ESRI Discussion Paper Series No.198
Is Japan an outlier in the information age?:
International comparisons on corporate reforms leveraged by information technology

Professor, Kyushu University(Visiting Research Fellow, Economic and Social Research Institute, Cabinet Office)
Researcher, InfoCom Research, Inc.

The full text is written in Japanese.


The purpose of this study is to conduct an international comparison on corporate reforms and its effectiveness leveraged by introducing information technology based on the multinational survey of 18,500 firms (effective response from 1,288 firms) in Japan, United States, Germany, and Korea. Multiple comparison analysis revealed two observations. First, Japanese firms are less affirmative in corporate reforms than firms in the other countries, especially with regard to reforms which have implications outside of corporate walls. Second, due perhaps to their stance toward corporate reforms, Japanese firms are considerably behind in the effective use of information technology, especially in the area of the top management's decision-making process and development of new value chains, even though they are on a par with their counterparts in the three other countries in the effectiveness leveraged by the technology at the shop-floor level, such as inventory reduction and improvement of workers' job line efficiency.

Consequently, it is suggested that reluctant corporate reforms resulted in the ineffective introduction of the information technology, which makes corporate Japan an outlier among four countries in the information age.

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