What shapes the decisions of employees in Japan? The authors of this comprehensive and up-to-date survey of the relationship between work and society in Japan argue that individual decisions about work can only be understood through the broader social context. Many factors combine to affect such choices including the structuring of labour markets, social policy and, of course, global influences which have come increasingly to impinge on the organisation of work and life generally. By considering labour markets, social policy and relationships between labour and management, the book offers penetrating insights into contemporary Japanese society and glimpses of what might come in the future. Underlying the discussion is a challenge to the celebration of Japanese management practices which has dominated the literature for the last three decades. This is an important book for students of sociology and economics.