Saturday, March 13, 1999
10:15 - 11:45 a.m.
Work-Family Benefits Are not Enough: The Importance of Organizational Support
Laura E. Gooler, Ph.D.*, Claremont Graduate University; Jessica L. Wheeler, Claremont Graduate University.
Increased attention to work-family issues in recent years has placed growing pressure on organizations to provide work-family benefits such as child care assistance and alternative work arrangements such as flexible scheduling or work at home. Although anecdotal accounts suggest the benefits of family-supportive programs, little systematic research exists to support these claims. Most employers remain uncertain about what actions would be appropriate and effective, while others question whether they can afford to provide such benefits to their employees. New evidence is emerging that suggests that the quality of the workplace environment (e.g., Galinsky, Bond, & Friedman 1993) also plays a key role in helping employees balance work and personal life. Unfortunately, we still know very little about which types of support and/or organizational resources are most useful or most important to individuals experiencing work-family conflict, or how such forms of support influence these important outcomes, especially in relation to potential individual differences in coping style.
In light of the growing number of women in the workforce who are combining both careers/jobs and family responsibilities, as well as a growing number of males who come from dual income families, it is becoming even more important to identify and better understand the types of resources and support most helpful for balancing work and personal life.
To address these issues, the purpose of this study was to investigate the impact of several types of organizational resources, benefits, and support on work-family conflict and job outcomes, after controlling for individual coping styles, in order to provide guidance to organizations as to the types of organizational resources and support that are most important in alleviating work-family conflict and related negative outcomes. Findings for both main and buffering effects of perceived and actual work-family support measures will be presented. Implications for creating supportive work environments will be discussed.
CORRESPONDING AUTHOR: Laura E. Gooler, Ph.D., Associate Director, Division of Organizational Strategy & Evaluation, Claremont Graduate University, 250 West First Street, Suite 254, Claremont, CA 91711, USA
The Role of Management in Injury and Illness Prevention
Judith A. Erickson, Ph.D., Erickson Associates
Safety and health professionals have long believed that active, visible, and continual management support is necessary to achieve and maintain an effective and efficient safety and health program. To explore the effect of corporate culture, or management philosophy, on safety performance, a nationwide study was conducted. The sample population consisted of practicing safety professionals. Corporate culture results from the assumptions and values of management. These values are reflected in management's actions and behavior. They are transmitted to employees through: what management does; what management pays attention to; what management ignores; and what management measures and controls. Therefore, through management's actions and behavior, employees become aware of the organization's meanings and learn what is expected of them and how to behave. Management characteristics associated with high and low safety performing organizations were identified and quantified. Those characteristics included: management support for safety and health professionals and their effort; management concern for the safety, health, and well being of employees; and management treatment of employees.
In high safety performing organizations, safety and health was equal in importance to other organizational concerns; safety and health was integrated throughout the organization; employees were treated with respect; communication was open and explicit; safety and health professionals held visible management positions; the organization was clean and well-designed; and employees were selected and trained for their positions. I
n low safety performing organizations, production was valued over employee welfare; inadequate resources were provided for the safety effort; safety values were espoused, rather than actual; employees were blamed for their injuries; and the workforce was demoralized.
CORRESPONDING AUTHOR: Judith A. Erickson, Ph.D., Erickson Associates, 14871 Larkspur Circle, Irvine, CA 92604.
Study of Pilot Management Practices Utilized by the St. Lawrence Seaway Pilots Association
Vincent Cantwell, Chair, The Human Factors Group
In 1997 the St. Lawrence Seaway Pilots’ Association, SLSPA, approached the Human Factors Group, HFG, with interest in conducting a study of the pilot management practices being utilized on Lake Ontario and the St. Lawrence River. The pilots were concerned that longstanding work-rest patterns were fatiguing and inconsistent with present regulations and the state of science known or being applied in other transportation and shift working environments. Pilot management strategies are defined by the "Working Rules," which are approved by the St. Lawrence Seaway Development Corporation, SLSDC. Requests for modification of the Working Rules as required to consider existing regulation and the state of the science known, had been denied.
To better evaluate the system and the validity or need for proposed modifications, the HFG and the SLSPA agreed to study both objective and subjective elements of the pilot management system, PMS.
