This work considers an aspect of the often applauded Japanese personnel management system in a critical manner. Through a series of case studies, personal interviews with staff concerned, and detailed analysis of historical and contemporary developments, the author shows that policies of Japanese industry toward engineers' education, working conditions and career paths are not only lacking in attention to personal aspirations and private life, but that they can sometimes be described as inefficient and even counter-productive from a managerial point of view. Now that Japanese giant corporations are no longer booming, the shortcomings of their style of management come to light more clearly. Its success and resulting benchmark status in the Western literature on the subject in a period of unmatched growth had made its built-in weaknesses almost invisible. By being unable to fulfill their promise of lifelong employment to their workers and especially the tacit trade-off between total commitment of engineers and their ultimate promotion to management now that managerial posts have become scarcer, Japanese companies are facing problems they have never had to deal with before.This book identifies these problems and explores the road ahead for Japanese industry in an area essential to its survival in a world where knowledge is vital, the personnel management of its engineers.