8.1. Stable, Long-Term Employment

A mutual long-term commitment between a company and its employee in the form of stable, long-term employment is an essential aspect of up-and-in human resource management and knowledge-creation management in general. Human Resources General Manager Teruo Suzuki emphasized the importance of taking time: "Our power base comes from allowing our workers to take their time to develop at Toyota .... For sure, long-term employment has its merits for a company like ours."[] For one thing, it justifies the investment of resources needed to develop organizational capabilities that only show benefits over time. Acquiring experience in several job functions or aspects of business operations equips managers to make better systemwide decisions. It takes time to develop this competence and requires hands-on experience and multiple job rotations. For example, Aiko Matsubara spent his first 14 years at Toyota in the personnel division, then moved into domestic sales for seven years, then back to personnel for five years, then to the engineering department for almost nine years. After four years at engineering, he was appointed director in corporate planning and product planning, before he became Senior Managing Director of Human Resource Management in 2003. This broad experience spanning sales, corporate planning, product planning, and research and development has convinced him that human resources should be tightly integrated with overall management.[]

Long-term ...

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