An International Comparison of Factors Related to Long Work Hours

Atsuko Kanai, Gregory A. Laurence, Kiriko Sakata, Tetsushi Fujimoto, Hiroyuki Yamaguchi, Jiro Takai, Atsuko Suzuki, Jinkook Tak

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

2 Citations (Scopus)


This study aimed to examine psychosocial factors related to working long hours, which causes depression, anxiety, and so forth, including karoshi [work to death]. In particular, the issue of working very long hours and its impacts on employees is seen as an urgent issue in Japan, and by clarifying the factors associated with this phenomenon, we aim to contribute to efforts to identify appropriate mitigation measures. We proposed a model of factors related to long work hours from multiple perspectives, and tested it in six countries: China, Finland, Germany, Japan, South Korea, and the United States. Data were collected via a web-based questionnaire survey. Results of hierarchical multiple regression analysis showed that organizational level variables were related to work hours in all six countries, but individual level variables were related to work hours only in the United States. In addition, only in Japan did the maintenance dimension of leadership affect the extension of working hours. Organization level factors, rather than job or individual level factors, should be considered when establishing measures to prevent employees from working excessively long hours.

Original languageEnglish
JournalJapanese Psychological Research
Publication statusAccepted/In press - 2021

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Psychology(all)


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