Investigating role stress experiences of Local Hired Japanese and Non-Japanese Staff in Japanese Subsidiaries in Australia

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Conference Proceeding
Proceedings of the ANZIBA Conference 2007, 2007, pp. 1 - 24
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This qualitative study examines role stress (comprised of role ambiguity and role conflict) experienced by 14 local hired Japanese (LJ) and 23 non-Japanese (NJ) staff in Japanese companies in Australia. Expatriates (N=31) were also interviewed in order to gather information regarding their work relationships with LJ and NJ staff. Both LJ and NJ staff experienced role stress caused by the low level of reliance placed by expatriates and language barriers. NJ staff experienced two additional types of role ambiguity due to their lack of cultural understanding about Japan. LJ staff experienced two types of role conflict which were not experienced by NJ local staff. These were caused by cultural understanding about Australia and their Japanese cultural heritage and understanding of the society and organizational processes. The current study showed that understanding of host country and parent country cultures could reduce role ambiguity. Understanding of host country and parent country cultures could cause role conflict. These findings show a link between culture and role stress experiences, and suggest that cultural understanding could have positive and negative consequences on role stress.
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