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J management 25-baby_boomers_in_the_japanese_workforce_by_joel_longbons

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  • 1. Baby Boomers in the Japanese Workforce by Joel Longbons Sophia University, Tokyo
  • 2. Background on Japanese Baby Boomers • Japan’s first generation of baby boomers were born from 1947-1949, after World War II • Known as the “Back Bone of Japanese Society” as the world knows it today • Type A Workaholics, fiercely competitive, braved hellish commutes and overstuffed trains, and worked some of the longest hours on earth. (CBS News) © Joel Longbons,2009
  • 3. Baby Boomers in the Workforce • Lifetime Employment: – Currently, baby boomers make up 8% of Japanese workforce • Seniority Wage System (Nenkou Joretsu): – Have climbed the promotional ladder • Fierce Competition: – How Well Can You Work With Others??? • Harmonious (和/wa): – Saving Face, even during fierce competition – Confrontation is TABOO! © Joel Longbons,2009
  • 4. Ideas Made Famous (or heavily applied) by the Baby Boom Generation • Consideration / kikubari • Apologizing / Shazai • Diplomatic Language / Tatemae • Reserve and Restraint / Enryo • Patience / Gaman • [Actively} Trying One’s Best / Gambaru • The Seniority System / Nenkou Joretsu © Joel Longbons,2009
  • 5. Retirement 2007-2009 • Retirement at 60 – 1 out of 5 companies require retirement on your 60th birthday • Loss of 8% of highly skilled workforce • Good or Bad??? – Japanese retirees volunteering their time could revitalize Japanese society – Retirees have saved their money for this – Could hurt Japanese firms © Joel Longbons,2009
  • 6. About This Project These slides are part of a student podcast project related to the book “J- Management: Fresh Perspectives on the Japanese Firm in the 21st Century” edited by Dr. Parissa Haghirian of Sophia University, Tokyo, Japan. For further information about the podcasts and the book, please visit www.parissahaghirian.com These slides are to be used for teaching and educational purposes only.

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