.
Publication Name: Shrinking cities - Complete Works 3 Japan.
Publication Editors: Project Office Philipp Oswalt.
Publisher: Projekt Schrumpfende Städte
Publication Date: 2008.
In 2005 Japan’s population began to shrink and, according to the government’s own research institute,1 is scheduled to drop by approximately 30 per cent within the next 50 years. Although this fall is considered to be a rather recent phenomenon, what is less well known is the fact that Japan’s rural regions have been steadily declining, perhaps even collapsing, since as far back as 1950. This population shrinkage, and the inevitable decline in socio-economic vitality that accompanies it, has been taking place as a result of an excessive concentration of economic opportunity and political power in Japan’s urban centres. Japan’s cities have grown in the post-war period, in part, at the expense of a long-term decline of the countryside. This article uses Sado Island as a case study in rural decline and argues that a chronic and structurated out-migration of younger people from the island to urban areas in search of education and employment opportunities has been a major cause of this decline. To the extent that what has already taken place in Japan’s rural areas may be indicative of the shape of things to come for the country’s provincial towns and cities, as the population fall begins to bite more deeply, the article then goes on to systematise these processes within the larger context of the acceleration and intensification of the processes underpinning Japanese capitalism. The article will propose that, in addition to its ongoing exhaustion of nature, Japanese capital is exhausting the country’s labour power and, consequently, its population. Part of the solution to the exhaustion of labour and nature may be for us to think beyond modernity into a post-capitalist order. Thus, rather than being seen as a dying relic of the country’s past, this article will suggest that the society of Sado Island may assist us in imagining and planning a new direction for Japan.
Organic Sources for the Revitalization of Rural Japan: The Craft Potters of Sado
Chapter Author: P. Matanle.
Book Title: Japanstudien: Jahrbuch des Deutsches Instituts für Japanstudien.für Japanstudien.
Book Editor: R. Haak.
Publisher: Deutsches Instituts für Japanstudien.
Publication Date: 1 January 2006.
The population and society of Sado Island are declining at an alarming rate. Much of this decline has been due to endemic outward migration of the island's younger people to Japan's large urban areas in search of opportunities for tertiary education and salaried employment. Even though opportunities to find work in Sado do exist, these are in occupations that younger people currently find unattractive. Moreover, education in Sado currently does not serve local circumstances and needs well, being organised primarily by and for the urban centre. This research starts by presenting an overview of the issues surrounding population, education, and employment on Sado, and then moves to presenting a case study of the life and work Sado Island's craft-potters. The article uses statistical data from official bodies and unstructured interviews with the island's residents as empirical support for its theoretical discussions. The article concludes by hinting at a possible stabilization of the population through a combination of educational reform, craft-based employment re-generation, and taking advantage of emerging trends in world tourism.
Beyond Lifetime Employment? Re-Fabricating Japan's Employment Culture
Chapter Author: P. Matanle
Book Title: Perspectives on Work, Employment and Society in Japan
Book Editors: P. Matanle and W. Lunsing
Publication Date: 1 January 2006
Japanese working cultures have for many decades been dominated by the so-called system of lifetime employment in large organizations. Although the proportion of the working population employed under this system is often in dispute,1 it dominates the employment horizon. Moreover, the system radiates out beyond the boundaries of the Japanese firm. For example, it is the system to which the secondary and higher education systems are geared and towards which Japan's most academically successful students are steered, and its structure has provided the regime around which are arranged many of the institutions of the post-war Japanese nuclear family. Its influence is such that, even in the dual labour market that continues to characterize employment conditions in Japan, small and medium-sized enterprises must take its normative power into account when they organize their own employment practices.
イギリス：イギリスの資本主義•日本の資本主義 (Great Britain: Japanese Capitalism - British Capitalism)
Chapter Author: P. Matanle
Book Title (Japanese): 現代日本企業〈3〉グローバル・レビュー (Gendai nihon kigyō 3: gurōbaru rebiu - The contemporary Japanese enterprise 3: Global review).
Book Editors: A. Kubo, T. Kikkawa, and G.D.Hook.
Publication Date: March 2006.
Chapter Introduction (Pre-translation English version)
In 1973 the British academic Ronald Dore published what was to become one of the most influential books ever written in the fields of industrial sociology and Japanese studies. British Factory-Japanese Factory: The Origins of National Diversity in Industrial Relations (Dore, 1973) was a brilliantly conceived comparative investigation of two factories, English Electric in the UK and Hitachi in Japan. Coming as it did against the backdrop of a relative decline in Britain’s economic performance and international prestige, and at a time when western commentators and policy makers were becoming more aware of the seriousness of the Japanese industrial challenge, this book was as much a wake-up call for British industry as it was a presentation of a thorough and deep empirical study of the two factories. In this sense Dore’s book was to the UK what Ezra Vogel’s (1979) Japan as Number 1: Lessons for America, was to the United States. Published six years after Dore’s work, Japan as Number 1 was aimed at goading American policy-makers and business leaders into taking decisive action to counter the emergence of Japan as the world’s pre-eminent industrial manufacturer and it can be said that Dore, when he wrote his book, was also as much aware of the climate of opinion in the UK as he was of Japan’s rise. For, around the time Dore’s book was published the British industrial system was under tremendous strain, not least because of the consequences of a disastrous macro-economic and industrial relations climate that included among its effects a collapse in the value of Britain’s currency and external trading position, rampant double-digit inflation, the introduction of a three day working week and, in a failed effort to assert the government’s authority over the trade unions, the first of two general elections in 1974 called and lost by the then Prime Minister Edward Heath, under the slogan: ‘Who governs Britain?’. Indeed, towards the end of that decade the term igirisu byō, or the British disease, had gained common currency in Japan to describe, with not a little irony, a relative and perhaps terminal decline in Britain’s international prestige and power as a consequence of class conflict and general social malaise, as well as indicating the rise of Japan to becoming a member of the top rank of the world’s industrialised countries.
This chapter presents a historical analysis of some of the principal social science research on the Japanese firm produced in the United Kingdom since Dore published British Factory-Japanese Factory. Prominent within this research have been studies on foreign direct investment (FDI) by Japanese firms in the UK, industrial relations in Japan and in Japanese plants in the UK, the employment system in large Japanese enterprises and more theoretical and wide-ranging discussions on Japanese-style management and Japanese-style capitalism and their relationship to worldwide economic development and the possible convergence of industrial systems.