Objective elements included 1) vessel movement data for the years 1996 and 1997, as provided by the SLSPA, and 2) U.S. Coast Guard Marine Inspection Office, MIO, casualty data provided by the U.S. Coast Guard, Marine Safety Office, MSO, Buffalo, N.Y., as received from U.S. Coast Guard Headquarters, Washington, D.C., and 3) incidents provided by the Canadian Seaway Authority, CSA, and 4) internal communications between the SLSPA and the SLSDC, regarding specific undesirable outcomes of the system under investigation by the SLSDC.
Subjective elements included 1) a comprehensive survey of marine pilots, 2) their spouses, and 3) personal interviews of members, spouses, and SLSPA staff, where possible. A trip as pilot observer was also made from Snell Lock to Cape Vincent, N.Y., by a licensed mariner knowledgeable in marine pilot operations.
The purpose of this review was to generally establish 1) the intent and efficacy of the pilot management system in question, 2) a broader and more complete understanding of the work environment, and 3) the state and health of the pilot population and their families. The objective measures of the system to be highly likely to induce or otherwise increase the risk of impaired human performance in the pilot population studied. Undesirable outcomes of the system, such as collisions, groundings, and other marine incidents, were reviewed that appear to have been promoted by the strict application of the work rules defining the system.
Subjective data reviewed indicated a strong probability that present pilot management practices have an undesirable effect on the health and wellness of the pilot population. Adverse health and wellness outcomes were reported that are consistent with those generally attributed to the undesirable outcomes of other shiftworking environments. Adverse health effects were reported by pilot spouses as well. The health and wellness of the pilots is considered an outcome of the system and fundamental to the safety of personnel and the waterway.
For these and other reasons, the HFG rejected the hypothesis regarding the appropriateness of the pilot management practices in use by the St. Lawrence Seaway Pilots’ Association. We further concluded that the system defined by the "Working Rules," does not consistently support the safety of navigation and the protection of the marine environment on the waters of Lake Ontario and the St. Lawrence River.
Responsibility for the oversight of the SLSPA has been since transferred to the United States Coast Guard. Revision of the Working Rules and other elements of the system are presently under the review of the U.S. Coast Guard and other principles and stakeholders in the Seaway system. Certain improvements are anticipated prior to the commencement of the 1999 shipping season.
CORRESPONDING AUTHOR: Vincent Cantwell, Chair, The Human Factors Group, Postal Drawer 498, Linthicum, MD 21090, USA
Enforcing Safety Policies in Remote Hazardous Work Areas
Robert H. Peters, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
Safety policies are an important aspect of many company safety programs, particularly if employees must work in an intrinsically hazardous environment such as a coal mine. At many large coal mines, higher-level managers seldom visit underground work sites. Consequently, the first-line supervisor is often the only person in a position to stop miners from violating safety rules. If supervisors do not take action, it is unlikely that anyone will do anything to stop unsafe behavior until an accident or close call occurs. Unfortunately, there are a variety of reasons why supervisors may wish to simply "look the other way," rather than stop someone from performing an unsafe act. This paper presents some findings on this issue obtained from interviews with 268 miners and 29 first-line supervisors from six different mines. The unsafe practice we focused on was going beneath unsupported mine roof. This behavior is one of the leading causes of fatalities among underground coal miners. The following types of information were collected: (1) opinions from production crew supervisors about why supervisors may ignore miners who go under unsupported roof, (2) miners' expectations concerning how their supervisor would react if he/she found them under unsupported roof, and (3) opinions from supervisors and miners about actions supervisors should take when they find someone under unsupported roof.
The vast majority of miners and supervisors believe that supervisors, in general, should not tolerate the practice of going under unsupported roof. However, only about half of the miners we interviewed thought that their supervisor was likely to take any type of formal action if he/she saw them working under unsupported roof twice within the same week. Several potential explanations for this latter finding are set forth based on information from the interviews, as well as attribution theory research.
