13 Mar 2012

Sample Essay: Work Ethic

There are many aspects in the society and individuals that have shaped the economy since the years of communism to the current times of capitalism. These factors are responsible for the former and current work ethics amongst people. In addition, the generational and cultural trends in the world have become distinct and this is a matter of concern as some of the trends are profitable while others lead to economic losses. The discussion in this paper examines the changes in cultural trends, economic situations and employee-employer relations.

What cultural/generational trends can you identify in employee relations and work ethics discussed in the two articles?

In the two articles, the matter of unemployment stands out. It is evident that the relations between employers and employees are not very profound and the Japanese case is used as a referral point. Between the two generations, it is evident that the way individuals relate to their employers is not usually appropriate. A case example is Masao Ohashi who after being jobless for over 15 years still cannot apply work ethics when applying for unemployment benefits. It is evident that the way individuals relate is astounding and this has led to the fall of many people thus leading to the probable unemployment rates in Japan (Thomton, 1998, p. 2). It is evident that there is a difference in generations because the way people relate is usually changing with times. The other matter that is of concern is the freeters. These are people who do not have a stationary workplace but are constantly changing jobs (Takashi, 2006, para. 9). These people pose a risk as they eventually make the economy to collapse since their productivity levels cannot be measured. In a survey carried out in Japan, people tend to switch from one job to the other and this leads to the overall decline of the work balance. In the long run, they may end up jobless, which may lead to an overall decline in the economic activities in the country.  Employees related poorly with their employers, but there has been a positive gradual change in recent years.

What aspects of this social, cultural, and economic situations described in the two articles would you attribute to communitarian and/or individualistic cultural tendencies?

There are many aspects of the community that have been changing and are perceived to go through constant changes, and the most notable is the way in which people relate. In earlier generations, people related with each other on the basis of communism. In the past communism world, people were forced to dress and think in the same way. This collectiveness meant that individuals had to develop unilateral ideas, which meant that they were subjected to the same treatment in the society. This led to stagnation in economic and social growth. This was a negative issue since it stood in the way of progress (John, 2000, p. 1). It is important to encourage individualistic ideas and this means that the communist ideologies were not favorable to the overall growth of the economy and individual strengths. The changing world has changed communist ideologies since people are becoming open minded and moving away from the unity of thoughts and ideas.

Difference in Japan and U.S in regards to employee-employer relations, unemployment, and work ethics

There is a great difference in the two countries in regard to these factors. This is because in Japan, the relations between the employer and the employee have not yet been fully realized and this has led to overall strain in the workplace. In the United States, the relations between the employers and employees are more profound in comparison with Japan. In addition to this, the unemployment rates in the two countries are high. However, the rates of unemployment in Japan continue to rise as more companies lay off workers. This negatively affects the economy and the country (Yūji, 2007, p. 29).


It is evident in the researched articles and reports that there is a significant change in terms of the social and economic structure. These trends have led to the distinct characteristics that are meant to dictate the way in which human beings relate with each other. Overall, culture has shaped the economic situations in many countries. In conclusion, therefore, there is no ultimate economic approach that could be termed as the best, but there are ways and means of getting the best out of all the approaches.


John, W. (2000). Individualism vs. Communitarianism. Journal of Social ethics , 1.

Takashi, K. (2006). Weak work ethic is holding back generation of ‘freeters’ and drifters. Japan: Japan Times.

Thomton, E. (1998). Japan Hidden jobless. Japan: Academic Search Elite.

Yūji, G. (2007). Jobless Youths and the NEET Problem in Japan. Social Science Japan Journal , 23-40.

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