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Good boss, bad boss, workers’ mental health and productivity: Evidence from Japan

Sachiko Kuroda () and Isamu Yamamoto ()

Japan and the World Economy, 2018, vol. 48, issue C, 106-118

Abstract: It is widely believed that the relationship between a supervisor and his/her employees greatly affects employees’ well-being and/or productivity. However, only a few papers in the economics literature analyze how supervisors influence employees’ well-being and enhance productivity. This paper uses longitudinal data of employees with information about their immediate bosses’ ability, management skills, and characteristics (such as competency, communication skills, and personality traits) to investigate the influence of supervisors on employees. The main findings are as follows. First, even after controlling for individual-specific fixed effects and other job characteristics, such as those proposed in the job strain model, we find that supervisors’ good communication with staff and competency in managerial tasks significantly improve employees’ mental health. Second, we find that good communication between the boss and his/her staff enhances the latter’s productivity and lowers presenteeism. Third, supervisors’ bad communication and low competency increase the probability of quitting. Fourth, good communication partially depends on boss–staff compatibility, which is governed in part by their combined personality traits.

Keywords: Supervisors; Workplace relationships; Supervisor competence; Workplace communication; Mental health; Productivity; Employee retention (search for similar items in EconPapers)
JEL-codes: I10 J24 J28 J63 M54 (search for similar items in EconPapers)
Date: 2018
References: View references in EconPapers View complete reference list from CitEc
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Working Paper: Good Boss, Bad Boss, Workers' Mental Health and Productivity: Evidence from Japan (2016) Downloads
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Persistent link: https://EconPapers.repec.org/RePEc:eee:japwor:v:48:y:2018:i:c:p:106-118

DOI: 10.1016/j.japwor.2018.08.002

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