This article examines the changes in working conditions and responsibilities of care workers in Sweden under the new trends of the public care system for the elderly. We discuss mainly two issues concerning the care work under the new trends, namely, “marketization” and “informalization.” First, we examine the competition in labor markets and in organizations between traditional care workers (vårdbitrade) and newly educated care workers ( under-sköterska) . They work together in institutional or home-based settings. Second, we consider changes in their working condition and job duties. By analyzing the data from our questionnaire survey of care workers in institution and home helpers in Solna city, we find the difference between them in working conditions and job duties are small. We also find that they often quit their jobs and do not stay very long in organizations and labor markets of care workers, not only because their pays are low, but because the society's evaluation of care work is low. They also feel strong emotional stress due to the reduction in the number of staffs and in the time workers are allowed to spend with the elderly. They are required to do more physical care and housekeeping tasks than before. Moreover, they need to do these tasks in a shorter time than before. As a result, care workers don't have enough time to communicate with the elderly, which leads to their job dissatisfaction. Care work consists of physical care, housekeeping, and emotional or communication care. Our survey suggests that the third aspect of care work is the most important in the formation of care workers' occupational identity. A public policy for the elderly in the future should reform the relationship between care-givers and their clients by taking such realty of care workers' conditions into consideration.
The management system of a Japanese subsidiary company is classified in the categories of Japanization, localization and hybrid. A major issue in the literature on multinational companies is that the subsidiaries act and behave as local firms and that the parent company influences them. The purpose of this paper is to propose that three systems, which are Japanization, localization and mixed/hybrid, are intermingled in a Japanese subsidiary and that some parts are under the influence of class and academic credential society and culture. The paper is focused upon the differences between managers and staff, between white-collar and blue-collar workers, through a case study in the manufacturing department of a Japanese subsidiary in Belgium. In turn, it is compared with the Japanese mother factory. Furthermore, it is examined that these systems in a subsidiary are dynamic through comparing those in 1997 with those in 2001. The reason why it has examined the Belgian subsidiary is that within the Belgian society there remains a great gap between the white-collar and the blue-collar workers. This paper considers how the three systems, which also carry some influence from the Japanese culture, are translated to the subsidiary under the influence of Belgian Class and Academic credential society and culture. Also, it is examined how the Japanese subsidiary management systems have changed the Japanese subsidiary's system under the influences of host country's society and culture.
This study examines the flexibility and workers' skill development of small and medium-sized foundries in the central district of Hokkaido. They are located far from Honshu, which is the main market of their products. Small and medium-sized foundries, especially those not included in a subcontract system, have to produce many kinds of products on demand. Foundries want to hire workers capable of making various products, or want to give workers training on such skills. I point out two types of skills of foundry workers, i.e., “wide” and “deep” skills. “Wide” skills mean that he/she can produce many kinds of products. “Deep” skills mean that he/she can think an image of products and plan how to produce them. I classify the 13 foundries I surveyed into four types. Type A foundries are not subcontract factories and have to respond to many kinds of orders. Their flexibility is high. The type of skills required by these firms is both wide and deep. Type B foundries are not subcontract factories, either, but mass-produce parts for waterworks of local governments. Due to limited flexibility, these foundries require employees to have only wide skills. Type C foundries are subcontract factories and make parts for waterworks for a parent company. Their flexibility is low. The type of skills required by these firms is limited wide skills. And Type D foundries are subcontract factories but must accept many orders for several parents companies. Since their flexibility is high, they require employees to have wide and deep skills.
The main purpose of this paper is to examine what I call “horizontal counter-hegemony” based on a case study of the labor dispute at “A” publishing company. More specifically, it analyzes the process through which “horizontal counter-hegemony” was formed and considers its potential contributions to industrial democracy. The labor dispute at “A” publishing company lasted for four years and half (1993- 1998 ) .The dispute occurred as a result of clash between patriarchic managerial ideology strongly held by the company's president and workers' demands for egalitarian and democratic management ( i.e., the introduction of “industrial democracy”). However, the ideology of industrial democracy demanded by workers had its own problem. Although industrial democracy promotes an equal relationship between workers and managers in terms of personal dignity (jinkaku) , it cannot be free from the issues of “alienation” or “repression” because workers' labor power continues to be treated as commodity. Thus, this author pays attention to the idea of “horizontal counter-hegemony, ” which was arguably formed by workers in the process of the labor dispute at “A” publishing company. Based on this idea, workers may realize an equal and dignity-based relationship among workers at the workplace level and at the same time may be able to overcome the issues of alienation and repression