Why do the Japanese work till death?
Implications for business and society
'Karoshi', death from overwork, has been a serious problem in Japan. The Japanese only consume 45-60% of paid holidays, and almost a fifth of workers do not take any holiday. Why do the Japanese work so hard? It is believed that the Japanese have a strong loyalty and sense of duty towards work. However, is this really the reason why people work till death?
Actually, there are economic 'give and take' unwritten contracts between workers and employers. Moreover, many, if not most, work to sustain harmony within a group rather than getting the job done.
This feature reveals the nucleus of their collectivist nature, which complies with Japanese societal values.
The Masterclass will discuss this phenomenon and its broader implications for employees and society at large.
About the speaker
Dr Seijiro Takeshita
Dr Seijiro Takeshita is a Professor of Management and Information at the University of Shizuoka and was previously Dean of School. His area of research is comparative governance, mainly between non-liberal Japanese and Anglo-American governance. Prior to his current role, he spent 30 years in investment banking at several investment banks in Tokyo, New York, and London, including Deutsche Bank, ABN AMRO, and Mizuho. He has made over 2,500 appearances in the media globally (including BBC, CNN, CNBC, Al Jazeera, TRT World). He holds an MBA, Kellogg Graduate School of Management, Northwestern University and a PhD, Birkbeck College, University of London.