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Deutsches Institut für Japanstudien

Between External Shocks and Internal Evolution: Towards a New Phase in Japanese Management Practices

October 30 - November 1, 1997

Since the abrupt end of the bubble economy at the beginning of the 1990s, Japan’s firms have been subjected to continuous pressures to reconsider their investment and market strategies, to restructure their organizations, and to overhaul their existing human resource management practices. What only a few years ago was hailed as one of the most advanced enterprise systems, is now being criticized as outdated, non-innovative, and too costly. Japan’s business corporations are now in the midst of a search for new strategic opportunities and for re-creating the building blocks underlying their competitiveness.

In light of these developments, a conference was held entitled “Between External Shocks and Internal Evolution: Towards a New Phase in Japanese Management Practices” which focussed on the future of Japanese management. For the first time, three European research institutions located in Japan joined forces to organize the conference: the Deutsches Institut für Japanstudien (DIJ), the Maison Franco-Japonaise (MFJ), and the Istituto Italiano di Kyōto. The conference was specifically designed to bring together as commentators specialists on Japan and other renown scholars of differing expertise to relate current reorganization strategies and trends in Japanese firms to their own countries, mainly European, where firms are often facing similar competitive challenges and environmental jolts.

The papers have been publishes under the title Japanese Magement in the Low Growth Era.