This study focuses on the effects of participatory human resource management (HRM) practices on productivity and product quality for comparable American and Japanese production units. It also examines the reasons why participatory HRM practices are or are not adopted in the United States and Japan. The emphasis will be on the effects of systems of HRM practices, rather than individual practices, based on the hypothesis that HRM practices are likely to be complementary. The study will use detailed data on comparable steel production lines owned by 23 different firms in the U.S. and Japan, with data collected through personal plant visits. The data set will include measures of specific HRM practices used on specific steel production lines, measures of technology for each specific production line, and measures of production-level performance. The study also will include analysis of activities workers actually perform on the job, as described in their _time diaries?, as a further means of understanding and interpreting the effects of HRM practices on work performance. Longitudinal data will be gathered to track the sustainability of HRM practices over time. Companies participating in this study include NKK America and Nippon Steel USA.