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Deutsches Institut für Japanstudien
Business Venture Creation and New Human Resource Management Strategies in Japan, Europe, and the USA



Conference hall of the Goeth-Institute, Akasaka, Tokyo

Business Venture Creation and New Human Resource Management Strategies in Japan, Europe, and the USA

October 1, 1998

The symposium brought together academics as well as representatives from firms, industry associations, government institutions, and the business press to jointly discuss and compare recent developments in Japan, Europe, and the USA, and their implications for theory and practice:

Understanding the macro-structural framework regarding corporate restructuring in Japan, Europe, and the USA. What significant challenges are confronting the major industrial sectors in each country and region, which basic management issues are entailed, and what are the strategic priorities for firms given the respective prevailing business environments?

Presenting the current state of, major issues for, and future strategic directions of firms’ management of their human resources. In which ways are organizational knowledge and skill creation activities, incentive systems, labor flexibility, labor market institutions, etc. affected? What do the respective socio-economic environments permit? To which extent and of what nature are societal frictions resulting from new HRM strategies?

Discussing the role of new business venture creation as a potential human resource development strategy. In which way can they be considered as an effective organizational learning device, a space for creativity and innovation, or must they rather be seen as the installation of parking sites for surplus employees? To what extent are new ventures (and their HRM policies) integrated into existing organizational rules and practices?

Essential differences and possible synergies between company ventures and independent ventures. What role are company ventures (venturing-based diversification) and independent venture activities playing, respectively, as sources of economic activity, industrial renewal, and technological and business process innovation? o The organizational impact of info-communication technologies and digital networks. What are the scope and characteristics of emerging digital network businesses and markets, and what is their importance for personnel management and corporate restructuring, given a growing emergence of strategic R&D joint ventures, network industrialization, outsourcing, virtual modes of production, etc.

Conference languages: Japanese and English (simultaneous translation provided)


Day 1         October 1st (Thursday)

Opening addresses

10:20 - 12:30
Session 1: Organizational reality of venture creation

The role of organizational discontinuity in high technology: Insights from a US-Japan comparison

Prof. R. Cole/D. Rtischev (UC Berkeley)

Virtual corporations and the consequences for HRM in Europe

Prof. C. Scholz (Saarbruecken Univ.)

New business venture creation and globalization

Prof. K. Sakakibara (Keio Univ.)


Ito, M. (Smart Valley Co.), Kanemaru, Y. (Future Systems Consulting), Ricky, L. (Asia Internet Plaza Corp.)

14:00 - 16:00
Session 2: Information networks and venture creation

The Internet, new firm foundation, and enterprise patterns

Prof. M. Kenney (UC Davis)

The critical state of new electronically networked small business cultures in Japan

Prof. S. Steffensen (Tokyo Univ.)


Inagaki, Y. (Do-House Corp.), Yamada, H. (Sun Microsystems Japan), Maeda, N. (Sony Corp.)

16:30 - 17:45
Round table discussion

Day 2         October 2nd (Friday)

9:00 - 11:00
Session 3: Venture creation and human resource management

Organizational networks and new human resource strategies

Prof. Y. Teramoto (JAIST)

HRM and knowledge creation

Daniel Dirks

German Institute for Japanese Studies

The internationalization of HRM

Prof. A. Okumura (Keio Univ.)


Nagasaki, F. (Nippon Steel), Danno, H. (Japan Council of Metalworkers’ Unions)

Keynote speech

Keynote speech

13:30 - 15:30
Session 4 Interorganizational strategies, new business creation and HRM

Venture creation as a result of different trends: a labor market approach linking corporate restructuring processes and human resource developments in historical perspective

Prof. D. Boegenhold (Bremen University)

Interorganizational strategies and business innovations

Prof. A. Seike (Toyama Univ.)

Venture business and economic revival in Japan

E. Nagaoka (Nihon Keizai Shinbun)


Harada, T. (Kagawa Univ.), Yamashita, M. (LTCB), Fujiwara, K. (Recruit Corp.)

16:00 - 18:00
Round table discussion