IDEAS home Printed from
MyIDEAS: Log in (now much improved!) to save this paper

Cultural Effects on Employee Loyalty in Japan and The U. S.: Individual- or Organization-Level? An Analysis of Plant and Employee Survey Data from the 80’s

Listed author(s):
  • Lincoln, James R.
  • Doerr, Bernadette
Registered author(s):

    This paper uses 1980’s survey data on large samples of American and Japanese factories and their employees to examine how organization (factory) cultures then differed between Japan and the U. S. and how they affected employee loyalty – intention to leave or stay. Central to the analysis is the idea, taken from Blau’s seminal 1962 paper, that cultural effects may operate at the individual-level through the values, beliefs, and norms employees accept and “internalize†but also at the group- (including organization-) level through the mechanism of social pressure aimed at inducing conformity. Following Benedict’s classic attribution of a “shame†culture to Japan and “guilt†culture to the U. S., we predict and find that cultural dimensions pertaining to company paternalism/familism and group work shape employee loyalty chiefly at the organization-level in Japan and chiefly at the individual-level in the U. S. This conclusion is qualified, however, by the finding that in both countries the “strength†(within-plant variance) of the culture conditions the size of the cultural effects. They are larger when the culture is stronger. Apart from question of the level at which cultural effects operate, we find, consistent with most expectations, that Japanese employees are more loyal (that is, less inclined to quit) in the presence of organization cultures favoring paternalism/familism, groupism, and vertical cohesion (close/frequent supervision). The reverse is in general true of the American employees.

    If you experience problems downloading a file, check if you have the proper application to view it first. In case of further problems read the IDEAS help page. Note that these files are not on the IDEAS site. Please be patient as the files may be large.

    File URL:;origin=repeccitec
    Download Restriction: no

    Paper provided by Institute of Industrial Relations, UC Berkeley in its series Institute for Research on Labor and Employment, Working Paper Series with number qt8sc9k91b.

    in new window

    Date of creation: 04 Jan 2012
    Handle: RePEc:cdl:indrel:qt8sc9k91b
    Contact details of provider: Postal:
    2521 Channing Way # 5555, Berkeley, CA 94720-5555

    Web page:

    More information through EDIRC

    References listed on IDEAS
    Please report citation or reference errors to , or , if you are the registered author of the cited work, log in to your RePEc Author Service profile, click on "citations" and make appropriate adjustments.:

    in new window

    1. Jacob M. Markman & Eric A. Hanushek & John F. Kain & Steven G. Rivkin, 2003. "Does peer ability affect student achievement?," Journal of Applied Econometrics, John Wiley & Sons, Ltd., vol. 18(5), pages 527-544.
    2. Charles F. Manski, 1993. "Identification of Endogenous Social Effects: The Reflection Problem," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 60(3), pages 531-542.
    3. Quigley, John M. & Raphael, Steven, 2008. "Neighborhoods, Economic Self-Sufficiency, and the MTO Program," Berkeley Program on Housing and Urban Policy, Working Paper Series qt1nd2t0pw, Berkeley Program on Housing and Urban Policy.
    4. Tyler J. VanderWeele, 2011. "Sensitivity Analysis for Contagion Effects in Social Networks," Sociological Methods & Research, , vol. 40(2), pages 240-255, May.
    Full references (including those not matched with items on IDEAS)

    This item is not listed on Wikipedia, on a reading list or among the top items on IDEAS.

    When requesting a correction, please mention this item's handle: RePEc:cdl:indrel:qt8sc9k91b. See general information about how to correct material in RePEc.

    For technical questions regarding this item, or to correct its authors, title, abstract, bibliographic or download information, contact: (Lisa Schiff)

    If you have authored this item and are not yet registered with RePEc, we encourage you to do it here. This allows to link your profile to this item. It also allows you to accept potential citations to this item that we are uncertain about.

    If references are entirely missing, you can add them using this form.

    If the full references list an item that is present in RePEc, but the system did not link to it, you can help with this form.

    If you know of missing items citing this one, you can help us creating those links by adding the relevant references in the same way as above, for each refering item. If you are a registered author of this item, you may also want to check the "citations" tab in your profile, as there may be some citations waiting for confirmation.

    Please note that corrections may take a couple of weeks to filter through the various RePEc services.

    This information is provided to you by IDEAS at the Research Division of the Federal Reserve Bank of St. Louis using RePEc data.