Stratification and attainment in a large Japanese firm

Spilerman, Seymour; Ishida, Hiroshi

This paper investigate the attainment process in a large Japanese financial service company. Unlike firms in the U.S., hires into the "permanent" category of workers in a Japanese company tend to be homogeneous with regard to age of entry, (lack of) prior experience, education, and gender. This raises an issue of how, in such circumstances, a firm selects employees for advancement and what is the structure of the promotion process. It has been suggested that a formal description of the attainment process is conveyed by Rosenbaum's "tournament model of careers." We investigate whether this imagery is consistent with the data on careers in the firm, we conclude that such a model is not descriptive of the attainment process; rather advancement is more properly characterized as a "gatekeeping" operation (at an early career stage), followed by delayed selection of the eventual corporate elite.

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Academic Units
Center on Japanese Economy and Business
Center on Japanese Economy and Business, Graduate School of Business, Columbia University
Center on Japanese Economy and Business Working Papers, 91
Published Here
February 8, 2011