Love this! I’m proud of you, G.
ORGB in the News #2
Entrepreneur: A Look at How the Corporate World in Japan is Paying Employees to get a Good
For my second OB in the news submission, I chose an article from the Entrepreneur
magazine titled, A Look at How the Corporate World in Japan is Paying Employees to get a Good
Night’s Sleep. In this article, Komal Nathani discusses a new concept, implemented by a Japanese
wedding organizer startup called Crazy Inc, which consists of remunerating employees who sleep
six hours a night for at least five days a week. This links directly into the main objective of this
course which is getting work done with and through other people.
Japan has always been known for its intensive work culture which leads to sleep
deprivation and hits the productivity of its employees. Throughout this paper, I will tie the article
and concepts learned in the coursework, more specifically to compensation and benefits as
diagnostics of corporate culture. We will see how these tools motivate employees and strengthen
a company’s culture considered as an important determinant of an organization’s strategy.
Crazy Inc, which is co-founded by Kazuhiko Moriyama, is the first wedding planning
company in Japan. They believe that weddings are ceremonies that have enough power to change
a couple’s life, an experience that has to be unforgettable and extraordinary to both the guests and
the wedded. To achieve this goal, Crazy Inc has a full-time creative team consisting of 80 staff
that work four to five months on a single wedding project. They organize the wedding from the
gown to the food and decoration of the ceremony. Some customers consult Crazy, Inc one year
before their big day, so you can imagine the hard work employees have to go through to meet the
customers’ expectations. The article mentions that “Japan is the second most sleep-deprived
country in the world. The […] economic losses up to $138 billion a year, which is 2.92 percent of
its GDP. […] Sleep deprivation is also linked to a higher mortality risk and lower productivity of
employees at work, which results in a significant amount of working days being lost each year.”
The awful work culture in Japan is affecting the productivity of workers and to avoid this,
Kazuhiko Moriyama, improved Crazy Inc’s performance management systems, which is defined
as how people are hired, compensated and educated to do their jobs. He did it by applying a new
concept to its company: paying employees for sleeping at least six hours a day, five days a week.
Employees who achieve this are given points used to buy food in the company cafeteria worth as
much as 64,000 yen ($570) annually. Crazy, Inc tracks its employees’ snooze through a sleep
analysis application called Airweave Inc. Employees simply download the app on their phones,
leave it next to them and the sleep data is recorded. The company also encourages exercising,
healthy diets, child support, vacation days and a positive work environment. The compensation
system is a great tool to diagnose corporate culture, and Moriyama is using it as an employee
motivation which correlates with a happier and healthier culture and hence an improved
productivity. The right culture allows a leader to become a “Good Leader” and Crazy Inc’s CEO
is the perfect example because he understands his employees and helps them find a way to become
better at their job. Crazy Inc is using its distinctive culture to create a unique competitive advantage
from other Japanese organizations and, as seen in class, if done well it turns customers into fans
and employees into advocates. Imagine being paid for sleeping, who wouldn’t love that?
Many theories can be concluded from the article as well as from research such as “If
employees aren’t productive enough because of a lack of sleep, then the corporate culture is
critically affected” or “If a company compensates or offers benefits to its employees, then they
feel motivation and happiness which boosts the company’s culture”.
As Professor Stybel mentioned in class, we should never believe everything that is said and heard.
Primary and secondary research are the best tools to justify an information.
