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Shifting Boundaries of the FirmJapanese Company - Japanese Labour$
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Mari Sako

Print publication date: 2006

Print ISBN-13: 9780199268160

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: September 2007

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199268160.001.0001

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Strategy and Structure at Matsushita Group

Strategy and Structure at Matsushita Group

(p.56) 3 Strategy and Structure at Matsushita Group
Shifting Boundaries of the Firm

Mari Sako (Contributor Webpage)

Oxford University Press

This chapter is a historical case study on management and labour at the Matsushita Group. A Chandlerian framework is applied to analyse the evolution of the multi-divisional structure and spin-offs from an early stage of the company's development. The Matsushita Union was established as an enterprise-wide union from the start. The company responded to corporate growth by extending its boundaries to include not only all the internal divisions, but also spin-off companies and subsidiaries. The resulting extension of the internal labour market gave much flexibility in securing stable employment, as uniform working terms and conditions facilitated the movement of workers between divisions and spin-off companies. But there was a gradual increase of diversity in working conditions within the company and the corporate group, culminating in the 2003 corporate restructuring and the planned break up of the Matsushita Union into fourteen separate unions in 2006.

Keywords:   Matsushita Electric, Matsushita Union, multi-divisional structure, labour market flexibility

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