University of Tokyo

Survey Number 0312
Survey Title Survey on Changes in the Japanese-style Human Resources System, 1999
Depositor Japan Productivity Center
Restriction of Use For detailed information, please refer to 'For Data Users' on the SSJDA website.

- Apply to SSJDA. SSJDA's approval is required.
Educational Purpose Only available for research.
Period of Data Use Permission One year
Access to Datasets Download
SSJDA Data Analysis Not available
Summary This survey includes the "Survey on the Lifetime Employment System," which was conducted by the Japan Productivity Center in 1992, the "Survey on the Introduction of the Annual Salary System," conducted in 1993, and the "Survey on the Introduction of the Discretionary Labor System," conducted in 1994. This is the third iteration of the 1998 "Survey on the Transformation of the Japanese-style Personnel System," which was conducted in 1997. This is the third one that has been conducted since 1997 as the "Survey on Changes in the Japanese-style Human Resources System."

This survey is built upon the "Survey on the lifetime employment system" in 1992, the "Survey on the introduction of an annual salary system" in 1993 and the "Survey on the introduction of a discretionary labor system" in 1994 conducted by the Japan Productivity Center. This survey was conducted in 1997 as the 1998 "Survey on Changes in the Japanese-Style Human Resources System," the third one under this title.

During the era of rapid economic growth, lifetime employment practices created a cycle that promoted corporate growth. However, with the rapid progress of internationalization and the aging society during the 1980s in particular, this cycle has reversed and the cost of labor has increased, placing a heavy burden on companies.

Against this backdrop, the purpose of this survey was to continuously investigate the transformation of Japanese companies’ human resources management systems, with a focus on whether companies are willing to maintain lifetime employment practices in the future, and how the targets and content of lifetime employment practices may change.

The main continuous survey items address the following:
(1)Awareness of lifetime employment practices
(2)Percentage of companies that have introduced the annual salary system and target persons
(3)Implementation of a goal management system and an evaluation system
(4)Percentage of companies that have introduced the discretionary labor system, and their advantages and disadvantages
(5)Status of acceptance of dispatched (haken) workers and occupations type for which dispatched (haken) workers desired
(6)Introduction status of various personnel treatment systems (current trends such as retirement benefits wage addition system, internship system, cafeteria plan, etc.)
Data Type quantitative research: micro data
Universe Human resources and labor relations personnel of 2,398 listed companies
Unit of Observation Organization
Sample Size 317 responding companies (Response rate: 13.2%)
Date of Collection 1999/11/22 – 12/24
Time Period
Spatial Unit
Sampling Procedure
Mode of Data Collection Collection was by mail or fax
Investigator Japan Productivity Center
Sponsors (Funds)
Related Publications (by the Investigator) Please refer to the abstract in Japanese.
Related Publications (based on Secondary Analysis) List of related publications (based on Secondary Analysis)
Documentation Questionnaire
Major Survey Items Questionnaire items:
(1) Lifetime employment practices
Awareness of lifetime employment practices, measures to maintain lifetime employment practices, personnel system to be implemented for the next three years, future hiring of regular employees, awareness of employment after the age 60, introduction of a method of adding salary to retirement benefits, thoughts on welfare benefits
(2) Wage system
Introduction of merit-based salary, problems regarding merit-based salary, wage determination criteria, merits of the merit-based salary system, utilization status of competencies in the personnel system, method of use
(3) Annual salary system
Introduction status of the annual salary system, position of target employees, introduction of annual salary system (at the managerial and non-managerial levels), advantages and disadvantages of introducing the annual salary system
(4) Evaluation system
Introduction status of the goal management system, something that directly reflects the result of achievement of the goal, the necessity of improving the employee evaluation system, problems with the employee evaluation system, evaluated person’s evaluation result notification, presence or absence of a complaint handling system, functionality of the grievance system, performance-based and personal grievance method
(5) Introduction status of various personnel treatment systems
Year-round hiring, job-specific hiring, internship system, abolition of regular salary increase system, abolition of age-based salary, performance-linked bonus, stock options, reduction of planned interest rate for corporate pension, cafeteria plan, defined pension contribution, double-line wage system, mandatory retirement age policy for company officers
(6) Discretionary labor system
Introduction status of discretionary labor system, target occupation type, advantages and disadvantages of introduction
(7) Dispatched labor
State of accepting dispatched (haken) workers, occupation type for which dispatched (haken) workers are wanted, role of dispatched labor, portion of employees’ employment status (current, in the future)

Face items:
Business content, number of regular employees
Date of Release 2004/02/06
Topics in CESSDA Click here for details

Topics in SSJDA Employment/Labor
Notes for Users Variable and value labels are written in Japanese.