The Evolving International Political Economy of the Northeast Asia Region: A Focus on Shifting Workplace Orientations and Conditions, 1981–2014

By Jonathan H. Westover.

Published by The International Journal of Interdisciplinary Global Studies

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The vast cross-disciplinary literature exploring worker attitudes and workplace conditions has linked worker experiences to many individual, organizational, and social outcomes, yet this research has largely failed to shed much light on why cross-national differences in worker satisfaction and engagement and their determinants persist over time. Cross-cultural researchers suggest that these differences are due to cultural differences in each country. However, this approach has largely failed to show how countries with similar cultural orientations still experience significant differences and related challenges. Thus, the question remains, what are the causes of these differences and what are their long-term impacts of sustainable economic development and labor prosperity, particularly in the Northeast Asia region? Moreover, much research has been conducted that shows either the general improvement or decline in the quality of work, but few studies have looked at such changes in work quality cross-nationally, over time from the perspective of the workers, while accounting for country-contextual characteristics. This research utilizes attitudinal data from multiple waves of various international social survey databases and country contextual geopolitical and economic data to examine and explore the political and economic structural factors impacting the labor transformation in the region, with a focus on changing societal and work attitudes and values from 1981-2014. Additionally, this research explores practical suggestions for implementing ethical and socially responsible management and organizational practices in the Northeast Asia workplaces moving into the future.

Keywords: International Political Economy, Job Satisfaction, Work Quality, Northeast Asia, Country-contextual Factors

The International Journal of Interdisciplinary Global Studies, Volume 12, Issue 2, June 2017, pp.1-26. Article: Print (Spiral Bound). Article: Electronic (PDF File; 2.249MB).

Dr. Jonathan H. Westover

Associate Professor, Department of Organizational Leadership, Woodbury School of Business, Utah Valley University, Orem, Utah, USA