SOAS University of London

School of Finance and Management

Management in Japan II

Module Code:
Taught in:
Term 2

This core course continues the examination of the Japanese managerial context, with more emphasis on the 1990s and the economic and financial sector difficulties of that decade, and the changes in the economic, social and managerial environment and in corporate strategy involved in renewed growth subsequently.

Objectives and learning outcomes of the module

The overall objectives of the course are to:

  • describe, explain and analyse the main features of the changing Japanese business environment after the 'golden age' og high speed growth
  • examine some of the changes in the characteristics of firms and inter-firm relationships, including financial firms, in Japan after the high-growth era
  • examine some changes in government-firm relationships in the 1990s including 'deregulation' of finance
  • consider the implications of changes in the business world and firm environment for managerial strategies and choices including overseas investment

By the end of the course students should be able to:

  • explain the key events in the chronology of the lower-growth period as a context for business evolution
  • analyse responses to financial deregulation by financial and non-financial firms
  • analyse the evolution of interfirm relationships in Japan, including changes to keiretsu structures (such as holding companies and changes in relationships between financial and non-financial firms)
  • discuss the importance of foreign direct investment from, and to, Japan
  • analyse changes to the labour market and 'lifetime employment' in large firms
  • discuss the role of demographic change for the Japanese consumer and Japanese business


This module consists of a 1-hour weekly lecture over 10 weeks of term plus a revision lecture in term 3 as preparation for the final examination. Students will be supplied with a syllabus with a breakdown week by week of required and additional reading. Reading materials are usually accessed electronically from the BLE and students should come to class prepared.

This module also has a weekly 1-hour tutorial where the questions posed by the tutor relevant to the lecture are explored and discussed by the students. Students also prepare and deliver a short presentation.

Total Work load:
Students on this module will have 2 taught hours each week. Additionally, adequate personal study time should be allocated for reading and class preparation.

Method of assessment

Assessment for this module is in three elements:

  1. One tutorial presentation at 10%
  2. One essay of 2,500 words at 30%
  3. One unseen 2-hour written examination at 60%

All elements except the presentation may be resubmitted.

Suggested reading

Set Reading
  • Blomström, Gangnes & La Croix eds. (2001). Japan’s New Economy: continuity and change in the twenty-first century. Oxford University Press.
  • Hoshi, T and Kashyap, A. (2001), Corporate Financing and Governance in Japan, MIT Press
Advised Textbooks
  • Aoki,M and Patrick,H (1994), The Japanese Main Bank System, Oxford University Press
  • Banno,J (1997), The Political Economy of Japanese Society (2 ols),Oxford University Press
  • Basu,D and Miroshnik,V (2000), Japanese Foreign Investments 1970-1998, M.E.Sharpe, Inc
  • Dore, R (2000), Stock Market Capitalism: Welfare Capitalism, Oxford University Press.
  • Drysdale, P and Gower, L (1999), The Japanese Economy, Part 2 Vols V and VII, Routledge
  • Flath, D (2000) The Japanese Economy, Oxford University Press
  • Goodman, R. (2002), Family and Social Policy in Japan, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press
  • Hoshi, T and Patrick, P (2000), Crisis and Change in the Japanese Financial System, Kluwer Academic Publishers
  • Jackson, K and Tomioka, M (2003), The Changing Face of Japanese Management, Routledge
  • Malcolm, J. (2001), Financial Globalisation and the Opening of the Japanese Economy, Curzon
  • Mikitani, R and Posen, A (2000), Japan’s Financial Crisis and its Parallels to US Experience, Washington, Institute for International Economics
Advised Papers
  • A study pack and reading list will be provided at the start of the course.


Important notice regarding changes to programmes and modules