Harald Conrad

Dr Harald Conrad

Lecturer in Japanese Studies

MA in Economics (Diplom-Volkswirt), PhD in Economics, University of Cologne

Contact details
Email: h.conrad@sheffield.ac.uk
Tel: 0114 222 8431
Room: B07


Harald Conrad is Sasakawa Lecturer in Japan’s Economy and Management at the University of Sheffield’s School of East Asian Studies. From 2000 to 2008 he worked in Japan as Research Fellow and Deputy Director of the German Institute for Japanese Studies and Associate Professor at Ritsumeikan Asia Pacific University. From 2005 to 2008 he was concurrently Japan Representative of the German Friedrich Ebert Foundation in Tokyo.

Harald’s research focuses on Japanese and comparative social policy, industrial relations, human resource management, economic issues related to demographic change and cross-cultural negotiation behaviour. He is Director of Research of the “Business, Political Economy and Development” cluster at the White Rose East Asia Centre, a member of the International Advisory Board of Asia Pacific World and member of the editorial boards of Contemporary Japan and Japan Forum. From 2005 to 2011 he was elected Council Member of the European Association of Japanese Studies.

Recent and Ongoing Research Projects

Harald’s recent and ongoing research has focused on:

1. changes in Japanese human resource management practices which are related to the aging workforce.

2. the relationship between occupational pension and pay system reforms in Japan.

3. the role of Japanese labour unions in changes of company benefit systems since the 1990s.

4. UK institutional investors’ attitudes towards Japanese equities.

5. Economic sociology perspectives on the Japanese antique art trade.


EAS 144 Japan’s Economy and Management
EAS 6227 Business and the Economy of Japan
EAS 6211 Investing in East Asia
MGT 62042 Negotiation and Intercultural Communication

Teaching Philosophy

I have teaching experience in a number of institutions in England, Japan, Denmark and Germany (University of Sheffield, Ritsumeikan Asia Pacific University, Sophia University, Copenhagen Business School, Munich University, Bochum University, Bonn University) and have taught at all levels (undergraduate, graduate and executive MBA). When teaching, I always view my role as that of a facilitator, encouraging the students to take the lead in participatory activities that avoid mere passive retention. Therefore, I base my classes on a multi-skills approach, involving reading, discussion, writing, presentations and case studies, thereby giving the students the chance to foster a range of aptitudes that will be of use outside the classroom. My lessons are designed to integrate the need for mastery of the materials covered, with development of the ability to actively apply the materials in a variety of contexts. Critical thinking, logical reasoning and articulate expression are all goals I encourage my students to reach, and which any future leader would find indispensable.

Research Supervision

I welcome in particular applications from prospective PhD students in the fields of Japanese management, business and economy.

I am currently supervising the following PhD students:
Robert Horn: Reforms of Japan’s higher education institutions: the roles of competition and internationalisation
Sharleen Estampador Hughson: Generating Soft Power Through Glocalization of Memory and the Everyday: The Japan Exchange and Teaching Programme

The following students have successfully finished their PhDs:
Nicolas Garvizu: Cool Japan - the relationships between the state and the cultural industries
Seongjo Kim: Solidarity, labour and institution: the politics of health insurance reform in Japan and South Korea
Gunnella Thorgeirsdottir: Beliefs pertaining to childbearing in Japanese society

Selected Publications


(2001) The Japanese Social Security System in Transition – An Evaluation of Current Pension Reforms. München: iudicium Verlag.

(2000) Reformen und Problembereiche der öffentlichen Rentenversicherung in Japan. [Reforms and Problem Areas in the Public Pension System in Japan]. Marburg: Tectum Verlag.

Edited Books

(2008) [with Viktoria Heindorf, and Franz Waldenberger]: Human Resource Management in Aging Societies – Perspectives from Japan and Germany. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan.

(2008) [with Florian Coulmas, Annette Schad-Seifert, and Gabrielle Vogt]: The Demographic Challenge – A Handbook about Japan. Leiden: Brill.

