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Assembling WorkRemaking Factory Regimes in Japanese Multinationals in Britain$
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Tony Elger and Chris Smith

Print publication date: 2005

Print ISBN-13: 9780199241514

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2007

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199241514.001.0001

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The Internationalization of Japanese Manufacturing

The Internationalization of Japanese Manufacturing

Chapter:
(p.35) CHAPTER 3 The Internationalization of Japanese Manufacturing
Source:
Assembling Work
Author(s):

Tony Elger (Contributor Webpage)

Chris Smith (Contributor Webpage)

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199241514.003.0003

This chapter charts the timing and geographical spread of Japanese foreign direct investment. It discusses different interpretations of the distinctive characteristics of Japanese manufacturing multinationals and the evolution of their internationalization strategies, focusing on the rapid growth of such investment from the mid-1980s and their goals in establishing overseas subsidiaries. It argues that many earlier analyses were too optimistic in their expectations of upgrading, especially in the light of the ebb, flow, and international repositioning of investment as Japanese companies respond to changing economic conditions at home and the wider international division of labour, with its regional rivalries and new centres of low-cost production. Thus, some subsidiaries will remain routine manufacturing plants, some may move up the value chain and others may face contraction or closure. These different trajectories will help shape the production regimes and employment relations of specific subsidiaries, mediating any process of global localization.

Keywords:   foreign direct investment, global localization, internationalization, international division of labour, Japanese foreign direct investment, low-cost production, regional rivalries, value chain

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