For my secondary research, I looked at several articles on news.gooogle.com and used
different ones to find evidence on the working force situation in the country. According to Fuji
Ryoki, a health-products maker in Japan, “More than 92% of Japanese over the age of 20 say that
they aren’t getting enough sleep” (Bloomberg, 2018). Japan is known for its ‘death by overwork’
culture that they even baptized ‘Karōshi’. The main medical reasons for this type of death are heart
attacks, stroke, stress and starvation diet (BBC, 2017). A quarter of companies admitted that their
employees were working more than 80 hours of overtime per week (CBS News, 2017), which
explains the extreme fatigue workers experience. Japanese companies are tied to a culture that they
overlook especially because it does not appear on their balance sheet. They worry so much about
the external performance of the organization, that they don’t invest enough in the corporate culture
which is the core to a stable organizational behavior. Additionally, I looked at another article titled
Want a Better Culture? Set Compensation Strategy Accordingly, on PayScale, a website that
provides information about salary, benefits, and compensation. It reinforced the idea that
compensation and culture of an organization are linked. The article claims that “57 percent of
organizations agree that compensation is becoming more important to their executives” and
mentions that “companies put their mission statement or their values in writing on the wall.
However, it typically matters more to employees that organizations live their values than that they
proudly display them”.
We visited this concept in class with the Pregnant Women exercise where many companies
advertise the benefits for pregnant employees offered, but few actually implement them.
Nice tie in with what we have done in class!
After reading these articles, it confirmed that employees don’t experience intrinsic rewards,
in harsh working cultures which as seen in class, happen when a worker is performing for his/her
own satisfaction. They rather experience fatigue and a vicious rhythm of life. The horrible work
environment Japanese employees go through shows that Crazy Inc is wisely using compensation
and benefits as a tool to motivate its employees and bump the organizational culture. It is time for
more companies in Japan to take initiative and change this awful culture which, as Prof. Stybel
constantly mentions, eats strategy for breakfast. Yes!
As a primary research, I contacted my cousin, who worked in a Japanese startup in Tokyo
called Mercari. This application makes it easier for customers to buy or sell anything from fashion
to toys they own. During her time there, I remember her telling me how horrible the work
environment was, but I never understood why. So, I decided to reach out to her and see if there is
a common organizational problem between Mercari and Crazy Inc. I proposed the following Likert
Question “On a scale of 0 to 10 how important is employee compensation to the productivity and
the culture of a company?” to which she answered 10. Here’s what she explained: At first, she
thought that being part of a startup would be an amazing experience in which she would be able
to work with a team of young people, hang out with them and balance work life and fun with her
colleagues. A few weeks later, she was very disappointed by slowly realizing that employees were
like robots, they worked, worked and never stopped! It was important for them to excel in their
tasks and give as much of their time and effort as possible. This was mainly to satisfy the boss who
was very strict on the different errands he demanded.
I linked this idea to the competing values framework, in which we would put Mercari in
the hierarchy section of the diagram.
Nice tie in
Everything is under control and needs to be done right. My cousin added that employees
would even eat at their desk every day instead of going outside to get some new air to refresh. At
7 P.M the lights in the office were still on and the majority of chairs were still full. The environment
was depressing, employees were always exhausted and never enthusiastic. There was no
communication nor collaboration between them. Mercari almost never organized events to
strengthen employees’ relationships. The startup didn’t have a strong compensation system. No
benefits. This unmotivating environment affected her performance a lot. She mentioned that she
could have given more of her aptitudes to the company, but nothing motivated her. Her position
was interesting, and she could have learned a lot from it. This reminded me of when Prof Stybel
mentioned “the right job in the wrong culture guarantees misery” and I asked her to keep that in
mind when looking for her future internship/job and highlighted how culture is one of the most
important assets of a company.
I also added that she really needs to do a good research because what the company’s
website says is not always true. My cousin felt that something was missing in this startup to
transform Mercari into a happy place, but she wasn’t sure what it was. Fortunately, she had a friend
with her working in Mercari too, and they both wanted to discuss with the CEO to change this
As young interns, they didn’t know what to propose to him because they couldn’t really
understand the origin of this depressed place and what really needed to change here. Again, I
introduced to her another fact seen in the coursework: a culture is hard to copy and change. Once
there, it is very challenging to modify it in any way. Today, her friend got a full-time job at Mercari
and when we contacted her, she told us that the culture and work environment has changed since
their internship. What motivated the employees mostly was the benefits and compensation they
received. The company cut down the overtime hours to 90 minutes, offered many benefits like
fitness and paid vacation to the employees.