(2003) [with Rolf Kroker] Deutschland und Japan – Mit Reformen zu neuer Dynamik. [Germany and Japan – With Reforms to New Dynamics]. Köln: Deutscher Institutsverlag.

(2002) [with Ralph Lützeler] Aging and Social Policy – A German-Japanese Comparison. München: iudicium Verlag.

(2001) [with Sven Saaler] Japanstudien 13 – Wohnen in Japan. [Japan Studies Vol. 13 – Living in Japan]. München: iudicium Verlag.

Articles and Book Chapters

(2017) [with Hendrik Meyer-Ohle] Overcoming the Ethnocentric Firm? - Foreign Fresh University Graduate Employment in Japan as a New International Human Resource Development Method. The International Journal of Human Resource Management

(2017) [with Sonja Bobrowska] Discourses of Female Entrepreneurship in the Japanese Business Press - 25 Years and Little Progress, Japanese Studies

(2017) Social Policy Responses to the ‘Gap Society’ – The Structural Limitations of the Japanese Welfare State and Related Official Discourses since the 1990s. In: Chiavacci, David; Hommerich, Carola (eds.): Social Inequality in Post-Growth Japan: Transformation during Economic and Demographic Stagnation, London and New York: Routledge, pp. 121-133.

(2016) Chapter 14: Promotion and compensation. In: Haghirian, Parissa (ed.): Routledge Handbook of Japanese Business and Management, London and New York: Routledge, pp. 174-184.

(2016) Chapter 15: Company welfare-benefit systems. In: Haghirian, Parissa (ed.): Routledge Handbook of Japanese Business and Management, London and New York: Routledge, pp. 185-195.

(2016) Managing (Un)certainty in the Japanese Antique Art Trade - How Economic and Social Factors Shape a Market, Japan Forum, 28(2), pp. 233-254.

(2014) Continuity and Change in Asian Employment Systems – A Comparison of Japan, South Korea and Taiwan. In: Wilkinson, Adrian; Wood, Geoffrey; Deeg, Richard (eds.): Oxford Handbook of Employment Relations. Oxford: Oxford University Press, pp. 334 - 358.

(2013) To Revive Manufacturing, Firms Should be Turning Japanese. In: The Conversion, http://theconversation.com/to-revive-manufacturing-firms-should-be-turning-japanese-20448

(2013) Converging to a New Type of Human Resource Management? – Compensation System Reforms in Japan since the 1990s. In: Kushida, Kenji; Shimizu, Kay; Oi, Jean C. (eds.): Syncretism: The Politics of Economic Restructuring and System Reform in Japan. Stanford: Brookings/APARC, pp. 173-197.

(2012) [with Jim McCafferty] United Kingdom Fund Managers and Institutional Investors’ Attitudes toward Japanese Equities, The Japanese Economy, 39(1), pp. 105-130.

(2011) National System of Production and Welfare Regime Dynamics in Japan since the Early 2000s, Journal of Social Policy, 41(1), pp. 119–140.

(2011) Change and Continuity in Japanese Employment Practices: The Case of Occupational Pensions since the Early 2000s, International Journal of Human Resource Management, 22(15), pp. 3051-3067.

(2010) From Seniority to Performance Principle: The Evolution of Pay Practices in Japanese Firms since the 1990s, Social Science Japan Journal, 13(1), pp. 115-135.

(2009) Die Beschäftigung älterer Menschen in Japan – Ursachen und Rahmenbedingungen einer hohen Alterserwerbsquote. [The employment of older persons in Japan - motives and institutional factors behind the high labour force participation]. In: Nova Acta Leopoldina NF (Journal of the German Academy of Sciences), 101, No. 365, pp. 111-142.

