chapter  10
15 Pages

Long working hours and presenteeism in Asia

A cultural psychological analysis
WithLuo Lu, Chun-Yi Chou

This chapter explains the causes and consequences of long working hours in Asia. As Social Cognitive Theory (SCT) postulates, behavioral manifestations depend on the continuous and mutual influences among the external environment, personal cognition, and past behaviors. The same behavior will have different meanings in different locations, different cultural contexts, and for different people. The chapter focuses on analysis of the behavior of working long hours within the Chinese cultural context along with the Confucian root to better understand its meaning and the relevant situational facilitators/constraints. The reasons why people work for long hours encompass an often complex interaction between workplace constraints, institutional regulations, incentives, working conditions, cultural values, macroeconomic climate, and personal motivations. The basic tenet of SCT is that behavior is controlled by the person through the cognitive processes, and by the environment through facilitators and constraints in the external social situations.