CORRESPONDING AUTHOR: Robert H. Peters, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, Pittsburgh Research Laboratory, P.O. Box 18070, Pittsburgh, PA 15236
Benchmarking HRM Practices in Healthy Work Organizations
James H. Browne, University of Southern Colorado
This paper extends the research on Human Resource Management (HRM) practices and organizational effectiveness by demonstrating how the concept of a Healthy Work Organization (HWO) can be incorporated into an organization’s HRM benchmarking effort. A Healthy Work Organization seeks to simultaneously enhance macro-level outcomes (e.g., organizational effectiveness) and micro-level outcomes (e.g., indices of employee well-being such as employee job stress and job satisfaction).
The HWOs concept will identify HRM practices that simultaneously correlate with macro-level measures of organizational outcomes (i.e., organizational effectiveness) and micro-level measures of employee well-being (i.e., employee job stress and job satisfaction).
An ongoing organizational effectiveness initiative by a major manufacturing company with headquarters in the Northeast U.S. provided the context for this study. Employees from 25 different plants responded to a proprietary 160-item survey. The data for this study came from a 1995 organizational effectiveness survey and represents 1,162 employee responses.
The company’s 160-item proprietary survey contained 29 questionnaire items that were subsumed under various HRM practices and which previous studies have correlated to measures of organizational effectiveness. The HRM practices used in this study included: employee communications, continuous improvement, employee empowerment, hiring criteria, training, internal career opportunities, incentive pay, and employment security. The criterion variables were drawn from a pool of twelve questionnaire items that reflected self-reported assessments of organizational effectiveness (as a measure of an organizational-level outcome) and amount of employee job stress and job satisfaction (as measures of individual-level outcomes).
The 29 survey items comprising the independent variables were subjected to a factor analysis with varimax rotation as were the 12 questionnaire items representing the criterion measures. Scales for operationalizing this study’s variables were then developed from those questionnaire items which the factor analyses suggested comprised distinct factors for the independent and criterion variables. Multivariate regression analyses demonstrated that the HRM practices in this study were positively and significantly related to measures of organizational effectiveness and job satisfaction. In addition, the HRM practice variables were significant predictors of employee job stress.
Hospital Restructuring and Work-Family Conflict in Women Nurses
Esther R. Greenglass and Ronald J. Burke, York University, Toronto, Canada
Since the early 1990s, organization in North America have undergone dramatic changes as a result of extensive downsizing, restructuring, and merging, resulting in widespread job loss. Within the health-care system thousands of nurses have lost their jobs and many are experiencing high insecurity regarding their jobs. This is especially true in Canada where hospital beds have been reduced and hospitals are closing regularly. Since most nurses are women, many of whom have families, the study of restructuring necessitates examination of the impact of restructuring on work and family roles. Definitions of work-family conflict portray a bidirectional conceptualization, distinguishing between work interfering with family (W-F) conflict and family interfering with work (F-W) conflict. Inclusion of the W-F conflict allows for study of how job insecurity affects the woman's functioning within the family. By examining effects of individual variables on F-W conflict, we can assess ways in which women with different family roles function within a restructuring context. Results of multiple regressions with W-F and F-W conflict as outcomes, showed that stressors resulting from restructuring such as increased workload and bumping were predictors of W-F conflict in women nurses. Additional findings indicated that self-efficacy was a negative predictor of W-F and F-W conflict. Self-efficacy refers to optimistic self-beliefs about dealing with critical demands. Younger nurses with children reported more F-W conflict. Results demonstrate that restructuring has an impact on work and family roles. They further illustrate the importance of distinguishing between W-F and F-W conflict and of identifying different predictors of each. Health-related implications of the findings for the individual woman are discussed.
Effects of Hospital Restructuring on Full Time and Part Time Nursing Staff
Ronald J. Burke, Ph.D., York University
Nurses represent the largest group of employees in hospitals. In addition, almost half of the nurses in Canada are employed on a part-time basis. Canadian hospitals are increasingly using part-time work arrangements as a way to reduce labor costs.
The health care sector has also been hard hit as a result of lower levels of funding as the Federal and Provincial governments try to reduce their budget deficits. These initiatives have resulted in hospital restructuring and downsizing, mergers, closures and increased use of outsourcing of non-care services. The accumulating evidence on the implementation of restructuring and downsizing and their effects shows limited success and effectiveness.
