2004 年 7 巻 p. 93-113
The Corporate University (CU) is usually a strategic initiative of a company by which all levels of employees (and sometimes customers and suppliers) participate in learning experiences necessary for the improvement of job performance and the enhancement of business capabilities. It is estimated that more than 2,000 CUs exist in the United States, although this figure may be inflated.
Japanese companies have in the past been renowned for their enthusiasm for the education and training of employees. However, companies’ investment in human resource management in Japan has declined through the 1990s ; by 2000 it was almost half that of major corporations in the US and Europe. To change this situation, the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry has recommended the introduction of CU and an American style occupation based accreditation system in Japan.
In this paper, the history, definition and variations of the CU are described, and major CU cases are discussed. These are General Electric and Motorola in the US, and Toyota in Japan.
The major findings are as follows:
1. The establishment of CU requires a change in the education and training policy of the corporation from traditional low cost and low return models to those that commit a high investment in anticipation of a high return. Japanese companies have demonstrated in the past that this change is beneficial.
2. CU activities in the US such as leadership development and education in corporate values, are relatively new to the Japanese corporation. These activities, and courses developing the skills and knowledge required for management and business administration, should be provided by the CU in Japan.
3. Some CUs operate co-operative programs with the university sector, or sell educational services outside of the corporation. This implies that these courses may not just develop corporate specific knowledge and skill, but knowledge and skills with more general application. This trend may be a good stimulant for post secondary vocational education and training.
4. Japan should give high priority to human resource development as an interministerial government policy.