Japanese Engineers

A Historical and Theoretical Approach to the Personnel Management of Japanese Engineers (1870 – 1995)

This book deals with personnel management in the area of Research and Development of Japanese large corporations, especially in the electronics industry. In the first two chapters it introduces its historical dimension, first through the history of personnel management and labour relations in general and then through the history of the engineering profession and personnel management of engineers in large companies. In the third chapter it analizes the outcome of case studies carried out by the author in 11 large and giant corporations of the electronics industry through two rounds of interviews performed in 1992 and 1993. In the fourth chapter the author compares personnel management of R&D personnel in Japan, the United States, Great Britain and Germany, taking into account their historical background and their situation in the late eighties and early nineties. The final chapter is dedicated to a theoretical interpretation of engineers personnel management in Japan in the mid-nineties, showing the tendencies originated during the first years of the long economic recession.

The author did extensive field work on this subject. He began with an interview with its mentor from the Directorate-General for Energy of the European Commission at the Covenant Office in Brussels. His main case study comes from the Emilia-Romagna region in northern Italy. There he studied through interviews the regional, provincial and local dimensions of Covenant performance and other related local initiatives. He continued with case studies in the Abruzzo region, mainly in the Province of Chieti in central Italy and the Catalonia and Andalusia regions in Spain. The book finishes with some comparative and theoretical considerations for future research.

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