Universität Wien

150051 VO Introduction to Japanese Economy and Management (2019W)

1.00 ECTS (1.00 SWS), SPL 15 - Ostasienwissenschaften

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Language: English

Examination dates



FR 18.10. 14:00 bis 20:00 Uhr und SA 19.10. 9:00 bis 15:00 Uhr, Ort: Seminarraum JAP 1


Aims, contents and method of the course

Japan remains one of the most powerful and dynamic economies of the world. The country’s economic catch-up and over-taking in key industries - within a exceptionally short time span the Japanese economy managed to bridge the gap between a quasi developing country to a leading industrialised nation - has evoked a wide spectrum of reactions. Awe, assumptions of conspiracy or even economic warfare. Regardless of the juxtaposing notions of 'learning from Japan' or 'confronting Japan' the common denominator is the need to understand the structure and factors of its economic rise.

In the wake of the collapse of the speculative financial bubble Japan has witnessed the longest recession period in the post-war era. 'The lost decade' has replaced the 'Japan as No1' syndrome and until recently the image has been that of a tumbling giant rather than that of vibrant economy. The Japanese economy is, however, on its way to recovery.

Economic indicators suggest nothing less than successful reforms and revival. Amid rapid internationalisation and the prognosticated advent of a new global system, the Japanese economy once more underlines its flexibility to adjust to new challenges. It is the juncture of continuity and change of the economic system at which this module is situated. Knowledge about Japan is essential to make informed corporate decisions. In taking a fresh look at the structural characteristics and recent developments, the module will equip students with the awareness and understanding of current opportunities and challenges posed by the world’s third largest economy.

On completion of this module, students will have:
* acquired broad factual knowledge concerning the economic practices and institutions of Japan;
* examined Japan’s integration with the world economy;
* studied structural characteristics, inherent problems and current reform efforts of the Japanese economy.

Assessment and permitted materials

Essay (100%)

Minimum requirements and assessment criteria

The module will be delivered 'short' and 'fat', that is in two days. Attendance and active participation is compulsory. All materials covered in class (handouts, text readings, discussions and so forth) are revelant for a module pass.

Examination topics

Reading list


Topical Readings

Japan’s Economic Foundations
Abegglen, J. 2006. Perspectives of Half a Century. In 21st Century Japanese Management. Palgrave, 1-23.

Economic Miracle
Lincoln, E.J. 1989. The Slowdown of Economic Growth. In Japan: Facing Economic Maturity, 14-39.

Patterns of Trade and the Domestic Market
Yamamura, K. 1987. Shedding the Shackles of Success: Saving Less for Japan's Future. Journal of Japanese Studies, 13(2), 429-456.

Contemporary Economic Issues
Katz, R. 2003. The Incredible Shrinking Japan. In Japanese Phoenix. Armonk, NY: M.E. Sharpe.

The State and the Industry
Yoshiaki Nakamura & Chihiro Watanabe. 2003. Mangament and the Effect of MITI’s R&D Project. Technovation, 23, 221-238.

The Japanese Company
Sjöberg, O. and Söderberg, M. 2001. The Sogo Shosha: Finding a New Role? In. Blomström, M., Gangnes, B. & La Croix, S. (Eds.), Japan’s New Economy: Continuity and Change in the 21st Century. OUP.

Japanese Human Resource Management
Matanle, P., McCann, L. & Ashmore, D. 2008. Men under Pressure. Representations of the Salaryman and his Organization in Japanese Manga. Organization, 15(5), 639-664.

The Japanese Production System
Anon. 2005. Making a Comeback. The Japan Journal, March, 6-11.

Japanese Market Environment
Fields, G., Katahira, H. and Wind, J. 1997. The Fourth Rush. In Leveraging Japan. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

Future Challenges and Course Review
Anon. (2010). The New Frontier for Corporate Japan. The Economist. 53-54

Core reading:
Abegglen, J. 2006. 21st Century Japanese Management. Palgrave.
Buckley, P.J. and Horn, S.A. 2009. Japanese Multinational Enterprises in China: Successful Adaptation of Marketing Strategies. Long Range Planning, 42(4), 495-517.
Horn, S.A. 2013. Interdisciplinary Engagement as an Acculturation Process: The Case of Japanese Studies. Social Science Japan Journal, 16(2), 251-77.
Horn, S.A. and Cross, A. 2009. Japanese Management at a Crossroads? Asia Pacific Business Review, 15 (3), 285-308.
Ishiguro, K. 2013. Changes in Japanese Companies’ Personnel Management Practises Relating to Female Employees. In S. Horn (Ed.). Emerging Perspectives in Japanese Human Resource Management. Frankfurt: Peter Lang.
Meyer-Ohle, H. 2003. Networking Bricks and Clicks. In S.J. Park & S. Horn (Ed.) Asia and Europe in the New Global System. Palgrave.
Tipton, E.K. 2008. The 'economic miracle' and its underside. In: Modern Japan, Routledge.

Extended reading:
David Flath, The Japanese Economy (Oxford University Press, 2000)
Takatoshi Ito, The Japanese Economy (The MIT Press, 1992)
Elise K. Tipton, Modern Japan (Routledge, 2008)

Association in the course directory

EC A 154 (Wirtschaftskommunikation Japanisch I), EC A 153 (Interkulturelle Kompetenz Ostasien),
Modul Alternative Erweiterungen (für BA), M4 -Teil 2 für ECOS

Last modified: We 19.08.2020 07:48