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Whither the Japanese Model?: Institutional Change and Emergence of “Many Japans”

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Authors
Sohn, Yul
Issue Date
2008-06
Publisher
Institute of International Affairs, Graduate School of International Studies, Seoul National University
Citation
Journal of International and Area Studies, Vol.15 No.1, pp. 79-92
Keywords
Japanese capitalismcorporate governancediversitypath dependenceevolutionmetagovernance
Abstract
Amidst a prolonged recession and financial crisis during the past ten years, Japan’s capitalism has

undergone change. In what direction is it moving? Is Japan converging on the US model? Or will it

maintain distinctive national characteristics? This paper argues that no single clear pattern has

emerged with regard to the future of the Japanese model. Rather, Japanese firms have responded to the

challenges differently over the past years. Four systems of governance have emerged. First, the

traditional Japanese type of corporate governance, a relationship-based, insider-oriented form,

remains in place. Second, very few are adopting a US-style, market-oriented corporate governance.

Meanwhile, two emergent ‘hybrid’ forms mix market/outsider-oriented elements with relational/

insider-oriented characteristics. This means that Japan is demonstrating an increasing diversity of

mechanisms of governance that prefigure “many Japans.”
ISSN
1226-8550
Language
English
URI
http://hdl.handle.net/10371/96463
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Graduate School of International Studies (국제대학원)Dept. of International Studies (국제학과)Journal of International and Area StudiesJournal of International and Area Studies vol.15 (2008)
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