Contact Details

Photo of Harald  Conrad

Chair Modern Japanese Studies II (succession to Prof. Shimada)

Univ.-Prof. Dr. Harald Conrad

Building: 24.21
Floor/Room: 04.65
Phone +49 211 81-11693
Fax +49 211 81-14714

Profile

The Chair of Modern Japanese Studies II (succession to Prof. Shimada's chair) interrogates in research and teaching topics in the fields of Japanese business and economics, economic sociology, and social policy. A particular focus is on the Japanese employment and human resource management system, on Japanese and comparative social policies and their discourses as well as on the social construction and business practises of traditional Japanese markets. While investigating these topics, the role and influence of demographic change, i.e. the decline and aging of Japanese society, receives particular attention. Another area of interest is intercultural communication in Japanese business negotiations.

Curriculum Vitae

Since 2019 Chair of Modern Japanese Studies II (succession to Prof. Shimada's chair) at Duesseldorf University, Germany
Since 2019 Honorary Senior Lecturer, School of East Asian Studies, University of Sheffield, United Kingdom
2008–2019 Senior/Sasakawa Lecturer in Japan’s Economy and Management, School of East Asian Studies, University of Sheffield, United Kingdom
2012–2017 Guest Professorships at Ruhr-University Bochum and Dōshisha University, Kyōto
2007–2008 Associate Professor, Ritsumeikan Asia Pacific University, Beppu, Japan
2005–2007 Deputy Director, German Institute for Japanese Studies (DIJ), Tōkyō
2000–2005 Research Fellow, German Institute for Japanese Studies (DIJ), Tōkyō
2000 PhD (summa cum laude) in Economics, University of Cologne and Award of the Ehrhardt-Imelmann-Prize
1996–1998 Japanese Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology (Monbukagakushō) scholarship, Keiō University, Tōkyō
1996 MA in Economics, University of Cologne
1994–1995 German Academic Exchange Service (DAAD) scholarship, Hitotsubashi University, Tōkyō
1988–1991 Apprenticeship as a bookseller, M. Jacobi’s Nachfolger, Aachen

Research projects

Foreign Graduate Employment in Japanese Companies

In terms of their talent pool or coordination of international activities, Japanese companies have in the past largely relied on Japanese nationals, either employed in headquarters or delegated as expatriates to overseas subsidiaries. However, since around 2010 we have been witnessing a new and distinct recruitment trend - the systematic hiring of foreign fresh university graduates into Japanese multinational enterprises' (MNEs) operations in Japan. In Japan, this trend has been termed 'internationalization from within' (uchinaru kokusaika). Our project, in collaboration with Associate Professor Hendrik Meyer-Ohle from the National University of Singapore, has been looking at the meanings, objectives, challenges and lessons of this 'internationalization from within' Japanese companies and their human resources. Focussing on a number of perspectives, including the implications for the Japanese employment system, Japanese diversity management, and the Japanese migration system, we have published a number of academic articles in International Journal of Human Resource Management, Social Science Japan Journal and International Migration.

Moreover, as the new Japanese hiring trend has particular implications for Japanese Studies graduates, we are seeking to change the way in which we train and prepare Japanese Studies graduates for potential employment in Japan and have offered feedback to Japanese HR managers and career counsellors with a view to improve the employment situation and practices around foreign graduate employment in Japanese companies. Here is a recent three-part article in Japanese, targeted at Japanese HR managers: https://www.rosei.jp/jinjour/article.php?entry_no=74662

Assessing the Changing Role, Understanding, and Organization of Human Resource Departments in Japanese Companies

The academic literature on the Japanese employment system and its human resource (HR) management practices has so far tended to focus on changes to key HR practices, such as long-term employment or seniority-based remuneration. This literature has contributed significantly to our understanding of how HR practices and other Japanese company practices are intertwined and constitute the 'Japanese firm'. However, far less attention has been paid to the question where such reforms are initiated, how decisions on HR reform are made and what kind of processes accompany such changes. While existing research suggests that Japanese HR departments remain very important due to their accumulation of and control over personal information and their involvement in the transfer and training of employees across functions, their changing institutional role and possible professionalization in initiating and managing HR initiatives has remained unclear.
The relevance of this question is highlighted by the fact that the western HR literature has been propagating a more strategic role of human resource departments, where human resource managers are close to the leadership of the company and involved in strategic decisions early and proactively. Human resource managers in the West see themselves increasingly as professional and specialist business partners, who proactively assist divisions in assessing needs and developing human resources. This role of the HR manager as a business partner is considered to require a skillset and grasp of the overall company that might exceed HR managers' largely operational understanding and thus puts them in some competition with or need for outside consultants. The emerging Western image of the HR manager contrasts with that of the traditional Japanese HR manager, who has often been trained as a generalist, working in the HR department only for a few years, while also developing skills in other parts of the firm.
The purpose of this research project, which is conducted in collaboration with Associate Professor Hendrik Meyer-Ohle from the National University of Singapore, is it to clarify the changing role, understanding, and organization of Japanese HR departments in initiating and implementing HR innovations. We ask how the institutional role of human resource departments has changed in recent years, which factors have driven such changes, and to which extent human resource departments rely on or work with outside consultants and service providers.

