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Commitment, Quits, and Work Organization in Japanese and US Plants


Lincoln, James R. & Kalleberg, Arne L. (1996). Commitment, Quits, and Work Organization in Japanese and US Plants. Industrial and Labor Relations Review, 50, 39-59.


This comparative analysis, using early 1980s data from management interviews, employee questionnaire surveys, and personnel office employment records in 41 manufacturing plants in Japan and 45 in the United States, explores how employee commitment to the firm is shaped by organizational structure, employment practice, and other attributes of factories. The authors investigate both behavioral and attitudinal dimensions of commitment, measured respectively by quit records and survey responses. The results for both dimensions generally support the model of "welfare corporatism" as a commitment-maximizing organizational form in Japanese and American industrial capitalism. Qualifying that conclusion, however, are several noteworthy differences between the countries: unionization, formal work rules, and on-the-job training, for example, appear to have negative effects on the commitment of U.S. workers that are absent in Japan.


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Journal Article

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Industrial and Labor Relations Review


Lincoln, James R.
Kalleberg, Arne L.

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