Project Management Institute

Personnel policies and project management in Japanese companies

an empirical study

In the late 1970s, many Japanese construction companies approached their American peers in search of teaming opportunities that would enable them to enter new markets and to develop their competency in using Western project management practices. Within a decade, those same Japanese companies gained a market share equal to that held by their American competitors and established their organizations as project management experts. This article examines a study looking at the impact that Japanese personnel practices played in helping Japanese companies increase their competitiveness and expand their market reach. In doing so, it explains this study's methodology and details six Japanese personnel practices: lifetime employment, continuous training, job rotation, employee guidance, gradual promotion, and collective decision-making. It then explores the relationship between these practices and the impact--both the positive and the negative--that these practices have on the way Japanese companies practice project man
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