Institutional Limits to the Internalization of Work Systems: A Comparative Study of Three Japanese Multinational Companies in the UK
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Number of pages
SourceEuropean Journal of Industrial Relations, 8, 3, (2002), pp. 251
Article / Letter to editor
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European Journal of Industrial Relations
SubjectNON-RU research; Onderzoek niet-RU
This study adopts a multilevel comparative approach to investigating the degree to which Japanese work systems are implemented and internalized in the UK business system. The focus is on the limits to accepting the continuous improvement schemes of Japanese multinational corporations. The article addresses national and local institutional factors and firm-level organizational factors affecting implementation and internalization. Using case studies of the adoption of Japanese work systems in two UK subsidiaries and in an Anglo-Japanese technical collaboration, it concludes that firms face a double barrier to the internalization of work systems in the form of, first, institutional embeddedness at national and local level, and second, embeddedness of tacit work systems at firm level. Firms attempt locally to interpret work systems transferred from the source company.
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