In this important new book, the authors explore how production was organized in the context of the economic development of modern Japan.
Production organizations are taken to mean the long-term relationships which economic agents create for production, based on employment contracts or long-term transactions. This includes hierarchical organizations such as factories and corporations, but also flexible arangements such as subcontracting.
Modern Japanese economic development is characterized by the co-evolution of these two types of production organizations, while American economic development in the modern period is characterized by the development of a mass production system based on large hierarchical organizations. The question is raised as to why and how a certain type of organization proliferated in a certain industry in a certain period, and what the role of that organization was in coordinating production and giving incentives to the economic agents involved. The result is a comparative institutional analysis of the organizational foundations of Japanese economic development in the modern period.