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The impact of foreign ownership on gender and employment relations in large Japanese companies

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    Rights statement: © Oliver, N., & Olcott, G. (2014). The Impact of Foreign Ownership on Gender and Employment Relations in Large Japanese Companies. Work, Employment and Society, 28(2), 206-224. 10.1177/0950017013490333

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Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)206-224
Number of pages18
JournalWork, Employment And Society
Issue number2
Early online date11 Feb 2014
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2014


Despite two decades of stagnation in Japan since 1990, there is remarkably little evidence of radical change in Japanese economic institutions, including employment relations. However, Japan has seen a steady increase in foreign mergers and acquisitions, which can challenge existing institutional patterns.
Women have traditionally been excluded from core membership of the Japanese corporate community. Drawing on case studies of several companies, some acquired, some not, this article examines the impact of foreign ownership on the role of women in the Japanese workplace.
Although prospects for women improve at foreign-acquired companies, this is not necessarily accompanied by a change in attitudes towards gender. The article concludes that while a change of ownership can cause changes in practice, wider societal shifts will be required to alter significantly the position of women in Japanese enterprises.

    Research areas

  • careers, human resource management, Japanese companies, multinationals, women

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