Middle Managers and Employee Health

Author Name OKUDAIRA Hiroko (Doshisha University) / KITAGAWA Ritsu (Waseda University) / AIZAWA Toshiaki (Hokkaido University) / KURODA Sachiko (Faculty Fellow, RIETI) / OWAN Hideo (Faculty Fellow, RIETI)
Creation Date/NO. April 2024 24-E-053
Research Project Productivity Effects of HRM Policies and Management Quality
Download / Links


Effective health management is crucial for enhancing employee productivity within organizations. Despite this, the impact of health management practices in the workplace, particularly the role of managers on their subordinates' health, remains largely underexplored. Leveraging periodic employee transfers at a large-scale, publicly-listed firm in Japan, this study examines the effects of middle managers on their subordinates' overtime hours and, eventually their health outcomes. Our analysis indicates that manager-driven overtime work correlates with an increased stress burden among male employees in a non-managerial track, who also report a higher incidence of physical symptoms, such as headaches and backaches. Interestingly, our findings reveal divergent associations with the risk of metabolic syndrome across genders. These findings highlight the necessity of developing gender- and career track-specific health support programs to mitigate the health risks associated with excessive overtime work.