Japanisches Management am Scheideweg? Zur Transformation eines "Systems"
Since the beginning of the 1990s, Japan has been witnessing one of its most severe, post-war recessions following a long period of strong and putatively sustainable growth rates. Common approaches to an understanding of the management and organization of Japanese companies appear to have implicitly been basing their models on an assumption of such continuous growth. Consequently, these models strongly emphasize the stable, even static nature of the Japanese firm as environmental variables could be assumed to change in a predictable, upward mode only. However, the current economic crisis has begun to reveal a number of endemic problems related to the Japanese-style management system. Two issues pertaining to the strategic behavior of Japanese companies and to their peculiar personnel remuneration schemes are discussed in more detail. The examples suggest that this model, renown for its global competitiveness, has an observable propensity to produce its own internal conflicts and contradictions. While it is thus becoming increasingly difficult to conceptualize the Japanese business model devoid of any historical contingencies, alternative ways for studying different management systems are suggested.