【令和元年度 一般公募プロジェクト】The role of middle-managers’ responsibility and opportunity-focused leadership mindsets for subjective well-being and health
研究課題 The role of middle-managers’ responsibility and opportunity-focused leadership mindsets for subjective well-being and health
研究代表者 Goebel Matthias Steffen Brunel University London
本センター担当教員 内田有紀子 京都大学こころの未来研究センター 教授
中山真孝 京都大学こころの未来研究センター 特定助教
The mortality rate of Japanese managers was the third highest across all occupations in Japan in 2010 , twice that of professional workers, and four times that of clerks. Poor health amongst Japanese managers ha s increased over the last 20 years, and their suicide risks have skyrocketed by 271% since the 1990s , w hilst overall suicide rates have declined. Many of the at risk managers in Japan are middle managers ( 中間管理職 ), who are part of the semi executive management with attractive salaries and frequent interpersonal interactions with their subordinates . Importantly , epidemiological research in the UK shows that managers have better health and lower suicide rates compared to their subordinates. Why do Japanese but not British middle managers show poor health, reduced wellbeing, and high suicide risk? We aim to provide a cultural psychological explanation to this puzzle and to identify the underlying psychological mechanism.
Before we can change people’s behaviours, we need to understand what drives their actions. Epidemiologists often propose structural explanations for health disparities between managers and subordinates, including longer working hours. Whilst these are important factors, less attention has been paid to psychological explanations. A growing body of research shows that culturally shared mindsets and beliefs significantly impact individuals’ health and well being. Building on this literature, we theorise that cultural differences in the understanding of the managerial r ole influence middle managers’ responses to demanding situations . In Japan more than in the UK, middle managers might adopt a leadership mindset that emphasises their responsibility for subordinates over opportunities for decision making. The burden of the greater responsibility that Japanese middle managers experience, in turn, can have detrimental psychological and physiological consequences . We will test this theory in a large scale cross-cultural survey . The results will establish new pathways towards evidence-based interventions improving middle managers’ health and well being.
The role of the collaborative researchers (Drs. Uchida & Nakayama) will be to jointly discuss appropriate survey items, clarify the data analysis strategy, assist with resources (e.g., RA training) to prepare data collection in Japan and co author academic presentations and scientific publications.