In a recent series of articles, Kobayashi and Grasmick have applied an extended model of deterrence and rational decision-making to a comparative study of Japanese and American workers’ violation of workplace rules. These previous studies draw from control theory in the sociological study of deviance and focus on the costs of noncompliance. The present paper, building on differential association/social learning theory, adds a new dimension—the rewards of compliance—to this comparative project. In workplace settings, decisions by workers to comply or not comply with rules are based on perceptions of punishment associated with noncompliance and on perceptions of rewards associated with compliance. A review of the literature on socialization in Japan compared to the United States leads to two hypotheses: (1) Japanese workers, compared to their American counterparts, perceive greater punishment for noncompliance, and (2) Japanese workers, compared to their American counterparts, perceive lower rewards for compliance. Analysis of survey data collected from hospital employees in Japan and in the United States provides strong support for both hypotheses.


Social and Behavioral Sciences

Publisher statement

This is an electronic version of an article published in NUCB Journal of Economics and Information Science. The definitive version is available at http://mba.nucba.ac.jp/cic/pdf/njeis472/09kobaya.pdf.



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