What changes can be observed in the labor market? What is special about the Japanese-style human resource management in the low-growth era, and what are the responses by Japanese and German firms?
The structure of the Japanese labor market is gradually changing in terms of both supply and demand. On the one hand the symposium will discuss the major supply-side factors, which include for example the rapid influx of women into the labor force, the aging of the working population and the trend toward higher education. On the other hand the symposium will consider continuity and changes in employment patterns like the expansion of flexible types of employment (part-time workers, arubaito, home workers etc.) and the specific innovations of the distinctive features of Japanese-style human resource management (HRM): for example, the "three sacred treasures" of lifetime employment, seniority promotion (promotion according to age and length of service), and the stability offered by having enterprise trade unions. Special attention will be paid to the question of how these three treasures were strategically integrated in an innovative Japanese-style human resource management.