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A Learning Society: Japan Through Australian Eyes

  • Bill Ford
Part of the The Springer Series on Artificial Intelligence and Society book series (HCS)

Abstract

This chapter takes a close look at Japanese concepts of skill formation and work organization to see, in particular, how Australia could learn from Japanese society. Japan, it is emphasized is a long term learning society. Japanese organizations (management and unions) are deeply committed to continual skill formation and innovations at all levels of organization. The West has a short-sighted way of viewing Japan. This is illustrated through the perceptions of six groups: Western critics of Japanese employment systems, Western technologists, economists, managers, management consultants and vocational educators. Their short-sightedness shows through the inability of these groups to consider seriously the problems of skill formation and transfer through understanding another culture. Australia is the primary case example of the West for comparison with Japan. It is shown how Japan and Australia differ in their approaches towards skill formation and development at all levels of organization. There is no one Japanese model for skill formation policies and practices, although they differ from the West in that they focus on “on-the-job-learning” rather than, as the West, “on-the-job-training”. Japan also takes a strong view of appropriate skills, which is why Japanese workers were able to accommodate new technology. Preservation of employment security is an extremely heated issue in Japan. The chapter concludes with some actions for Australia and some further questions that need answering about the relationship between culture and the development of new technologies.

Keywords

Work Organization Employment Security Learn Society Skill Formation Australian Government Publishing 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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References

  1. Committee of Inquiry into Labour Market Programs (1985) Report of the Committee of Inquiry into Labour Market Programs (The Kirby Report), Australian Government Publishing Service, CanberraGoogle Scholar
  2. Ford, GW (1982) Human resources development and the balance of skills. Journal of Industrial Relations, September 1982: 443–53CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Ford, GW (1984) Australia at risk: an underskilled and vulnerable society. In: Eastwood, J. et al (eds) (1984) Labour essays, Drummond, MelbourneGoogle Scholar
  4. Ford, GW (1984) Australia at risk: an underskilled and vulnerable society. In: Eastwood, J. et al (eds) (1984) Labour essays, Drummond, MelbourneGoogle Scholar
  5. Ford, GW (1986) The transfer of culturally-specific industrial technology to Australia. In: Ford, GW, Tilley, L (eds) Diversity, change and tradition: the environment for industrial democracy in Australia, Australian Government Publishing Service, CanberraGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1990

Authors and Affiliations

  • Bill Ford

There are no affiliations available

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