"Firm Organization and Career Patterns in Prewar Japan: A Case of Mitsubishi & Co."

Author Name

大島久幸(Hisayuki Oshima)・岡崎哲二 (Tetsuji Okazaki)

Date October 2017
Full Paper

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Abstract (Japanese) Abstract (English)


This paper investigates the career patterns of employees of Mitsubishi & Co. in the prewar period, using the database of Mitsubishi’s employees. We focus on the careers of the 146 persons who newly joined the company in 1921. It is found that the company was open to the external labor market. That is, while three persons joined the company as managers, 63 of the 146 persons (58%) exited the company by 1924. On the other hand, eight persons were promoted to managers from ordinary employees, which suggests that the internal labor market was emerging although it was still small. Most of those promoted persons started their careers at overseas branches, and each of them was specialized in a certain category of commodities. This feature of career patterns may reflect the characteristic of Mitsubishi’s organizational structure.