Suehiro Izutarō and John R. Commons: Path Dependence in Japan and U.S. Industrial Relations

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This is a research primer for praxis inquiry at the interface of stakeholder theory and comparative industrial relations. The focus concerns decades of Japanese and U.S. path dependent national divergence in respect to shared labor law legislation enactments, separated by a period of only about 15 years. The steps of institutionalization for what is now recognized as Japan’s “lifetime employment” system, presented in terms of the legal jurisprudence of Suehiro Izutaro (Suehiro jurisprudence or Suehiro hōgaku) document a dramatic, fascinating historical interface between two profoundly linked nations based on common labor legislation and detailed Japanese appreciation of the labor law and institutional economics research of John R. Commons. Establishing this common, shared basis, reveals a quasi-experimental design research potential for a discourse of justness in labor law research and case law precedent between Japan and the United States industrial relations systems. Social implications of this analysis are indicated at the outset of the paper by comparing national wage gaps, CEO compensation levels, and a range of salient employment parameters. Scholarly research implications include remediation of a stakeholder theory conceptual divergence between U.S. management theorist use and the more institutionally comprehensive approach of comparative political economy research, particularly in regards to path dependent analysis: testable hypotheses are presented.
Original languageEnglish
Publication date2017
Number of pages40
Publication statusPublished - 2017
Event77th Annual meeting of the Academy of Management: At the Interface - Georgia, Atlanta, United States
Duration: 4 Aug 20178 Aug 2017
Conference number: 77


Conference77th Annual meeting of the Academy of Management
Country/TerritoryUnited States
Internet address

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