The Role of the State in Employment Relations

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The 21st Century has witnessed Asia’s rapid ascent to economic prosperity. As economic gravity shifts from the Western world to the Asian region, the “tyranny of distance [between states, will be] … replaced by the prospects of proximity” in transnational economic, scientific, political, technological, and social develop relationships (Australian Government, 1). Japan and China are the region’s key business exchange partners. Therefore these countries are under obligation to steer the region through the Asian Century by committing to these relationships and as a result create business networks, boost economic performance, and consequently necessitate the adjustment of business processes and resources in order to accommodate each country’s employment relations model (Wiley, Wilkinson, & Young, 2005). Cognizant of the fact that neither Japan nor China has given up on its external (protectionism or parity) adjustment tools, it is posited that they can nonetheless coexist since both “produce different things and in different ways” and as such avoid the cited perilous US and Mexico competition; but due to globalization, the operating environment portends a convergence or divergence of Industrial Relation (ER) strategies between China and Japan (Lipietz, 1997; Zhu & Warner, 2004).

Whereas China ushered in the 21st Century as member of the World Trade Organization (WTO) and as an economic power, Japan entered the Asian Century with a stagnant economy. And as China transforms its economy into a ‘socialist market economy’ it is held that the attendant social, economic, and political transformations necessitate that its state controlled IRs system is decentralized and more so, it should be converge with international best practice IR sta...

... middle of paper ... <>. [03 April 2014]

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36. Zhu, Y. & Warner, M. (2000). “An Emerging model of employment relations in China: a divergent path from the Japanese?” International Business Review, 2000, Vol.9 (3), pp.345-361. [03 April 2014]

37. Zhu, Y. & Warner, M. (2004). “Changing patterns of human resource management in contemporary China: WTO accession and enterprise responses”. Industrial Relations Journal, 2004, Vol.35 (4), pp.311-328. [03 April 2014]

38. Zhu, Y., Warner, M., & Feng, T. (2011). “Employment relations “with Chinese characteristics”: The role of trade unions in China.” International Labour Review, vol. 150, no. 1-2, pp. 127-143. [03 April 2014]

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