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Perspectives on Japanese Investment, Employment and Management in Australia


  • Peter Drysdale
  • Roger Farrell


In the postwar period Japanese foreign direct investment in Australia has played a key role in strengthening trading links between the two countries and influencing the industrial structure of Australia. This paper surveys the pattern and intensity of Japanese investment in the 1990s as well as the motivations of Japanese investors – both in Australia and the rest of the world. It assesses the organisational and industrial distribution of investment, employment creation, and the conduct of industrial relations by Japanese firms in Australia, in a range of industries. The role of Japanese management and differences in the conduct of industrial relations in Japanese workplaces in Australia are considered in comparative perspective. The paper surveys the characteristics and outward orientation of these firms, particularly in the automotive industry – one of the largest areas of Japanese investment and employment in Australia. Overall, Japanese subsidiaries in Australia are considered to have relatively similar employment and industrial relations practices as other firms.

Suggested Citation

  • Peter Drysdale & Roger Farrell, 1999. "Perspectives on Japanese Investment, Employment and Management in Australia," Asia Pacific Economic Papers 290, Australia-Japan Research Centre, Crawford School of Public Policy, The Australian National University.
  • Handle: RePEc:csg:ajrcau:290

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Gaston, Noel, 1998. "The Impact of International Trade and Protection on Australian Manufacturing Employment," Australian Economic Papers, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 37(2), pages 119-136, June.
    2. Robert E. Lipsey, 1994. "Foreign-Owned Firms and U.S. Wages," NBER Working Papers 4927, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    3. Roger Farrell, 1997. "Japanese Foreign Direct Investment in Real Estate 1985-1994," Asia Pacific Economic Papers 272, Australia-Japan Research Centre, Crawford School of Public Policy, The Australian National University.
    4. Aitken, Brian & Harrison, Ann & Lipsey, Robert E., 1996. "Wages and foreign ownership A comparative study of Mexico, Venezuela, and the United States," Journal of International Economics, Elsevier, vol. 40(3-4), pages 345-371, May.
    5. Kenneth A. Froot, 1991. "Japanese Foreign Direct Investment," NBER Working Papers 3737, National Bureau of Economic Research, Inc.
    6. Jean-François Hennart, 1991. "The Transaction Costs Theory of Joint Ventures: An Empirical Study of Japanese Subsidiaries in the United States," Management Science, INFORMS, vol. 37(4), pages 483-497, April.
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    JEL classification:

    • O53 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economywide Country Studies - - - Asia including Middle East


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