Conflict resolution in Japan

John Benson

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The success of the post-war Japanese economy and the growing dominance of its manufacturing companies on global markets have been attributed, at least in part, to a particular collaborative form of industrial relations and dispute resolution process. The collapse of the so-called “bubble” economy in the late 1980s and the commencement of a sustained period of low economic growth in the early 1990s, however, led to a fragmentation of collective industrial relations. In turn, this allowed for experimentation with, and the development of, a range of alternative dispute resolution (ADR) practices including what I have termed union-on-demand and collective individualism. This chapter examines the shift to such ADR practices with a particular focus on why such changes are occurring and whether these changes form part of a longer term trend in Japanese industrial relations.
Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationThe Oxford Handbook of Conflict Management in Organizations
EditorsWilliam K. Roche, Paul Teague, Alexander J. S. Colvin
Place of PublicationOxford UK
PublisherOxford University Press
Number of pages20
ISBN (Print)9780199653676
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2014


  • dispute resolution processes
  • enterprise unions
  • experimentation
  • fragmentation
  • industrial action
  • Japan
  • labor tribunals

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