Prof. Sam Soo Kim1
1Seoul National University of Science and Technology, Seoul, South Korea
The seniority wage is a pivotal personnel system in the Japanese employment system, alongside long-term employment and enterprise unionism. In the early 1990s, after the collapse of the bubble economy and as the recession lengthened, Japanese companies adopted performance-based personnel systems. Changes in the wage system under the slogan of “transition from seniority to performance” created a wage system for “work” (shigoto), a role-based or job-based rather than “job competence” wage. The purpose of this paper is to investigate the changes and characteristics of the wage system caused by the introduction of an American-style performance-based personnel and wage system. To this end, I examine the background of its introduction and aspects of development of the performance-based personnel and wage system, and show how they have formed a new internal rank system based on results. The establishment and characteristics of pay for accountability (role-based pay) as a new wage system to replace the job competence wage are discussed, giving special attention to the Japanese-style division of labor within the workplace.
Professor Kim Sam Soo is Professor in the Department of Business Administration, Seoul National University of Science and Technology where he has been a Professor of Industrial Relations and Economics for 26 years. He was previously the Dean, College of Business and Technology (2012-2014), and the President, The Korean-Japanese Economics and Management Association(2010-2012). He has published extensively on labour and industrial relations in East Asia.