Sanford M. Jacoby is Distinguished Research Professor of History, Management and Public Policy at UCLA. Trained as an economist, Jacoby studies the workplace and labor markets using comparative and historical methods. With respect to Japan, he is best known for his book, The Embedded Corporation: Governance and Employment Relations in Japan and the United States (Princeton UP, 2005; Japanese translation, Nihon no jinjibu, America no jinjibu, Toyai Keizai, 2006). He regularly visits Japan to teach at Doshisha University and to do research.
The proposed research is a comparative study of the human resource function in Japanese and U.S. companies. It employs a combination of in-depth interviews, a large-scale survey, and secondary research. Its objectives are: 1) to analyze and compare how large companies in Japan and the United States make strategic human resource decisions; 2) to analyze how alternative human recourse management structures mediate between changes in markets and changes in corporate employment policy; and 3) to make predictions and recommendations about the future direction of the employment relationship in Japan and the United States. The study will be the first systematic comparison of senior-level human resource management in Japan and the United States. The study is intended to enhance our understanding of the future ability of large corporations to continue sheltering employees from market risk via careers, benefits, and other organization-oriented policies.