Publications

Books

(2001) The Japanese Social Security System in Transition - An Evaluation of the Current Pension Reforms. München: iudicium Verlag. 111 S.

(2000) Reformen und Problembereiche der öffentlichen Rentenversicherung in Japan. Marburg: Tectum Verlag. 311 S.

Edited Books

(2008) [Mit: Heindorf, Viktoria; Waldenberger, Franz]: Human Resource Management in Aging Societies-Perspectives from Japan and Germany. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan. 208 S.

(2008) [Mit: Coulmas, Florian;Schad-Seifert, Annette und Gabrielle Vogt]: The Demographic Challenge - a Handbook about Japan. Leiden: Brill Academic Publishers. 1199 S.

(2003) [Mit: Kroker, Rolf]: Deutschland und Japan - Mit Reformen zu neuer Dynamik. Köln: Deutscher Institutsverlag. 200 S.

(2002) [Mit: Lützeler, Ralph]:Aging and Social Policy - A German-Japanese Comparison. München: iudicium Verlag. 353 S.

(2001) [Mit: Saaler, Sven]: Japanstudien 13 - Wohnen in Japan. München: iudicium Verlag. 539 S.

Articles in Peer-reviewed Journals

(2018) [Mit: Hendrik Meyer-Ohle] undefinedTransnationalization of a Recruitment Regime: Skilled Migration to Japan, International Migration.

(2018) [Mit: Hendrik Meyer-Ohle] undefinedBrokers and the Organization of Recruitment of 'Global Talent' by Japanese Firms - A Migration Perspective, Social Science Japan Journal,Vol. 21, No. 1, S. 67-88.

(2017) [Mit: Hendrik Meyer-Ohle] undefinedOvercoming the Ethnocentric Firm? - Foreign Fresh University Graduate Employment in Japan as a New International Human Resource Development Method, International Journal of Human Resource Management. 

(2017) [Mit: Sonja Bobrowska] undefinedDiscourses of Female Entrepreneurship in the Japanese Business Press - 25 Years and Little Progress, Japanese Studies, Vol. 37, No. 1, S. 1-22.

(2015) undefinedManaging (Un)certainty in the Japanese Antique Art Trade - How Economic and Social Factors Shape a Market, Japan Forum, Vol. 28, No. 2, S. 233-254.

(2012) [Mit: Jim McCafferty] United Kingdom Fund Managers and Institutional Investors' Attitudes Toward Japanese Equities, The Japanese Economy, Vol. 39, No. 1, S. 105-130.

(2012) National System of Production and Welfare Regime Dynamics in Japan since the Early 2000s, Journal of Social Policy, Vol. 41, No. 1, S. 119-140.

(2011)Change and Continuity in Japanese Employment Practices: The Case of Occupational Pensions since the Early 2000s, International Journal of Human Resource Management, Vol. 22, No. 15, S.3051-3067.

(2010) From Seniority to Performance Principle - The Evolution of Pay Practices in Japanese Firms since the 1990s, Social Science Japan Journal, Vol. 13, No. 1, S. 115-135.

(2009) Die Beschäftigung älterer Menschen in Japan - Ursachen und Rahmenbedingungen einer hohen Alterserwerbsquote, Nova Acta Leopoldina NF101, No. 365, S. 111-142.

(2005) 近年のドイツにおける企業年金制度の展開[Jüngste Entwicklungen in der betrieblichen Alterssicherung in Deutschland], 海外社会保障研究(The Review of Comparative Social Security Research), Summer 2005, No. 151, S. 98-109.

(2003) Sustaining Old Age Security in Japan -Toward a New Public-Private Pension Mix, Journal of Japanese Law, Vol. 8, No. 15,S. 199-230.

