Now Free: Neo-liberal managerialism in Japan

Nana Okura Gagne of the Department of Japanese Studies at The Chinese University of Hong Kong has a new article available with JCA, available at the publisher’s website.

“Correcting Capitalism”: Changing Metrics and Meanings of Work among Japanese Employees (DOI: 10.1080/00472336.2017.1381984)  looks at how Japanese business has accommodated itself to notions of neo-liberal governance.

This article is currently available for free download.

The article’s abstract states:

What have been the processes of economic restructuring occurring inside many Japanese corporations, and what neo-liberal techniques have been used on the ground since the 2000s? By placing Japanese neo-liberalism within the broader historical and socio-cultural dynamics of the ideology of “companyism” since the end of World War II, this article analyses the specific deployment of neo-liberal techniques in the Japanese workplace, and the evolving responses by both employees and management. It argues that while profit margins and efficiency were clear targets for neo-liberal reformers, the human cost of neo-liberal economising was more difficult to calculate and triggered unforeseen frictions and tensions in the workplace. As a result, corporate reforms have been mediated by the challenges emerging from various structural reforms. This article shows how both employees and management became more self-reflexive and new permutations of neo-liberal governance have emerged, highlighting both the continuities and changes in the meaning of work under the global permeation of neo-liberalism.

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