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Cross-cultural comparison of mental health between Japanese and Dutch workers: relationships with mental health shame, self-compassion, work engagement and motivation

Cross-cultural comparison of mental health between Japanese and Dutch workers: relationships with... The primary purpose of this descriptive study was to compare the levels of, and relationships among mental health problems, mental health shame, self-compassion, work engagement and work motivation between workers in Japan (collectivistic and success-driven culture) and the Netherlands (individualistic and quality-oriented culture).Design/methodology/approachA cross-sectional design, where convenience samples of 165 Japanese and 160 Dutch workers completed self-report measures about mental health problems, shame, self-compassion, engagement and motivation, was used. Welch t-tests, correlation and regression analyses were conducted to compare (1) the levels of these variables, (2) relationships among these variables and (3) predictors of mental health problems, between the two groups.FindingsDutch workers had higher levels of mental health problems, work engagement and intrinsic motivation, and lower levels of shame and amotivation than Japanese workers. Mental health problems were associated with shame in both samples. Mental health problems were negatively predicted by self-compassion in Japanese, and by work engagement in Dutch employees.Originality/valueThe novelty of this study relates to exploring differences in work mental health between those two culturally contrasting countries. Our findings highlight potential cultural differences such as survey responding (Japanese acquiescent responding vs Dutch self-enhancement) and cultural emphases (Japanese shame vs Dutch quality of life). Job crafting, mindfulness and enhancing ikigai (meaningfulness in life) may be helpful to protect mental health in these workers, relating to self-compassion and work engagement. Findings from this study would be particularly useful to employers, managers and staff in human resources who work with cross-cultural workforce. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Cross Cultural & Strategic Management Emerald Publishing

Cross-cultural comparison of mental health between Japanese and Dutch workers: relationships with mental health shame, self-compassion, work engagement and motivation

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Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
© Emerald Publishing Limited
ISSN
2059-5794
DOI
10.1108/ccsm-02-2020-0055
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

The primary purpose of this descriptive study was to compare the levels of, and relationships among mental health problems, mental health shame, self-compassion, work engagement and work motivation between workers in Japan (collectivistic and success-driven culture) and the Netherlands (individualistic and quality-oriented culture).Design/methodology/approachA cross-sectional design, where convenience samples of 165 Japanese and 160 Dutch workers completed self-report measures about mental health problems, shame, self-compassion, engagement and motivation, was used. Welch t-tests, correlation and regression analyses were conducted to compare (1) the levels of these variables, (2) relationships among these variables and (3) predictors of mental health problems, between the two groups.FindingsDutch workers had higher levels of mental health problems, work engagement and intrinsic motivation, and lower levels of shame and amotivation than Japanese workers. Mental health problems were associated with shame in both samples. Mental health problems were negatively predicted by self-compassion in Japanese, and by work engagement in Dutch employees.Originality/valueThe novelty of this study relates to exploring differences in work mental health between those two culturally contrasting countries. Our findings highlight potential cultural differences such as survey responding (Japanese acquiescent responding vs Dutch self-enhancement) and cultural emphases (Japanese shame vs Dutch quality of life). Job crafting, mindfulness and enhancing ikigai (meaningfulness in life) may be helpful to protect mental health in these workers, relating to self-compassion and work engagement. Findings from this study would be particularly useful to employers, managers and staff in human resources who work with cross-cultural workforce.

Journal

Cross Cultural & Strategic ManagementEmerald Publishing

Published: Sep 3, 2020

Keywords: Cross-culture; Japanese workers; Dutch workers; Work mental health; Self-compassion; Work engagement

References