Paternalism in the Japanese Economy: Anthropological Studies of Oyabun-Kobun Patterns . John W. Bennett, Iwao Ishino

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The aim of this study is to adopt the construct of paternalism to understand control in family business governance. In particular, we want to investigate the concept of paternalism as mechanism of control in family firms. The theoretical reflections we here present first try to challenge the main theories used in family business literature, with a discussion about their limitations and boundaries of validity. Then, we present the construct of paternalism as a mechanism of governance and control that influences the decision making process, and in particular the succession processes. The construct of paternalism still needs sound methodological as well conceptual work, but we argue that it may be a starting point for building a rigorous and relevant research stream. This endeavour may help the family business research field to gain legitimacy in the broader academic arena.
This article investigates how organizational paternalism, often considered a traditional and rather archaic management style, is evoked by a culture management programme in order to increase control. Most research assumes that paternalism does successfully capture the subjective commitments of employees because they appreciate the 'caring' and 'nurturing' environment it engenders. Lacking in this literature is a consideration of "how" and "why" employees might resist organizational paternalism. An empirical study is presented that suggests some workers resist paternalism because it casts them as irrational children and undermines their dignity. The structure of this resistance is explored in detail and the relationships between paternalism, culture management and HRM examined. Copyright Blackwell Publishing Ltd 2005.
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