Book

Shifting Boundaries of the Firm

Mari Sako

Published in print April 2006 | ISBN: 9780199268160
Published online September 2007 | e-ISBN: 9780191708534 | DOI: https://dx.doi.org/10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199268160.001.0001
Shifting Boundaries of the Firm

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All firms wrestle with restructuring that involves consolidation through mergers and acquisitions on the one hand, and fragmentation through outsourcing and spin-offs on the other. Corporate restructuring is a major driver in transforming labour markets, engendering concerns about employment security. The framework introduced in this book analyses shifting organizational boundaries, i.e., structural changes within corporations resulting from a series of strategic interplays between management and labour unions. This framework is used to investigate the symbiotic adjustments in firm and union boundaries in the automobile and electronics industries in Japan. The book draws upon interview and survey evidence to show how the strategic interplay between labour and management led to incremental changes in Japan's national institutions, including lifetime employment, coordinated wage bargaining, and enterprise union networks. The gradual introduction of diversity and flexibility in markets is thus linked directly to the role management and labour played in bringing about institutional change. The book also demonstrates that adding labour to the Chandlerian analysis of corporate strategy and structure leads us to a view that boundary decisions are often contested.

Keywords: institutions; boundaries; corporate strategy; labour unions; corporate restructuring; Japan; automobiles; electronics

Book.  320 pages.  Illustrated.

Subjects: International Business

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Table of Contents

Introduction in Shifting Boundaries of the Firm

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Strategy and Structure at Matsushita Group in Shifting Boundaries of the Firm

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Strategy and Structure at Toyota Group in Shifting Boundaries of the Firm

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Taking Stock and Looking Ahead in Shifting Boundaries of the Firm

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