Succeeding where others fail to try: A case study of diversity management in the Japanese retail sector

Mami Taniguchi*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Purpose - This paper aims to explain how female promotion can help to improve organizational performance in the Japanese environment. Design/methodology/approach - It is based on a case study of Aeon, a major Japanese retailer, which dramatically increased its percentage of female store managers through the implementation of a systematic plan with top management support. Findings - The key finding is that the factor, which led to success, was ensuring a fit between organizational features and the plan for change. This required careful attention to existing organizational features and developing trends as well as concentrated efforts to change those features that might have been stumbling-blocks. Research limitations/implications - Since the study was based on a single case, future research should include longer-term and broader studies to ensure the generalizability of the findings. Practical implications - This study implies that diversity management can be successfully introduced in a Japanese context: managers cannot be allowed to argue that they are powerless to effect change. Originality/value - The key value-added is to move beyond arguing whether Japanese companies should introduce diversity and point the way to how they can do so successfully.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)216-229
Number of pages14
JournalCareer Development International
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 2006 Jun 8


  • Equal opportunities
  • Japan
  • Managers
  • Retail management
  • Women

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Social Sciences (miscellaneous)
  • Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management


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