Research Programs: Human Capital

Employment System Reform to Use Human Resources More Efficiently

Project Leader/Sub-Leader

OWAN Hideo

OWAN Hideo (Faculty Fellow)



Decision making and employment practices of Japanese companies had been incompatible with those from overseas, which became a major hurdle in the globalization process for Japanese companies. With economic globalization further developing, integration through standardization of systems and establishment of knowledge networks has been increasingly important, while correcting human resource management divided between domestic and overseas. Meanwhile, partially due to requests from governments and societies seeking working style reforms and difficulties in recruitment, workforces have been diversifying in terms of attributes, needs, and careers. The range of responsibility for front-line managers in terms of recruitment, training, placement, and evaluation has been expanding. This is referred to as decentralization of personnel functions. While the Human Resources department delegates authority to front-line managers, it is expected that it will further strengthen the collection of information to support front-line managers' decision making and monitor the health of the organization.

In recent years, due to increasing use of enterprise resource planning (ERP) software packages and groupware, various human resources data have become increasingly available including: (1) information on goals and task assignment under the management by objectives (MBO), (2) evaluation of bosses by subordinates and colleagues under a 360-degree evaluation system, (3) work environment information obtained through employee satisfaction surveys, and (4) non-cognitive ability information collected by aptitude tests and human assessments. The development of artificial intelligence (AI) technology will further accelerate this trend.

Utilizing these new data, this project would like to explore important research questions in labor economics and behavioral economics and conduct exploratory research both theoretically and empirically. Furthermore, by tying up with companies, I also would like to measure the effectiveness of personnel measures exploiting quasi-experimental settings. Specifically, during the research period, we focus on seven categories: gender gap, working style reform, effect of corporate training programs, mental health, hiring and matching, measuring the ability of middle managers, and innovation within organizations.

May 29, 2017 - April 30, 2019

Major Research Results


RIETI Discussion Papers


RIETI Discussion Papers