(2003) [Mit: Fukawa, Tetsuo]: The 2000/2001 Pension Reform in Germany - Implications and Possible Lessons for Japan, The Japanese Journal of Social Security Policy, Vol. 2, No. 2, S. 1-12.

(2002) Jüngste Rentenreformen in Japan - Zur Neubestimmung des Verhältnisses von öffentlicher und privater Alterssicherung, Zeitschrift für ausländisches und internationales Arbeits- und Sozialrecht, 2/2002.S. 97-119.

(2002) [Mit: Arimori, Miki]: 先進国における社会保障年金への確定拠出個人勘定導について- ドイツの場合[Die Einführung von individuellen beitragsorientierten Konten in der öffentlichen Rentenversicherung - Der Fall Deutschland], 年金レビュ-[Pension Review], 7/2002, S. 3-18.

(2002) ドイツにおける2000年年金改革の現状と課題[Die deutsche Rentenreform 2000: Situation und Problembereiche], アクチュアリジャーナル[Actuary Journal], Vol. 13, S. 40-52.

Artikels in Peer-reviewed Books

(2019 im Erscheinen) [Mit: Hendrik Meyer-Ohle] Japanese Multinational Companies and the Control of Overseas Investments - The Role of Expatriates, Young Foreign Employees and Japan's Soft Power. In: Aulakh P & Kelly PF (eds.): Mobilities of Labour and Capital in Asia: Spatialities, Institutions, and Cultures. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

(2017) Social Policy Responses to the 'Gap Society' - The Structural Limitations of the Japanese Welfare State and Related Official Discourses since the 1990s. In: Chiavacci, David; Hommerich, Carola (eds.): Social Inequality in Post-Growth Japan: Transformation during Economic and Demographic Stagnation, London and New York: Routledge, S. 121-133.

(2016) Compensation and Promotion. In: Hagirian, Parissa (ed.): Routledge Handbook of Japanese Business and Management. London: Routledge, S. 174-184.

(2016) Employee Welfare Benefit Systems. In: Hagirian, Parissa (ed.): Routledge Handbook of Japanese Business and Management. London: Routledge, S. 185-195.

(2014) Continuity and Change in Asian Employment Systems - A Comparison of Japan, South Korea and Taiwan. In: Wilkinson, Adrian; Wood, Geoffrey; Deeg, Richard (eds.): Oxford Handbook of Employment Relations. Oxford: Oxford University Press, S. 334-357.

(2013)Converging to a New Type of Human Resource Management? - Compensation System Reforms in Japan since the 1990s. In: Kushida, Kenji; Shimizu, Kay; Oi, Jean C. (eds.): Syncretism: The Politics of Economic Restructuring and System Reform in Japan. Stanford: APARC/Brookings Institution, S. 173-197.

(2008) [Mit:Viktoria Heindorf und Franz Waldenberger] Demographic Challenges for Human Resource Management Practices and Labour Market Policies in Japan and Germany - an Overview. In: Conrad, Harald; Heindorf, Viktoria; Waldenberger, Franz (Hg.): Human Resource Management in Aging Societies-Perspectives from Japan and Germany. Houndmills: Palgrave Macmillan, S. 1-12.

(2008) Human Resource Management Practices and the Ageing Workforce. In: Coulmas, Florian;Conrad, Harald; Schad-Seifert,Annettel; Vogt, Gabrielle (Hg.): The Demographic Challenge - A Handbook about Japan. Leiden: Brill Academic Publishers, S. 979-997.

(2006) [Mit: Heindorf, Viktoria]:Recent changes in compensation practices of large Japanese companies: wages, bonuses and corporate pensions. In: Lunsing, Wim; Matanle, Peter (Hg.): Perspectives on Work, Employment, and Society in Contemporary Japan. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan. S. 79-97.

(2006)ドイツにおける労働市場改革の問題点[Die Probleme jüngster Arbeitsmarktreformen in Deutschland]. In: 労働政策研究・研修機構(Japanese Institute for Labour Policy and Training - JILPT) (Hg.): ドイツにおける労働市場改革ーその評価と展望. Tokyo: JILPT. S. 63-73.

(2005)[Mit: Arimori, Miki]:ドイツの年金改革[Rentenreformen in Deutschland]. In: Seike, Atsushi; Fukawa, Tetsuo (Hg.):先進5カ国の年金と日本[Rentenreformen in 5 Industrieländern und Japan]. Tōkyō: Maruzen Puranetto. S. 41-65.