I would agree with the fact that compensation and benefits are definitely great ways to
motivate employees and create a better culture. The initiative can be as original as Crazy Inc’s
Finally, to stay innovative, on Monday morning at 8:30 A.M. I would continue to
constantly look for processes to motivate employees and give them the opportunity to socialize
between each other. One would be building FIKAs to turn workers into chum. Ok that is specific.
I would create an algorithm where every Friday three people are picked randomly to go for lunch
or coffee break together. This encourages bonding between the employees. I would organize yearly
retreats to help them escape from their routine. On Monday Morning meetings I would ask the
team to bring in items such as for example, a childhood object that still affects them today or that
hides an anecdote about the person to share with colleagues. All of these behavioral initiatives
would create a great work environment and culture which would improve productivity and
happiness amongst the workers.
In conclusion, healthy people lead healthy businesses. By investing in your employees’
emotional wellbeing, you will not only be guaranteed a nutritious, happy and motivated workforce
but also an advanced business performance, culture, and economic growth. As seen in the
coursework: congruence between an individual’s values and the organization’s values are
associated with organizational culture, commitment, job satisfaction, low intention to quit and this
has to always be considered when looking at organizational behavior.
Nathani, K. (2018, October 22). A Look at How the Corporate World in Japan is Paying Employees
to get a Good Night's Sleep. Retrieved from https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/322098
Diaz, A. (2017, April 16). Grueling work hours trigger a spike in suicides by Japanese employees.
Retrieved from https://www.cbsnews.com/news/karoshi-japan-rise-suicide-employees-overtimehours-work/
Lane, E. (2017, June 02). The young Japanese working themselves to death. Retrieved from
Nathani, K. (2018, October 22). A Look at How the Corporate World in Japan is Paying Employees
to get a Good Night's Sleep. Retrieved from https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/322098
The Company That Pays Its Employees to Get a Full Night's Sleep. (n.d.). Retrieved from
Want a Better Culture? Set Compensation Strategy Accordingly. (2017, September 28). Retrieved
MUCH improved!!! The ONLY weak section was Monday Morning at 8:00. This could have
been an A paper. The rest of it was very, very strong.
Organizational Behavior in the News Part II
State Police Got Many Warnings on Payroll Abuse. And They Did Nothing
The article I chose to use as the basis for my research was titled State Police Got Many
Warnings on Payroll Abuse. And They Did Nothing written by Kay Lazar and Matt Rocheleau,
published in The Boston Globe. They focused on the recent but ongoing sandals and corruption
plaguing the Massachusetts State Police related to falsified overtime, embezzlement, sick day
abuse, missing payroll records, and altering detail start times. These issues were not contained
to one Troop but all six Massachusetts State Police (MSP) barracks. This issue is of interest to
me as I am a Massachusetts resident and tax payer, and therefore am both directly and
indirectly affected by these scandals. Additionally, this is interesting because the corporate
culture, or in this case organizational culture, that allows for these problems to arise and then
go unnoticed, get covered up, or be allowed entirely, affects not just one Troop of the MSP but
each Troop, all with different employees, leadership, and geographical locations. It is an
amazing ongoing case on corporate culture and how the right factors can lead to and allow
corruption, stealing, and more within a business or organization. This is directly related to many
of the cores of our course including corporate culture, compensation, business ethics, and
leadership. Good overview, Kevin.
