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Asia's Turning Point: An Introduction to Asia's Dynamic Economies at the Dawn of the New Century by Philippe Debroux, Ivan Tselichtchev

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5

Structural Transformation: Labor Relations

Overview: Directions of Change and New Challenges

The impact of economic globalization on human resource management (HRM) and employment practices in East Asia is growing day by day, changing previously stable workplace systems and triggering new forms of organization, work, and careers.

In Japan, the recession of the 1990s, coupled with the globalization of most industries, undermined traditional employment practices and accelerated changes that had been under way since the 1980s. In India, the large-scale entry of foreign companies and a shift to a more pro-competition business environment forced local firms to rationalize their HRM practices.

In Southeast Asian countries, the necessity of climbing up the value-added chain makes the upgrading of human capital one of the most urgent tasks. They need much more skilled and knowledgeable workers than their educational institutions can provide and better management to make use of their talent. The same is true for China as today’s employers independently determine wages, working hours, and working and living conditions and the Danwei (uniformity), control, and stability, traditionally inherent in labor relations at the workplace, is becoming a thing of the past.

Yet, though differences exist, the countries of the region are facing largely similar challenges. Public authorities and companies have to cope with the evolving attitudes of workers toward work in general and their relationship ...

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