This paper aims to examine the factors of the merger between the local cotton-spinning companies in the late Meiji era. Ichinomiya Spinning Company was founded in 1895 by local and Nagoya wealthy persons, and produced gas-thread as its core product. However, its business activity deteriorated because of the depression after the Russo-Japanese War, so Ichinomiya Spinning Company came to depend the debt much more than before. As a result, a large amount of the stocks of Ichinomiya Spinning Company were sold by major stockholders who lived outside the Ichinomiya area. Since the Meiji government recommended the business combination, Masaka Okuda, who was the then president of Owari Spinning Company, formed Bisei-Rengo which was composed of the cotton spinning companies in the Chukyo area, and promoted the mergers. Okuda negotiated with Shinichiro Saburi, who was the then president of Ichinomiya Spinning Company, about the merger plan, and Saburi decided to merge with Mie Spinning Company. At the same time, Mie Spinning Company tried to acquire Chita Spinning Company. However, the merger terms for Ichinomiya Spinning Company were inferior to those for Chita Spinning Company. Therefore, the stockholders of Ichinomiya Spinning Company fiercely opposed to merge with Mie Spinning Company. In the end, the merger negotiations between Ichinomiya Spinning Company and Mie Spinning Company broke down, and Ichinomiya Spinning Company merged with Nihon Spinning Company. In short, the stockholders' will of the merged company played an important role in the merger negotiations between spinning companies. In addition, the corporate merger between Ichinomiya Spinning Company and Nihon Spinning Company helped to control the capital concentration on the big spinning companies and to intensify the competition among spinning companies.
The purpose of this paper is to investigate the relationship between blue-collar workers' personnel management systems and workplace management in the high growth era. We deal with the case of major steel companies as an example, especially Yawata Steel and Nippon Steel that had strongly impacted on labor management in Japan. Previous studies explain that the competitiveness of Japanese firms, especially prior to the “bubble economy”, was based on high “workplace level” skills, i.e., high blue-collar worker skill levels. They make much of competency-based pay (noryoku-kyu) and the ability-based grading system (shokuno-shikaku-seido) because they effectively encouraged employee skill development. Prior research states that these systems had been introduced in the latter half of 1960's. In contrast, the introduction of job-based wages (shokumu-kyu) using job analysis and job evaluation, adopted by the 1960s and called “American-style management” by researchers, has been regarded as a failure because it did not match Japanese workers' values and did not raise worker ability levels. Recently, however, some articles point out that job-based workplace management played an important role in rationalizing workplaces. So we would need to integrate our understanding of the two views. The content of this paper is as follows. Until the 1960's, shopfloor workers could not take on the responsibility of process control because of their low abilities and weak work consciousness. At the same time, it was difficult for managers to carry out efficient shopfloor management because they did not understand actual work conditions. In this situation, job analysis and job evaluation furnished administrators with the methods of rationalization and personnel management. In the mid-1970's, blue-collar workers came to acquire highlevel skills, such as industrial engineering, so they played an important role in supervising shopfloor work. In conclusion, managers of the two companies chose sound strategies. We should acknowledge the strength of their business judgment from a contemporary perspective.
The purpose of this article is to examine the cotton industry in Vladimir Province before Emancipation of serfs in Russia (1860), from the viewpoint of print and distribution. In order to accomplish this purpose, I utilize the Vladimir Province newspaper as a main material, which was published from 1838 to 1917, but confine the perusal of the material to the period from 1838 to 1860. Europe imported various commodities from Asia through East India Companies after 17th century. At that time, a cotton fabric (chintz) was one of important commodities from Asia. As the amount of European import of Asian chintz increased, Europe suffered from trade deficit and banned the import of chintz to reduce the deficit. After that, Europe realized the production of chintz by industrialization. From the viewpoint of a long term, we consider that the industrialization of European countries enabled import substitution of Asian commodities. This hypothesis would apply for the history of trade between Russia and Central Asia. Vladimir Province imported chintz from Central Asia after 16th century and first produced chintz in 18th century, based on the printing skills from Central Asia. After England exported cotton products to Russia at the end of 18th century, Vladimir Province introduced technology from Europe and developed modern cotton industry in 19th century. When we see the process of development in a middle term (100 years), we recognize that because Vladimir province learned European experiences, she accomplished the industrialization. But, we can also conclude that the industrialization of Vladimir Province was the process of import substitution of chintz from Central Asia, from the viewpoint of a long term (300 years). This is similar to the experiences of Europe.