This study examined the effects of hospital restructuring and downsizing on full-time and part-time nursing staff. Data were collected from 1362 nursing staff using anonymous questionnaires. Measures included personal and situational characteristics, hospital restructuring and downsizing variables, work outcomes and psychological well-being indicators, and work-family experiences. Although full and part-time nurses were significantly different on most personal and demographic characteristics, both groups experienced and described the implementation and effects of hospital restructuring and downsizing similarly. However, full-time nurses reported greater emotional exhaustion and poorer health and indicated greater absenteeism and lower intention to quit.
CORRESPONDING AUTHOR: Ronald J. Burke, York University, Schulich School of Business, 4700 Keele Street, North York, Ontario, CANADA, M3J 1P3
New Organizational Forms: The Strategic Relevance of Future Psychological Contract Scenarios
Paul Sparrow, Sheffield University Management School, Cary Cooper, Manchester School of Management
This paper focuses on a number of processes and transitions that have dominated the world of work in the 1990s, namely downsizing, restructuring and privatization. The drive for efficiency, flexibility and new organizational forms has spawned much critical analysis, forcing us to re-appraise basic assumptions about the nature of jobs, the design and operation of organizations, and the psychological underpinnings of organizational behaviour (OB) and human resource management (HRM). In this paper we present a more socially complete view of the impact of these changes by examining their implications from a qualitative perspective. We argue for a broader analytical and contextual framework than is currently applied and present a range of potential scenarios, each of which requires us to re-assess our assumptions about the future management agenda. The review is used to show that the processes of downsizing, restructuring and privatization herald deep shifts in organization form (the combination of strategy, structure and internal control and co-ordination systems that provide an organization with its operating logic, rules of resource allocation and mechanism of corporate governance). They reflect changes in the pattern of work and society which serve as opportunities (intentional or not) to break up existing HRM patterns, roles and responsibilities and to reconstitute them against a new set of priorities. As such, they are fundamentally influencing HRM by shaping the perceptions that employees have of work. The paradox facing HRM academics is that organizations are asking employees to trust in transition at the very time that the nature of employee trust is itself in transition.
Management academics talk of a ‘new deal’ and generic changes in the ‘psychological contract’. The psychological contract stands alongside other organization-wide frames of analysis and constructs, such as culture, climate and competencies, as a tool which in times of high uncertainty helps practitioners and researchers capture complex phenomena, discriminate between organizations and serve as a basis for predicting individual behaviour. However, analysis of the underlying dynamics it implies creates many uncertainties when we consider the future of work. Studies tend to raise as many questions as they answer. The paper builds on the work-leisure literature of the 1960s and psychological contract literature of the 1990s, and identifies four possible future scenarios. Each is based on different assumptions about the nature of the psychological contract and work-nonwork compensation mechanisms, and the level of stability, transition and perceived breach in the existing contract. The scenarios depict employees as being: self-correcting animals; having limited capacities; showing renewed patterns of diversity in labour market and organizational behaviour; or playing to new rules of the game.
The self-correcting animal scenario states that the ‘contract’ is more stable than many make out, breach of contract is over-stated, work and leisure activities can compensate for each other, and the contract operates from an HRM perspective as an influencable state of mind. We are witnessing a temporary adjustment process, with those who have survived the structural adjustments and personal experience of the job dislocations now finding themselves able once again to imbue their organization with more positive levels of trust and commitment. Certainly evidence for a sustained relationship between the state of the contract and organizational performance or individual behaviour has been questioned on theoretical and empirical grounds. Attitudinal data suggest that deterioration in the contract is restricted to around 20 percent of employees who are less well-educated employees in peripheral jobs, and labour market data also suggest more continuity than change. In the ‘Reconfigured Diversity’ scenario changes in the psychological contract are also assumed to be relatively low, but from an HRM perspective the contract is assumed to operate more as a trait, not as an influencable state of mind. We witness a return of the importance of individual differences as a source of prediction of behaviour, as some people pursue high work intensity or variety patterns whilst others will seek the opposite. Understanding the new patterns of behaviour will lead to a redrawing of the current contours of internal labour market behaviour. However, two other more radical scenarios are also considered. Distinctions are drawn between hard, rational, objective definitions of job insecurity (which suggest relative continuity in organizational behaviour) that focus on external labour markets and use proxy measures of labour market stability such as job turnover/retention rates, or average level of employee tenure – and softer, perceptual and subjective definitions - which suggest more fundamental changes in behaviour.
