University of Oulu

Japanese work-life-balance, gender-gap and relationship with honorific speech in corporate culture analysed through Finnish viewpoint

Saved in:
Author: Karppi, Tuomas1
Organizations: 1University of Oulu, Oulu Business School, Department of Management and International Business, Management
Format: ebook
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 4.7 MB)
Pages: 76
Persistent link:
Language: English
Published: Oulu : T. Karppi, 2019
Publish Date: 2019-06-11
Thesis type: Master's thesis
Tutor: Puhakka, Vesa
Reviewer: Puhakka, Vesa
Kaasila-Pakanen, Anna-Liisa


Natural work-life-balance is important to resistant well-being, however studies claim that Japan has a problem with overworking. Secondly, the gender gap in Japan has been following far behind compared to other developed countries. The one main topic of this research was to open thoughts of female workers about their experiences and attitudes towards gender gap of Japanese working culture. Third main point was the relationship with honorific speech. In Finland the honorific speech is used seldom even in companies, but Japanese language has a complicated system when speaking politely. One aim of this research was to ask Japanese opinions about Finnish style, frankly communication in working life.

This research aims esearch how particular elements and values of Finnish working culture would fit into the Japanese working environment. Based on the previous studies and the interviews which have been conducted in Japan, my aim is to research how these aspects of the Finnish working culture could work in the Japanese environment.

This research revealed two things. First of all, among the interviewees, who were Japanese employees of Japanese companies, mainly everyone had a good work-life-balance, without barely any overwork. This points that Japanese people have not so much problems with overworking and unnatural work-life-balance. And second fiding is about Japanese people’s relationship the honorific speech. It turned out that especially in the business world, Japanese people are rooted to the honorific speech. For example in Finland the honorific speech is used seldom even in companies, mainly everyone of the Japanese who attended to the interviews, couldn’t imagine Japanese company without the honorific speech (keigo) even within the company.

Lastly, the aim of this study was to make the three main points between Finnish and Japanese working culture clearer and better understable with the interviews as a qualitative research. However, even Japanese and Finnish working cultures shares some same elements, especially the relation between honorific speech is differs hugely.

This study was performed in University of Oulu and Nagoya Institute of Technology between January 2018 and May 2019.

see all

Copyright information: © Tuomas Karppi, 2019. This publication is copyrighted. You may download, display and print it for your own personal use. Commercial use is prohibited.