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Cover for For Harmony and Strength

For Harmony and Strength

Japanese White-Collar Organization in Anthropological Perspective (Center for Japanese Studies, UC Berkeley #9)

Thomas P. Rohlen


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"Rohten has demonstrated that traditional anthropological method and theory can be adjusted to the analysis of complex organizations. The book provides a holistic perspective of a Japanese bank and its more than 3,000 employees. Methodologically, Rohlen analyzed this bank in much the same fashion as he would have carried out the study of a small community. Eleven months of participant observation within the bank and among its employees after work provided the major source of data. . . Possibly the most important finding of the study is that despite surface similarities with banks throughout the world, the Japanese have evolved an institution which is radically different. This bank, like many modern Japanese businesses, is organized to secure a common livelihood and way of life for its employees . . . more than the best cultural analysis of a Japanese business, for the book also contributes to the fields of Japanese cultural change and modernization process essential reading."--American Anthropologist "The account is adorned with an unusually rich selection of illustration from the speeches of firm officers, company records and documents, and of course extensive observations from employees . . . As a case study of a single Japanese organization, For Harmony and Strength is a superb effort that penetrates deeper than any other book in the English language."--Contemporary Sociology "A first-rate contribution to the literature in applied anthropology and comparative and cross-cultural management for the insights it provides on management of white-collar employees in Japan."--Industrial and Labor Relations Review "A well-written, thoroughly researched study of the internal life of a single Japanese organization . . Unlike most previous writers, Aohlen deals with the separate recruitment, work, and leisure patterns of the bank's women employees. As an anthropologist he has particular sensitivity to the ritual meanings of bank songs, ceremonies, and extensive training activities . . . one of the best analyses to date of how Japanese organization works."--Library Journal "What emerges from Rohlen's convincing and penetrating analysis is a picture of a thoroughly 'Japanese' business organization deeply imbued with Japanese cultural values .. . . in its sensitivity to cultural meanings and in its analytical coherence in the presentation of data, this book is a model of scholarship matched by few ethnographies. It will be consulted by those specializing in Japan, those interested in organizational behavior, and those interested in seeing 'the meanings of fundamental matters, ' for a long time to come.''--Journal of Asian Studies

University of California Press, 9780520038493, 308pp.

Publication Date: July 6, 1979

About the Author

Thomas P. Rohlen was the Former Trustee of The Asia Foundation, Liaison to the President's Leadership Council, and is Professor Emeritus and Senior Fellow, Stanford University Institute for International Studies.