The ‘Limited capacity’ scenario assumes limits to human capacity which may be breached by changes in the intensity of employment. We witness reactions to new forms of work in terms of the average level of well-being. The paper examines the link between the effects of work hours and health and considers whether we are witnessing temporary – or more permanent - psychological adjustments. Presumed links between commitment, participation, satisfaction, motivation and performance may become ‘submerged’ as part of a short-lived culture shock or stress-reaction process. The motivational power of traditional job design characteristics and work incentives becomes dulled, and during the transition period (i.e. until people adapt to the new realities and traditional psychological linkages return) much of the recommended HRM toolkit is found wanting. In the final ‘New rules of the game’ scenario the change in motivational drivers becomes permanent. The relative importance, centrality and role of job characteristics that have previously been shown to have an important and strong mediating role in core OB relationships is altered. The pursuit of new organizational forms results in new configurations of jobs in terms of working conditions, levels of vigilance, work hours, responsibility levels, accountability, time spans of discretion and degrees of autonomy and control. There is not just a ‘re-weighting’ of the psychological outcomes associated with these factors, but new relationships. Reconfigured job characteristics create a new context which invalidates previous occupational psychology assumptions. Several relationships change: links with our selves in terms of what we want out of work and how we maintain individuality in a world where we either subsume our life to more intense employment, or face no employment at all; relationships with other individuals in a work process that can be altered in terms of social interactions, time patterns and geographical location; co-operative and competitive links between different internal and external constituents of the organization in their new more flexible forms; and the relationships between key stakeholders and institutions such as governments, unions and managers. Major discontinuities mean that the rules of the past no longer guide interventions in the present. We see break-lines appearing in the basic values between generations and even across nations. New work values become solidified and the dynamics of important psychological contracting processes - employee values, motivational needs, attitudes, satisfaction, commitment and trust - become altered and ‘re-set’. We therefore witness not just the re-design of business processes, but also redesign of the mechanisms that underpin the psychological contract. The paper considers the evidence for and implications of each scenario.
Job Stress and Healthy Work Organizations: Perspectives from Japanese Culture
Chair: Takashi Haratani, Ph.D., National Institute of Industrial Health, Japan; Presenters: Norito Kawakami, M.D., Gifu University School of Medicine; Noboru Iwata, Ph.D., University of South Florida; Takashi Asakura, Ph.D., Tokyo Gakugei University and Naotaka Watanabe, Ph.D., Keio University; Discussant: Steven L. Sauter, National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, USA
This symposium focuses on job stress and healthy work organizations in Japanese society. The Japanese economy has achieved remarkable developments after the war. Japanese companies adopted the lifetime employment and seniority-oriented wage system. Teamwork and cooperation with colleagues are required rather than competition. Groups make decisions and take responsibility. But such management system is changing due to recent economic recession, the internationalization and the advances in information technology. And the workforce is also changing. Old workers, women and contingent workers are increasing. These structural changes may increase job stress in Japanese vulnerable workers. However, if appropriate strategies could be taken it is possible to reduce job stress and to create healthy work organizations.
The first speaker, Dr. Kawakami reviews theoretical bases and empirical findings on Japanese culture and job stress. He gives a caution against a simple extension of evidence on job stress from one culture to another culture. Dr. Iwata discusses on cultural differences in the assessment of mental health of Japanese workers. The Japanese have a tendency to suppress the expression of positive affect. This tendency is likely to induce spuriously higher scores of mental health measures for the Japanese than the other cultural groups. Dr. Asakura talks about psychosocial stress of working women. He focuses on situations and problems of Japanese working women. Dr. Watanabe presents various aspects of changing management policy in Japanese companies and their effect on employee well-being based on the results of several surveys. He discusses on the healthy work organization in post-industrialized settings.
This symposium provides an opportunity to exchange the knowledge and experience between Japan and other countries. It will encourage a cross-cultural effort to create healthy work organizations that promote worker health and productivity.
