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Employee wellbeing and human sustainability: Perspectives of managers in large Japanese corporations

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  • Kazunori Kobayashi
  • Gabriel Eweje
  • David Tappin

Abstract

Employee wellbeing and human sustainability have become increasingly acute issues within Japanese businesses. However, large corporations find it difficult to improve employee wellbeing and human sustainability in areas such as work‐life balance, flexibility and gender diversity. To investigate the nature of conflicts, we conducted in‐depth interviews with 12 managers with corporate social responsibility in eight large Japanese corporations and industries. From the thematic analysis, we identify the nature of conflicts that arise when promoting employee wellbeing: resources, family, stakeholder and partners; meritocracy as opposed to gender equality; indirect discrimination due to uneven care responsibilities; and external pressures on work hours. Additionally, personal and corporate growth was identified as a potential area of synergy. Our findings suggest that while Japanese corporations are unwilling to address these internal and external conflicts, employee wellbeing and human sustainability remain an aspiration.

Suggested Citation

  • Kazunori Kobayashi & Gabriel Eweje & David Tappin, 2018. "Employee wellbeing and human sustainability: Perspectives of managers in large Japanese corporations," Business Strategy and the Environment, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 27(7), pages 801-810, November.
  • Handle: RePEc:bla:bstrat:v:27:y:2018:i:7:p:801-810
    DOI: 10.1002/bse.2032
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    References listed on IDEAS

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    7. Sakka, Georgia & Ahammad, Mohammad Faisal, 2020. "Unpacking the relationship between employee brand ambassadorship and employee social media usage through employee wellbeing in workplace: A theoretical contribution," Journal of Business Research, Elsevier, vol. 119(C), pages 354-363.
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    9. Enrico Fontana & Hyemi Shin & Chikako Oka & Jos Gamble, 2022. "Tensions in the strategic integration of corporate sustainability through global standards: Evidence from Japan and South Korea," Business Strategy and the Environment, Wiley Blackwell, vol. 31(3), pages 875-891, March.
    10. Alina Benyaminova & Martin Mathews & Paul Langley & Alison Rieple, 2019. "The impact of changes in stakeholder salience on corporate social responsibility activities in Russian energy firms: A contribution to the divergence/convergence debate," Corporate Social Responsibility and Environmental Management, John Wiley & Sons, vol. 26(6), pages 1222-1234, November.
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