Call for Papers
for a Special Issue of
Asian Business & Management (ABM)
on Japanese Business
Submission deadline: 30 April 2018

Guest Editors
Shige Makino, The Chinese University of Hong Kong
Derek Lehmberg, North Dakota State University

The Japanese economy started picking up steam after the second Abe administration launched a new economic policy named “Abenomics” in 2012, combining a three-pronged approach: fiscal expansion, monetary easing, and structural reform. The Japanese stock market started soaring. In November 2017, the Nikkei Index rose to 22,000 points from 8,500 at the beginning of 2012 and the unemployment rate fell to 2.8%, the lowest level in the last 23 years.

However, many manufacturing sectors continued to be battered by falling competitiveness and scandal. Previously powerful electronics giants like Sanyo, Sharp and Toshiba had recently collapsed or were on the verge of it. Fujitsu, NEC, Toshiba, and Sony sold or separated their PC divisions, which had been their core profit centers, due to increased competition from Asian PC makers. Japan’s advantage in quality control in manufacturing sectors was also challenged. Takata, an automotive parts company, produced defective airbag inflators for years, resulted in a massive recall of 46 million airbags. Nissan recalled all 1.2 million new passenger cars it sold in Japan over the past three years after discovering final vehicle inspections were not performed by authorized technicians. Scandals due to falsification of quality data were uncovered at leading Japanese firms such as Kobe Steel, Mitsubishi Material, Asahi Kasei, Toray, and Toyo Tire and Rubber.

Growth of emerging economies and digital transformation are gradually affecting Japanese business systems and society. The center of gravity in the world economy is shifting from advanced countries to less advanced ones, creating new landscapes for international business strategies of Japanese firms. New waves in digital technologies, e.g., big data, artificial intelligence, IoT, Fintech, and sharing economy apps, are creating both new opportunities and threats to Japanese firms.

A large body of research has examined the unique aspects of traditional Japanese business in such areas as Alliances, Human Resources, and Operations. Research on internationalization of Japanese multinational companies is prominent in the area of International Business. However, Japan and Japanese business have continued to evolve, driven by many factors including changing technology, the changing competitive landscape, maturing of business segments Japanese companies compete in, demographic changes, and many other drivers (Abo 2015; Aman and Nguyen 2012; Amann, Jaussaud, and Martinez 2012; Asakawa and Westney 2013; Nakano 2017; Sekiguchi, Froese, and Iguchi 2016; Sutherland and Santos 2010; Ueki et al. 2010).

This is a call for papers examining what is new in Japanese business. Possible research questions that would suit this Special Issue include, but are not limited to the following:

  *   What is new about our understanding of Japanese business? In other words, what do we now view distinctly differently than in the past (e.g., new ways of analyzing, interpreting, and new theories)?
  *   What is new about the international business of Japanese firms? How have Japanese businesses adapted to trends such as globalization, a shrinking domestic workforce, and digitalization?
  *   What is new about the management systems of Japanese businesses? How have conventional Japanese management practices such as lifetime employment practices evolved? How have corporate governance and keiretsu networks of Japanese firms changed in the face of globalization of business?
  *   What is new about the environment of Japanese businesses? How has intuitional logic in the Japanese business environment changed and shaped the behavior of Japanese firms and foreign firms in Japan? How have reforms in law and regulations affected business strategy of Japanese firms?
  *   What is new about innovation in Japanese businesses? Have Japanese firms maintained competitive edges in innovation and new product development? What are the new trends in innovation in Japan? How do Japanese firms compete against Asian multinationals in development and commercialization of emerging technology?
  *   What is new about entrepreneurial activities in the Japanese business community? How have the way new businesses are organized, launched, and funded changed? Are new emerging Japanese businesses similar or different from traditional companies that came before them?
  *   What new do we know about how Japanese organizations are turned around, restructured, and reoriented?

This call is open to different qualitative and quantitative methodological approaches and research designs. Empirical papers are encouraged.

Submission Process
To be considered for the Special Issue, manuscripts must be submitted by April 30th, 2018, via To ensure that all manuscripts are correctly identified for consideration for this Special Issue, please select ‘SI: Japanese Business’ when you reach the ’Select Article Type‘ step in the online submission process. Authors should prepare their manuscript according to the guidelines of Asian Business & Management, see:
Submitted papers will be reviewed through a double-blind peer review process. For enquiries, please contact Derek Lehmberg at [log in to unmask]<mailto:[log in to unmask]> We welcome your submissions.

Abo, Tetsuo. 2015. Researching international transfer of the Japanese-style management and production system: Hybrid factories in six continents. Asian Business & Management 14(1): 5-35.
Aman, Hiroyuki, and Pascal Nguyen. 2012. The size and composition of corporate boards in Japan. Asian Business & Management 11(4): 425-444.
Amann, Bruno, Jacques Jaussaud, and Isabelle Martinez. 2012. Corporate social responsibility in Japan: Family and non-family business differences and determinants. Asian Business & Management 11(3): 329-345.
Asakawa, Kazuhiro, and D. Eleanor Westney.2013. Evolutionary perspectives on the internationalisation of R&D in Japanese multinational corporations. Asian Business & Management 12( 1): 115-141.
Nakano, Tsutomu (ed.). 2017. Japanese Management in Evolution: New Directions, Breaks, and Emerging Practices. Abingdon: Routledge.
Sekiguchi, Tomoki, Fabian Jintae Froese, and Chie Iguchi. 2016. International human resource management of Japanese multinational corporations: Challenges and future directions. Asian Business & Management 15(2): 83-109.
Sutherland, John, and José Miguel Pinto Dos Santos. 2010. Corporate employment strategies in Japan, 1991–2003. Asian Business & Management 9(1): 67-100.
Ueki, Hideo, Mariko Ueki, Richard Linowes, and Tomasz Mroczkowski. 2011. A comparative study of enablers of knowledge creation in Japan and US-based firms. Asian Business & Management 10(1): 113-132.

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