Japan Journal of Human Resource Management
Online ISSN : 2424-0788
Print ISSN : 1881-3828
Volume 19 , Issue 1
Showing 1-8 articles out of 8 articles from the selected issue
Foreword
Articles
  • Masao SAKAMOTO
    2018 Volume 19 Issue 1 Pages 6-25
    Published: May 01, 2018
    Released: December 27, 2018
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    The aim of this article is to inspect the effect of job characteristics on attributes of "Developmental Networks (DN)" in the early career stage. Three hypotheses below based on the previous researches were verified through the questionnaire survey targeting young employees of two medium-sized shipbuilding firms.Hypothesis 1: Two job characteristics - " task variety" and "teamwork" - have a positive influence on the structure - number, diversity and strength - of DN.Hypothesis 2: Three personality factors -extraversion, openness to experience, and agreeablenesshave a positive influence on the structure - number, diversity and strength - of DN.Hypothesis 3: The structure - number, diversity and strength - of DN has a positive influence on the amount and variety of DN functions.As a result by the covariance structure analysis, hypothesis 1 was supported and hypothesis 2 and 3 was partially supported. That is, the job characteristics had indirect but significantly positive influences on the amount and variety of function of DN. In other words, two job characteristics - "task variety" and "teamwork" - stimulated DN to be both quantitatively and qualitatively rich in functions which is necessary for the development of young employees. And it was revealed that the job characteristics had more influences on the function of DN than the personality factors.Based on these findings above, it was suggested that the teamwork which is a distinctive trait of operation organizations in Japanese manufacturing companies had the effectiveness for the development of young employees. And the possibility to enrich young employees' DN by the job design was also suggested.

  • Yumiko KAWABATA
    2018 Volume 19 Issue 1 Pages 26-42
    Published: May 01, 2018
    Released: December 27, 2018
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    This study examines the human resources management systems for spousal transfers, including workplace transfer programs, administrative leave for trailing spouses programs, and reemployment programs. It was revealed that, even when companies had human resources management systems in place to deal with spousal transfers, they were not necessarily thorough in their responses.

    Workplace transfer programs are offered by companies across the country, implementing course based personnel management systems. Such programs have often been used, but transfers for trailing spouses pose difficulties for the following four reasons. First problem is location. A job location must be found within a territory where the trailing spouse’s company operates, where there must be a job opening, and the more rural area is, the fewer jobs it has. Second problem is job content; as the work may vary according to the workplace locations, one may have to make a choice to opting for the location or for a job in which one has experiences. Third, such programs are part of regular personnel rotations, hence, there is a time lag before starting the new job. The program applicants have to deal with issues involved in the job transfer while waiting for the company’s decision on whether the relocation is accepted. Fourth, such programs do not envision reuse within a short period of time. Though reuse is formally possible, it is not culturally accepted.

    Administrative leave for trailing spouses programs is mainly set to prevent women in career track positions from resigning. In many companies, such programs are limited to those whose spouses have been transferred overseas. This non-statutory leave involves the following three issues. First, such programs contain several restrictions: approval authority lies with the company and the total of each leave period must be within the fixed limit. These restrictions make it impossible for such programs to meet individual needs. Second, administrative leave causes a gap in one’s career. Because such programs are not statutory, the companies do not offer assistance in reentering the work force, and it is not even considered. Third, cases of domestic transfers are basically ineligible. In addition, there are no plans to expand such eligibility.

    Reemployment programs are implemented as a form of mid-career hiring, so they are easy to introduce, and many companies have done so. Reemployment after being out of the work force is not the continuation of employment but a way to restart employment, which involves the following three issues. First, taking advantage of these programs is difficult unless the employee’s spouse’s transfer has been stopped, because there is a limit to the number of years that one may be out of the work force. Second, similar to administrative leave for trailing spouses programs, there would be a gap in one’s employment history, so getting back into one’s career is difficult. Third, reemployment possibilities are determined by companies’ needs since such programs can be customized for responding the business climate.

    Job transfers affect not only the transferred ones but also their spouses’ companies. Companies that transfer employees are on both the giving and receiving ends of this impact. However, the fact is that companies have little awareness of it. Even if they introduce human resources management systems for spousal transfers, they are unable to carry them out well. When a company transfers an employee, it is crucial to consider how to support the employee, which includes provision of an adequate explanation beforehand, coordination between the company and the employee, and achievement of a mutual agreement.

  • Osamu UMEZAKI, Kazuo TAGUCHI
    2018 Volume 19 Issue 1 Pages 43-57
    Published: May 01, 2018
    Released: December 27, 2018
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    This paper analyses the management of company unions in small- and medium-sized enterprises and the support provided by industrial unions, using analysis of data collected through interviews. The results yield three main findings. First, there is no scale merit of company unions' management in small- and medium-sized unions. Many small- and medium-sized company unions have numerous different problems with human resources and management methods, in addition to financial problems. Second, many small- and medium-sized company unions were devising organizational operations regarding human resources and management methods, rather than finance. In particular, devices of human resources are more than devices of management. In fact, there are some limits to their efforts to improve the union's management methods. Finally, there are some cases where industrial unions directly solve the problems of company unions, and other cases where they indirectly support the management of company unions with regard to human resources and finance. There are many support methods for human resources; however, there are limited support methods for finance. On the other hand, industrial unions directly solve the problems of company unions. This study presented several types of support/supported relationships between small- and medium-sized company unions and industrial unions.

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