Why is going over your boss’s head such a huge crime in Japan?

A real question this one, although strangely from a Japanese friend of a friend…

This is never popular in any country, because it takes away some of your boss’s status. The additional element in Japan is that managers and prospective managers are being judged overwhelmingly on their ability to keep the peace, so any indication like this reaching your boss’s boss could well ruin their promotion chances forever. For more details on this, see the fabulous book “Office Ladies and Salaried Men“, the complete guide to what really goes on in the Japanese office.

Another factor might be the fact that such hierachies were written up in Tokugawa period law (if you went over someone’s head to report their wrongdoings, they might get punished but you almost certainly would as well for stepping out of your place), but I think that is less important in this case.

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1 Comment

  1. mossarelli said,

    June 29, 2008 at 2:19 pm

    It’s like military thing. Don’t question authoroties and don’t question people that are smarter than yourself. By question I mean going against their sayings.


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