CORRESSPONDING AUTHOR: Takashi Haratani, Ph.D., Division of Work Stress Control, National Institute of Industrial Health, 6-21-1 Nagao, Tama-ku, Kawasaki 214-8585, Japan
Japanese Culture and Job Stress: Toward a Theoretical Integration
Norito Kawakami, M.D., Gifu University School of Medicine
Japan has been paid attention because of its distinctive nature of job stress, such as long working hours, highly reported job stress, Japanese management style and a social concern on "karoshi" (death from overwork). Culture may affect sources and perceptions of job stressor, job stressor-strain relationship and even effective strategies for worksite stress reduction. This paper reviews theoretical bases and empirical findings on possible influence of Japanese culture on job stress and its effects on worker’s health.
Theories of Japanese culture: Markus & Kitayama (1991) have proposed a cross-cultural psychology theory in that Japanese culture might be characterized from "interdependent construal of self". It is important that self-esteem of Japanese is based on ability to adjust, restrain self, and maintain harmony with a social context, while self-esteem comes from confidence on own ability in the U.S. This is consistent with anthropological views of Japanese culture as a vertical society (Nakane, 1970) or collectivism/individualism conceptualization of Asian culture.
Influence of culture on Japanese management style: Japanese management style has been characterized as life-long employment, seniority system, company as a family, group decision making and continuous improvement through involvement of workers. These Japanese management styles seem to be well explained by the characteristics of Japanese culture such as a concern on an appropriate role in a group and achieving the group’ goals.
Influence of culture on psychological process over job stress: Japanese culture may also affect perception of job stressor and expression of strain by individual workers. Empirical studies have suggested that there are differences in perception of job overload, effects of supervisor support and expression of emotions between Japan and the U.S. Individual’s perception of job stress may be affected by group-level job stress in Japan.
Conclusions: Theories of Japanese culture may provide an integrated framework to understand the relationship among culture, Japanese management style and individual’s psychological process over job stress in Japan. This view is partly supported by empirical evidence. This implies a caution against a simple extension of evidence on job stress from one culture (e.g., either Western countries or Japan) to another culture. Culture-specific components of job stress process should be considered in future research on job stress and practice of worksite stress reduction.
CORRESSPONDING AUTHOR: Norito Kawakami, M.D., Department of Public Health, Gifu University School of Medicine, 40 Tsukasa-machi, Gifu 500-8705, Japan
Assessing Mental Health of Japanese Workers: Cultural Differences
Noboru Iwata, Ph.D., University of South Florida
Self-administered psychiatric rating scales have been used as mental health measures in almost all stress surveys in occupational settings. These scales in general consist both of symptom-present items that describe the presence of negative feelings, and of symptom-absent items that describe positive feelings. Symptom-absent items are considered (by researchers in western countries) to indicate the absence of negative feelings. It has been believed that this is an effective way to avoid acquiescent responses through the scale items.
Our recent cross-cultural studies have revealed that the responses of Japanese individuals to symptom-absent (positive) items differed markedly from those of American or Argentineans: i.e., the Japanese individuals were much more likely to report less positive response alternatives, whereas responses to items describing negative symptoms were comparable between the groups. These results were interpreted by Iwata and his colleagues as indicating that "the Japanese have a tendency to suppress the expression of positive affect." This response tendency is likely to induce spuriously higher mean scores of mental health measures for the Japanese than the other cultural groups. It also has a detrimental influence on psychometric properties of the measures.
These results were extracted from analyses using the classical test theory, which may be criticized by its sample-dependent nature. If the corresponding results were obtained by a sample-independent statistical method, the findings are scientifically robust. This provides the rationale for our re-analyses using the Item Response Theory, which is the main topic of the presentation. The other topic includes substantial differences in correlations of perceived job stressors between positive and negative aspects of mental health. Positive mental health was hardly correlated with job stressors, leading to poorer correlations between the total mental health and job stressors such as job demands and work overload. We conclude that positive questions should be dealt with carefully in cross-cultural comparisons.
