Schneider and Company, a leading industrial enterprise in France, instituted the Rules to establish principles of its internal organization in 1913. Based on these Rules, I attempt to suggest an explanation for its administrative structure on the eve of the World War I, focusing on its operating units. Schneider, like other French industrial enterprises in those days, made little use of mass-production techniques, providing nonstand-ardized goods for producers and governments. However, Schneider had a high reputation as a maker of large, precision products which required a highest level of technology at that time to be fabricated, such as locomotives, marine engines, artillery, armorplates, bridges. As most of its products were made by order and small-batch, Schneider had grown, since its establishment in 1836, by continuously diversifying its products, and by diversifying in a number of industries. According to the Rules, Schneider made industry the basis of the organization of its production units : iron mines, coal mines, pig iron and steel producing, rolling mill, machine construction, electric machine construction, field artillery, naval artillery, forging and armorplate finishing, shipbuilding, mine making, bridge and building. Each of these units had its manager as well as its accountant's and engineer's offices, and formed a separate unit of accounts. Therefore each formed the “operating unit”, to use the term of professor Chandler, Jr., though many of them were in the same site, Le Creusot. Organizational imperatives at Schneider, however, showed clear differences to those at the American “modern business enterprise”.As most of its products required several months or more to be accomplished, and were made by order and small batch, Schneider organized its operating units to administer individual orders from the acceptance to the deliery. Thus the unit's accounts were organized to perform estimating and recording costs of separate orders. The controller's office was also formed to apparaise the unit's performance by order. Since each of these orders formed an autonomous administrative unit, the operating units which administered them remained autonomous. Though large enterprise with more than 10, 000 employees, Schneider was composed of numerous administrative units of orders, and of autonomous operating units. Schneider did form, in Paris, headquarters and a central office headed by salaried managers, but by different ways from those at United States firms which integrated mass production with mass distribution. As Schneider's growth behavior was different from that of the American big business, its organizational growth pattern also different.
The subject of this paper is what kind of policy the management took to counter the labour union movement at the Hokkaido Coal and Shipping Company, called Hokutan, after the First World War, and how industrial relations at Hokutan was reformed. Hokutan became a affiliated enterprise of Mitsui Zaibatsu in 1913, and then the paternalistic policies were enforced there. The labour union was organized at Hokutan in 1919, the peak of the post-war boom. It was based on the consciousness as producer of mine workers. To control the mine workers against the labour union, the management organized the organization of employees, Issinkai, which fulfilled the function of the roundtable conference of labour and management and mutual aid association according to the idea of corporation of labour and management. The management carried out the wage cuts because of the damage due to the post-war crise in 1921. So the labour union went on strike in opposition to the wage cuts. At last the issue of this dispute was whether the management approved the labour union as a bargaining body or not. After this strike, the labour union was ruined, and the authority of negotiation about labour conditions was given to Issinkai. And the management succeed to make use of Issinkai to control the mine workers according to the idea of corporation of labour and management.