Hiroshi Ishida is Professor of Sociology at the Institute of Social Sciences, University of Tokyo. He received his Ph.D. in sociology from Harvard University, conducted post-doctoral research at Nuffield College and St. Antony’s College, University of Oxford, and held positions of Assistant and Associate Professor of Sociology at Columbia University. His research interests include comparative social stratification and mobility, school-to-work transition, and social inequality over the life course. He is the author of Social Mobility in Contemporary Japan (Stanford University Press) and the co-editor with David Slater of Social Class in Contemporary Japan (Routledge).
This research proposes to study the structure of career dynamics and trajectories in a large Japanese and American organization. The primary objectives are to empirically evaluate the idea of Japanese peculiarities in employment relations and to highlight similarities and differences in the patterns of work careers between Japan and the United States. The study will specifically focus on four critical aspects of career dynamics: (1) entry level positions in an organization, (2) sequencing and duration of jobs, (3) promotion ladders, and (4) various forms of departure from an organization. The study will use career histories of individual employees in an organization. These employment records provide rare opportunity to arrive at more detailed and accurate conclusions about career trajectories in the two societies.