Intorduce The Current And Previous Business System In Japan

1567 words - 6 pages

Rules and Business System in JapanINTRODUCTIONJapan has become well known in the world for its business system. Some Western businesses have tried to imitate parts of the Japanese business system. As with other countries, the business system of the Japanese model is also influenced by formal and informal rules. This essay will describe the formal and informal rules which control the Japanese business system, and briefly comment on the interrelationship between the two types of rules. In particular, it will examine the idea that formal rules follow clearly stated government laws, and so on, while informal rules come from socio-cultural practices.FORMAL RULESGovernment often plays a part in formulating rules for business. Dunning (1997) points out that "the optimal role of government in the organization of economic activity has long been a subject of intense-and sometimes passionate-controversy" (p. 32). Over a long period, the Japanese government's role in the business system has been to enact formal rules which completely determine the activities of corporations in the economic field. (What do they do? What happens if the firm does not obey them?) These formal rules have enabled the Japanese government to intervene in business since the beginning of Japanese industrialization. "East Asian states are directly involved in the economy and have a significant influence on private decision" (Chiu & Liu 1998, p. 137). Japan as a case in point, provides a good example of such government involvement. The development of the Japanese business system has experienced a long history of government influence. (But is this relevant to a discussion of formal rules?)The Japanese government first began to interfere with the business system in 1868 when Japan's modernization under the leadership of the Meiji government started. "The Meiji government took a strong leadership role in consolidating the working efforts of population, which were otherwise scattered, in order to serve the national purpose "(Sheridan, 1998, p.13). "During this period, the governments themselves transplanted and promoted major modern industries, while at the same time the private sector grew with the emergence of the zaibatsu" (Yuzawa, 1994, p. 2). Japanese corporations led the industrialization process, concentrating on the export of goods such as textiles and supported by abundant cheap labour (Yuzawa, 1994).After the industrial revolution ended in the late 1900s, there were considerable structural changes in the Japanese economy because the government rules changed. For example, the Japanese Ministry of International Trade and Industry (MITI) played a key role in reshaping Japanese business system. Chiu and Liu point out that even today "within the state bureaucracy, a pilot agency (such as MITI in Japan) plays a key role in strategic policy formulation and implementation" (1998, p. 145).During the 20th century, the number of people employed in factories increased and labour moved...

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