This book is a collection of chapters written by specialists in diverse disciplines, ranging from theoretical and institutional economics to economic history, econometrics, sociology, organizational theory, political science, and engineering. The chapters give personal interpretations to the issues in discussion here deriving opinions from other disciplines. This interactive multidisciplinary approach makes for a broader and richer perspective on what is, by any reckoning, a complex phenomenon. The individuality of this book is that no one in it claims to have discovered the secret of the Japanese firm, the autonomous factor that explains its competitive strength. Whether their topic be human resource management, the organization of innovation, or keiretsu ties, most of the contributors see the specific attributes of the Japanese firm with which they deal as elements of a broader system the parts of which are dependent on other parts for their effective functioning. The collection is its recognition of diversity is another specialty in this book.
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