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TSURU, Tsuyoshi

Adjunct Professor / Research Division of Theories in Economics and Statistics

Labor Economics, Industrial Relations, Human Resource Management


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Previous research

My research falls into three main areas. The first area deals with the institutional and quantitative analysis of labor-management relations in Japan. The goal has been to expand on the existing research which has concentrated on labor-management relations in unionized settings and to shed light on the characteristics of non-union labor relations. The second research area revolves around innovation and evolution in firm organization. Given the continuing innovation in information technology and the growing trend in corporate strategies to select and concentrate on core competencies, I have been analyzing trends in workplace and organizational innovations in the electrical and electronics industries. The third research area, finally, concerns the transformation of personnel systems and the introduction of performance-based pay in Japanese firms. Here, I have looked not simply at changes in the personnel system, but also empirically analyzed intra-firm differentials in wages and promotions and changes in worker motivation and individual performance, using data from employers and employees.


Current research projects

I am currently engaged in the following three research projects. The first is to analyze incentive mechanisms and changes therein based on personnel data containing objective performance measures on individual employees. Previous research has been based on the use of questionnaire data on changes in worker motivation and individual performance. However, I obtained personnel data on a large Japanese car sales firm and am now analyzing changes in the productivity of individual employees. Second, I obtained personnel data on a North American auto dealership and am comparing performance-based pay systems between Japan and North America, as well as their effect on individual productivity. Third, in order to complement this quantitative analysis, I am trying to examine work practices as well as management at the workplace level using interview-based surveys and participatory observations at the workplace.


industrial relations, organizational innovation, personnel system, performance-related pay, personnel data, product development, human resource management of engineers