(2005) [Mit: Gerling, Vera]: Der japanische "Silbermarkt" - Marktchancen und Best Practices für deutsche Unternehmen. In: Bellmann, Klaus; Haak, Rene (Hg.): Management in Japan - Herausforderungen und Erfolgsfaktoren für deutsche Unternehmen in dynamischer Umwelt. Wiesbaden: Deutscher Universitäts-Verlag. S. 265-276.

(2003) Japans soziale Sicherungssysteme im Wandel - Im Spannungsfeld von partiellen Korrekturen und strukturellen Reformen. In: Conrad, Harald; Kroker, Rolf (Hg.): Deutschland und Japan - Mit Reformen zu neuer Dynamik. Köln: Deutscher Institutsverlag. S. 69-91.

(2003) Gibt es einen Paradigmenwechsel in der jüngeren japanischen Sozialpolitik? - Reformen, Wirkungen, Hemmnisse. In: Pohl, Manfred; Wieczorek, Iris (Hg.): Japan 2002/2003: Politik und Wirtschaft. Hamburg: Institut für Asienkunde. S. 75-97.

(2003) Sozialversicherungsrechtliche Aspekte der Personalpolitik in Japan. In: Dorow, Wolfgang; Groenewald, Horst (Hg.): Personalwirtschaftlicher Wandel in Japan - Gesellschaftlicher Wertewandel und Folgen für die Unternehmenskultur und Mitarbeiterführung. Wiesbaden: Gabler Verlag. S. 269-284.

(2002) Old Age Security in Japan: The Implications of Recent Public and Occupational Pension Reforms. In: Conrad, Harald; Lützeler, Ralph(Hg.): Aging and Social Policy - A German-Japanese Comparison. München: iudicium Verlag. S. 189-220.

Other Book Chapters

(2017) The 'Varieties-of-Capitalism' (VOC) and the 'Japanese Model' during Globalisation - Change and Continuity in Japanese Human Resource and Corporate Governance Practices since the 2000s, In: Kähler, Jürgen; Revelas, Kyriakos (eds.): Issues of the European and International Economy in the Era of Globalization (Festschrift for Professor Manfred Feldsieper), Erlangen: FAU University Press, S. 253-283.

(2007) Japanische Senioren als Konsumenten und der "Silbermarkt": Ein Lehrstück für Deutschland? In: Behrens, Michael; Legewie, Jochen (Hg.): Japan nach Koizumi - Wandel in Politik, Wirtschaft und Gesellschaft. Baden-Baden: Nomos Verlagsgesellschaft. S. 177-187.

(2006)ドイツと日本における社会保障精度- 構造的類似性、共通の課題、未来の展望 [Das Sozialversicherungssystem in Deutschland und Japan: Strukturelle Ähnlichkeiten, gemeinsame Probleme, zukünftige Entwicklungen]. In: 聖学院大学総合研究所紀要(Forschungsberichte des General Research Institute der Seigakuin University). Vol. 36 (別冊). S. 35-43. 

(2006) The Social Security Systems in Germany and Japan: Structural Similarities, Common Challenges, and Future Prospects. In: Fujiwara, Atsuyoshi (Hg.): Church and State in Japan since World War II. Tōkyō: Seigakuin University Press. S. 67-74.

(2004) Recent and Planned Reforms of the Public Pension and Long-term Care Insurance in Germany - Possible Lessons for Korea? In: Korea Institute for Health and Social Affairs (Hg.): Conference Proceedings of the "International Symposium on Pension and Long-term Care - Lessons, Implications and Next Steps". Seoul. S. 165-195.

(2002)[Mit: Lützeler, Ralph]: German and Japanese Social Policy in Comparative Perspective: An Overview. In: Conrad, Harald; Lützeler, Ralph(Hg.): Aging and Social Policy - A German-Japanese Comparison. München: iudicium Verlag. S. 11-34.

Miscellaneous Publications 

(2019) [Mit: Kenta Koyama und Hendrik Meyer-Ohle] undefined外国籍新卒社員の採用と活躍[Three-part series of articles on: The Employment and Activities of Young Foreign Graduates]. In: Rōsei Jihō.

(2013) Deviant or Different? Corporate Governance and the Future of Japanese and UK Capitalisms. In: White Rose East Asia Centre (ed.): East Asia in 2013, Briefings for the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, S. 26-29.

(2013) undefinedTo Revive Manufacturing, Firms Should be Turning Japanese. In: The Conversion.

(2007)Japan nach den Oberhauswahlen vom 29.7.2007 - Eine Bestandsaufnahme. In: Blickpunkt Japan. Newsletter des Referats Westliche Industrieländer der Friedrich-Ebert-Stiftung. 6 S.