Xiaoding Liu did a study on corporate culture and corporate misconduct in the Journal of
Financial Economics. His study was designed to find empirical and tangible evidence related to
the connection between corporate culture and the actual acts of corporate misconduct,
including fraud, backdating, earnings manipulation, and opportunistic insider trading. Liu found
that companies who had cultures and leaders more open to corruption had direct correlations
to increased corporate misconduct (Liu, 2016). Although not very surprising, Liu’s goal was to
prove this hypothesis through empirical evidence which he was able to do. For example, he
found that “the effects [of the study] are also economically significant: a one standard deviation
increase in a firm’s corruption culture is associated with an increase in the likelihood of
corporate misconduct by about 2–7%” (Liu, 2016). This data shows not only that corporate
culture and misconduct are related, but that the level of acceptance of corruption actually
affects how much misconduct is present.
What this tells me, is that as corruption is more widely known about and allowed, the
original perpetrators may commit more acts of misconduct, and more importantly, those that
were not perpetrators now may be.
When Rudi Gulliani was major of New York City he went on a big campaign to arrest
people who were writing gaffitti on the subway. The New York Times asked if this is the most
important think to do for a wave of crime and fear in the City? Graffitti????
Turns out Gulliani was right.
He set the bar: we will come down strong on you if you write on the subway wall. By
setting a clear standard it had an impact on ALL crime in the city.
All of this information tied together paints a good picture as to why these issues of
misconduct are happening in the MSP. With a culture and leadership that allows so much
misconduct, according to Liu’s research it makes sense as to why we are seeing misconduct in
all 6 barracks, and why we continue to see more and more scandals appear.
Similar to Liu’s research, Felicity Fallon and Barry Cooper wrote a case titled Corporate
Culture and Greed – The Case of the Australian Wheat Board. In this case, the focused on the
Australian Wheat Board (AWB) which was involved in a kickback scheme with the Hussien
regime in Iraq in the early 2000’s. Fallon and Cooper sought to find out how corporate culture
can lead to greed and corruption. To do so, they first used Edgar Schein’s framework for
determining and analyzing corporate culture. Through this, they found that there was a culture
of dishonesty and corruption at AWD during the time of their kickbacks. Fallon and Cooper
argue that the culture was a great contributor to the kickback scandal. Looking at this case,
along with Liu’s research and the ongoing actions at the MSP, it is hard to do anything but
agree. A corporate culture that allows for dishonesty and misconduct will breed more
dishonesty and misconduct. The only caveat to this point could have to do with the number of
people involved in the misconduct. Maybe a culture of allowing corruption just makes it easier
for them to get caught, as employees are less careful. While cultures that frown upon
misconduct might not be in the spotlight because no one – internally or externally – is looking
for the potential misconduct. Although unlikely to be the majority of the cases, these scenarios
could skew the results of what we think we know.
Looking to support or refute this research I conducted my own primary research with
two Leichardt (Likert) syle questions. The first question I asked participants was “On a scale of
1-10, how likely would you be in future professional endeavors to manipulate your timesheet to
get paid more than what you are actually working?” The second question was “On a scale of 110, how likely would you be in future professional endeavors to manipulate your timesheet to
get paid more than what you are actually working if you know 25% of your colleagues are doing
the same?” I asked these two questions to 27 Northeastern students. For the first question,
about 81% of the participants responded with a 5 or less, meaning they were not likely to
manipulate timesheets. However, for the second question, the same participants said that only
about 52% of them would be at a 5 or lower. 13 of the respondents said they would be
between a 6-10, compared to only 5 after the first question.
Very interesting. Very good questions!
This backs up the prior research as it shows that significantly more people are willing to
engage in misconduct if they know there are other people doing it. A culture that allows room
for corruption will lead to more and more misconduct.
The takeaways from this are hard to put into actions. Corporate culture is just that – a
culture – it is ingrained in the organization and the people that make it up. There is no way to
change it overnight. What that means for me on Monday at 8:00am, is starting with the short
term. Creating new rules that would lead to severe penalties for corruption related misconduct
that benefits the individual employee or hurts the standing of the firm as a whole. Additionally,
I would create rewards for whistleblowers who are able to repor ...
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