(2008) Demographic Challenges for Human Resource Management Practices and Labor Market Policies in Japan and Germany – An Overview. In: Harald Conrad, Viktoria Heindorf, and Franz Waldenberger (eds.): Human Resource Management in Aging Societies – Perspectives from Japan and Germany. Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan, pp. 1-11.

(2008) Human Resource Management Practices and the Ageing Workforce. In: Florian Coulmas, Harald Conrad, Annette Schad-Seifert, and Gabrielle Vogt (eds.): The Demographic Challenge – A Handbook about Japan. Leiden: Brill, pp. 979-997.

(2006) [with Viktoria Heindorf] Recent changes in compensation practices of large Japanese companies: wages, bonuses and corporate pensions. In: Lunsing, Wim; Matanle, Peter (eds.): Perspectives on Work, Employment, and Society in Contemporary Japan. Houndmills/New York: Palgrave Macmillan, pp. 79-97.

(2006) Doitsu ni okeru rōdōshijō kaikaku no mondaiten [Problems of Recent Labor Market Reforms in Germany]. In: Japanese Institute for Labour Policy and Training (ed.): Doitsu ni okeru rōdō shijō kaikaku – sono hyōka to tenbō. Rōdō Seisaku Kenkyū Hōkokusho No. 69, pp. 63-73.

2005) [with Arimori Miki] Doitsu no nenkin kaikaku. [Pension Reforms in Germany]. In: Seike, Atsushi; Fukawa, Tetsuo (eds.): Senshin 5-kagoku nenkin kaikaku to nihon. Tokyo: Maruzen Puranetto, pp. 41-65.

(2005) Kinnen no doitsu ni okeru kigyō nenkin seido no tenkai [Recent Developments in Germany’s Corporate Pension System]. In: Kaigai Shakai Hoshō Kenkyū (The Review of Comparative Social Security Research), No. 151 (Summer), pp. 98-109.

(2003) Sustaining Old Age Security in Japan – Toward a New Public-Private Pension Mix. In: Journal of Japanese Law, Vol. 8, No. 15, pp. 199-230.

(2003) Sozialversicherungsrechtliche Aspekte der Personalpolitik in Japan. [Aspects of Social Security Law in Human Resource Management in Japan]. In: Dorow, Wolfgang; Groenewald, Horst (eds.): Personalwirtschaftlicher Wandel in Japan – Gesellschaftlicher Wertewandel und Folgen für die Unternehmenskultur und Mitarbeiterführung. Wiesbaden: Gabler Verlag, pp. 269-284.

(2003) [with Fukawa Tetsuo] The 2000/2001 Pension Reform in Germany – Implications and Possible Lessons for Japan. In: The Japanese Journal of Social Security Policy, Vol. 2, No. 2, pp.1-12.

(2002) Jüngste Rentenreformen in Japan – Zur Neubestimmung des Verhältnisses von öffentlicher und privater Alterssicherung. [Recent Pension Reforms in Japan – A New Public-Private Balance]. In: Zeitschrift für ausländisches und internationales Arbeits- und Sozialrecht, 2/2002, pp. 97-119.

(2002) [with Arimori Miki] Senshinkoku ni okeru shakai hoshō nenkin e no kakutei kyoshutsu kojin kanjō dōnyū ni tsuite – doitsu no baai. [The Introduction of Individual Retirement Accounts in the Public Pension Systems of Industrialized Nations: The Case of Germany]. In: Nenkin rebyū (Pension Review), 7/2002, pp. 3-18.

(2002) Doitsu in okeru 2000-nen nenkin kaikaku no genjō to kadai [German Pension Reform in 2000: Current Issues and Problems]. In: Akuchuari jānaru (Actuary Journal), 2002, Vol.13, pp. 40-52.

Media Expertise

I am available to media organisations to discuss various aspects of Japanese economics and management practices. I have experience doing interviews with Bloomberg Television, Financial Times, The Guardian, Deutsche Welle, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung and Handelsblatt.

Please contact me either by phone or email to arrange an interview.