CORRESPONDING AUTHOR: Noboru Iwata, Ph.D., Center for Research in Behavioral Medicine and Health Psychology, University of South Florida, 4202 East Fowler Avenue/BEH339, Tampa, FL 33620-8200, USA
Psychosocial Stress of Working Women in Japan
Takashi Asakura, Ph.D., Tokyo Gakugei University
In Japan, the Equal Employment Opportunity Law was enacted to achieve the equality of the sex in workplaces in 1986. As a result two carrier courses for female workers were created; "Sogo syoku" which is generally expected to be treated equally compared with male workers, and "Ippan syoku" which is usually limited as for promotion and job scope. But women in Sogo syoku career course are differently treated from men regarding promotion as well as work contents. Thus, women workers must work harder than men to break the invisible wall segregating from the men. In addition, finding new jobs generally became difficult for new female university graduates according to the depression of business after the end of bubble economy. The situation for the working woman has been improved insufficiently.
Despite of the different working life styles between Western countries and Asian countries, the problems of working women are common; 1) balance between work and the home, 2) sexual harassment, 3) lower positions, unequal treatments, narrower job scope, and poorer work contents, 4) man dominant social systems and work organization management.
While the labor force curves for women are seen as the trapezoid in the United States as well as Northern Europe nations, those in Japan and South Korea are demonstrating "M" shape curves. Considering the labor force curves, it is possible to say that in Asian nations such as Japan these problems are more serious. Therefore when women get married, give birth to babies, or bring up children they are obliged to quite their jobs.
To improve the situation for working women in Japan, the Ministry of Labor has defined the Guidance Standards for Maternity Health Care. The Child Care and Family Care Leave Law and the revised Equal Employment Opportunity Law will come into force on April 1, 1999. Harmonious coexistence between working life and family life are promoted. Man dominant culture should be transformed. It is necessary to change the way of our socialization related to sexuality by empowering the woman. Also, the attitude of employers, managers as well as man worker toward women's health and rights, needs to be changed.
CORRESPONDING AUTHOR: Takashi Asakura, Ph.D., Department of Health & Sports Science, Tokyo Gakugei University, 4-1-1 Nukuikita, Koganei, Tokyo 184-8501, Japan
Changing Management Policy and Healthy Work Organizations
Naotaka Watanabe, Ph.D.Keio University
Being influenced by the recent rapid progress of globalization, computerization, and aging of labor force under the prolonged economic recession after the "bubble economy", Japanese style of management is now facing a very critical phase in many practical situations. Particularly its human resource management system is encountering severe challenge from the recent drastic changes of business environment.
When the Japanese economy enjoyed the prosperity, the cause of the success was investigated in various countries. One of the causes was that unique characteristics of its HRM policy fits for the industrialized society, particularly for the production of industrial goods, such as cars, electric devices, etc. At that time, business environment was much more stable and predictable. Nowadays, however, it has become more unstable and unpredictable due to the development of information technology, transportation system, and so on. Therefore it is said that old style of HRM adopted in Japanese companies might not be adaptive to this new business circumstances any more.
Many books and articles about Japanese style of management which were published in the past two or three decades described the unique characteristics as follows: (1) Long-term employment , (2) Seniority wages, (3) Group-based management, (4) Within-company skill acquisition, and (5) Recruitment of new graduates. These "Japanese style of management" are now reexamined and rebuilt in many companies.
In this presentation, various aspects of changing management policy in Japanese companies are firstly illustrated based on the evidence obtained from a survey conducted for company CEOs; (1) Japanese companies tend to adopt more performance based personnel evaluation system, and (2) Seniority wages and long-term employment cannot be maintained in Japanese companies. Secondly, results from additional two surveys are presented. They are; (1) Effects of restructuring to employee job satisfaction, organizational commitment, well-being, and so on, and (2) Contingent workers’ stressors and stress responses as temporary work force. Finally, discussions is addressed about, what is the healthy work organization in post-industrialized settings and how to pursue it from the perspectives of business administration.
CORRESPONDING AUTHOR: Naotaka Watanabe, Ph.D., Department of Organizational Behavior, Graduate School of Business Administration, Keio University, 2-1-1 Hiyoshi Honcho, Kohoku-ku, Yokohama 223-0062, Japan