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215 x 140 mm, 44 pp
English, 2004/01
ISBN: 978-962-441-150-8
Price:US$3.00


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The Generation Gap and Its Implications
Young Employees in the Japanese Corporate World Today
Gordon Mathews
HKIAPS, Occasional Paper Series
Hong Kong Institute of Asia-Pacific Studies, CUHK

The Japanese mass media have long emphasized conflict between young people and the adult social order, but today in the Japanese corporate world the "generation gap" takes on particular importance. The young elite are empowered vis-a-vis their elders, as was not the case in earlier decades, because of the loss of legitimacy of the Japanese corporate order, the erosion of lifetime employment, and the growing importance of computer expertise. In this paper, I examine how new employees perceive and are negotiating their positions vis-a-vis their corporate elders. The shifting generational balance of power, reflecting global economic shifts and the Japanese economic downturn, may be helping to transform Japanese corporate practices and perhaps Japanese life.

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