Is there one best way to run the modern business corporation? What is the appropriate balance between shareholders, executives, and employees? These questions are being vigorously debated as layoffs, scandals, and restructurings rattle companies around the world. The common assumption is that globalization is merging the varieties of corporate capitalism. Yet, as this book shows, corporations in Japan and the United States are responding differently to the pressures unleashed by globalization. In The Embedded Corporation, Sanford Jacoby traces this diversity to national differences in economic history and social norms, and, paradoxically, to global competition itself.
The book's vantage point for exploring the varieties of capitalism is the human resource departments of large corporations, where changes in markets and technology turn into corporate labor policies affecting millions of workers. Despite some cross-fertilization, Japanese and American corporations maintain distinctive approaches to human resource management, which has important consequences for how firms compete, for corporate governance, and even for the level of inequality in Japan and the United States.
The Embedded Corporation is a major contribution to our understanding of comparative management and the relationship between business, society, and the global economy.
"The Embedded Corporation is thoughtful, persuasive, and contextually rich. . . . [I]t surpasses previous studies of Japanese-U.S. HR practices, contributes to recent debates over the evolution of industrial relations systems and globalization and equally pertinently, presents a significant platform for promising future research on relevant issues."--Emilio J. Castilla, Administrative Science Quarterly
"The Embedded Corporation is an insightful and important book. It has much to offer to a variety of audiences, especially those who are concerned with how the world works in practice, not just in idealized theory."--John W. Budd, Journal of Socio-Economics
"Sanford Jacoby has written an erudite and accessible book."--Frank Dobbin, British Journal of Industrial Relations
"The Embedded Corporation is a source of useful information about the changes that are occurring in the HR management of major Japanese and U.S. corporations, although the full implications of those changes have yet fully to emerge."--Takeo Hoshi, Business History Review
"Jacoby offers a very good and strongly sociological book that deserves a wide readership among country specialists and comparative scholars, as well as HR students interested in the broader influence of corporate strategy, corporate governance, and institutions."--Gregory Jackson, American Journal of Sociology
"This book is a must-read for anyone searching for a better understanding of the economics of corporate change and social decline. I recommend it."--Elizabeth A. Ashack, Monthly Labor Review
Table of Contents:
Preface to the Paperback Edition ix
Chapter 1: Management and the Varieties of Capitalism 1
Chapter 2: Human Resources Departments in Large Japanese Firms: The Way It Was 21
Chapter 3: Inside Japanese Companies Today 41
Chapter 4: The Evolution of Human Resource Management in the United States 78
Chapter 5: Inside U.S. Companies Today 101
Chapter 6: Comparative Survey Data 131
Chapter 7: Taking Stock and Looking Ahead 157