(2006) Turning Boomers into Boomerangs - Japanese Human Resource Management Practices and the Aging Labour Force. In: DIJ Working Papers, No. 06/2006. 26 S.

(2005) "Silbermarkt auf Japanisch: Wie die japanische Wirtschaft die Senioren entdeckt. In: Bundesministerium für Gesundheit und Soziale Sicherung (Hg.): Denk-Anstöße: Gewonnene Jahre - Chancen einer Gesellschaft des längeren Lebens. Berlin. S. 12-14.

(2005) [Mit: Heindorf, Viktoria]:Farewell to the Seniority Principle? Aging Workforces and the Restructuring of Japanese Compensation Practices. In: DIJ Working Papers, No. 01/2005. 27 S.

(2004) [Mit: Gerling, Vera]:Seniorenmarketing in Japan. In:Deutsche Industrie und Handelskammer in Japan (Hg.): Japan Markt, Wissenschaft und Praxis,September 2004. S. 9-11.

(2004)Leistungsbezogene Entlohnungssysteme in Japan - Eine Bestandsaufnahme. In: Deutsche Industrie und Handelskammer in Japan (Hg.): Japan Markt, Wissenschaft und Praxis, März2004. S. 22-23.

(2003) Japan entdeckt den Seniorenmarkt - und was Deutschland davon lernen kann. In: Deutsche Industrie und Handelskammer in Japan (Hg.): Japan Markt, Wissenschaft und Praxis, Januar2003. S. 19-20.

(2002) Die Pflegeversicherung in Japan: Ein Überblick. In: Forschungsgesellschaft für Gerontologie e.V., Institut für Gerontologie an der Universität Dortmund (Hg.): Impulse. November 2002, Nr. 4. S. 2-4.

(2002) [Mit: Gerling, Vera]: Der Silbermarkt in Japan. In: Forschungsgesellschaft für Gerontologie e.V., Institut für Gerontologie an der Universität Dortmund (Hg.): Impulse. November 2002, Nr. 4. S. 1-2.

(2001) Die Reform des Fiscal Investment and Loan Program: "Big Bang" der öffentlichen Finanzen oder alter Wein in neuen Schläuchen? In: Deutsche Industrie und Handelskammer in Japan (Hg.): Japan Markt, Wissenschaft und Praxis, November 2001. S. 15-17.

(2001) Japan - eine Mittelklassegesellschaft? - Anmerkungen zur Einkommens- und Vermögensverteilung. In: Deutsche Industrie- und Handelskammer in Japan (Hg.): Japan Markt, Wissenschaft und Praxis, Juni 2001. S. 15-16 u. 19.

(2001) Perspektiven der Alterssicherung in Japan. In: Japan Analysen und Prognosen, Nr. 183.30 S.

(2001) [Mit: Saaler, Sven]: Wohnen in Japan: Markt, Lebensformen, Wohnverhältnisse. In: Japanstudien 13. München: iudicium Verlag. S. 13-44.

Book Reviews

(2017) Tōkaidō Texts and Tales - Tōkaidō gojūsan tsui by Kuniyoshi, Hiroshige, and Kunisada. Edited by Andreas Marks, with contributions by Laura Allen and Ann Wehmeyer, Gainesville: University of Florida Press, 2015. In: East Asian Journal of Popular Culture, Vol. 2, No. 2, S. 305-307.

(2010) Race for the Exits: The Unraveling of Japan's System of Social Protection, by Leonard J. Schoppa, Cornell University Press 2006. In: Comparative Labor Law and Policy Journal, Vol. 32, S. 285-286.

Commissioned Reports

(2007) Die Beschäftigung älterer Arbeitnehmer in Japan - Ursachen und Rahmenbedingungen einer hohen Alterserwerbsquote. Expertise für die Arbeitsgruppe "Chancen und Probleme einer alternden Gesellschaft" der AG LeoTech Alter vertreten durch die Deutsche Akademie der Naturforscher Leopoldina. 40 S.

(2004)[Mit: Gerling, Vera]: Haushaltsbezogene Dienstleistungen in Japan: Neue Geschäftsfelder im Silver Market. Expertise für das Bundesministerium für Familie, Senioren, Frauen und Jugend. April 2004. 50 S.

(2002) [Mit: Gerling, Vera]: Wirtschaftskraft Alter in Japan: Handlungsfelder und Strategien. Expertise für das Bundesministerium für Familie, Senioren, Frauen und Jugend. August 2002.62 S.

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