Multiskilling, Delegation, and Continuous Process Improvement: A Comparative Analysis of U.S.-Japanese Work Organizations
This paper focuses on the following U.S.-Japanese differences in work organizations and labor market practices: in Japanese firms, (i) real decision-making authority is delegated more to lower hierarchical levels, (ii) employees are multiple-skilled, (iii) human capital accumulation is more firm-specific, (iv) labor turnover rate is lower, and (v) continuous process improvement is more prevalent. I present a model that addresses interconnections among three key features of work organizations (multiskilling, delegation, and continuous process improvement), and analyses ways in which they are related to labor market practices. It analyses strategic interactions among firms concerning their choices of the nature of work organizations, and shows that strategic complementarity due to labor market externality can yield the multiplicity of equilibria, which provides a systematic explanation for the U.S.-Japanese differences.
Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:
- Itoh, Hideshi, 1992. "Cooperation in Hierarchical Organizations: An Incentive Perspective," Journal of Law, Economics and Organization, Oxford University Press, vol. 8(2), pages 321-345, April.
- Itoh, Hideshi, 1994. "Job design, delegation and cooperation: A principal-agent analysis," European Economic Review, Elsevier, vol. 38(3-4), pages 691-700, April.
- Carmichael, H Lorne & MacLeod, W Bentley, 1993.
"Multiskilling, Technical Change and the Japanese Firm,"
Royal Economic Society, vol. 103(416), pages 142-160, January.
- Carmichael, H.L. & Macleod, W.B., 1991. "Multiskilling, Technical Change and the Japanese Firm," Cahiers de recherche 9112, Universite de Montreal, Departement de sciences economiques.
- Carmichael, H.L. & Macleod, W.B., 1991. "Multiskilling, Technical Change And The Japanese Firm," Cahiers de recherche 9112, Centre interuniversitaire de recherche en économie quantitative, CIREQ.
- Itoh, Hideshi, 1991. "Incentives to Help in Multi-agent Situations," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 59(3), pages 611-636, May.
- Russell Cooper & Andrew John, 1988. "Coordinating Coordination Failures in Keynesian Models," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 103(3), pages 441-463.
- Bulow, Jeremy I & Geanakoplos, John D & Klemperer, Paul D, 1985. "Multimarket Oligopoly: Strategic Substitutes and Complements," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 93(3), pages 488-511, June.
- Hart,Robert A. & Kawasaki,Seiichi, 1999. "Work and Pay in Japan," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521577724, August.
- Hart,Robert A. & Kawasaki,Seiichi, 1999. "Work and Pay in Japan," Cambridge Books, Cambridge University Press, number 9780521571371, October.
- Chun Chang & Wang, Yijiang, 1995. "A framework for understanding differences in labor turnover and human capital investment," Journal of Economic Behavior & Organization, Elsevier, vol. 28(1), pages 91-105, September.
- Bruce C. Greenwald, 1986. "Adverse Selection in the Labour Market," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 53(3), pages 325-347.
- Masahiko Aoki, 2013. "Horizontal vs. Vertical Information Structure of the Firm," Chapters,in: Comparative Institutional Analysis, chapter 5, pages 57-58 Edward Elgar Publishing.
- Aoki, Masahiko, 1986. "Horizontal vs. Vertical Information Structure of the Firm," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 76(5), pages 971-983, December.
- Jovanovic, Boyan, 1979. "Job Matching and the Theory of Turnover," Journal of Political Economy, University of Chicago Press, vol. 87(5), pages 972-990, October.
- Thomas Sargent, "undated". "Matlab code for Jovanovic's matching model," QM&RBC Codes 24, Quantitative Macroeconomics & Real Business Cycles.
- Milgrom, Paul & Roberts, John, 1990. "Rationalizability, Learning, and Equilibrium in Games with Strategic Complementarities," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 58(6), pages 1255-1277, November.
- Mincer, Jacob & Higuchi, Yoshio, 1988. "Wage structures and labor turnover in the United States and Japan," Journal of the Japanese and International Economies, Elsevier, vol. 2(2), pages 97-133, June.
- Morita, Hodaka, 2001. "Choice of Technology and Labour Market Consequences: An Explanation of U.S.-Japanese Differences," Economic Journal, Royal Economic Society, vol. 111(468), pages 29-50, January.
- Richard C. Levin & Alvin K. Klevorick & Richard R. Nelson & Sidney G. Winter, 1987. "Appropriating the Returns from Industrial Research and Development," Brookings Papers on Economic Activity, Economic Studies Program, The Brookings Institution, vol. 18(3), pages 783-832.
- Richard C. Levin & Alvin K. Klevorick & Richard R. Nelson & Sidney G. Winter, 1988. "Appropriating the Returns from Industrial R&D," Cowles Foundation Discussion Papers 862, Cowles Foundation for Research in Economics, Yale University.
- Mansfield, Edwin, 1988. "Industrial R&D in Japan and the United States: A Comparative Study," American Economic Review, American Economic Association, vol. 78(2), pages 223-228, May. Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)