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More than 10,000 workers died in 1997 in Japan from work-stress related problems ("Karoshi") . The Japanese are even more workaholic than Americans - a relatively new phenomenon there, according to Testsuro Kato, a professor of political science in Hitotsubashi University.
But what is impact of all this on employment and shape of labour?
The NCOE identifies five common myths pertaining to entrepreneurial growth companies:
The risk taking myth - "Most successful entrepreneurs take wild, uncalculated risks in starting their companies". The hi-tech invention myth - "Most successful entrepreneurs start their companies with a breakthrough invention - usually technological in nature". The expert myth - "Most successful entrepreneurs have strong track records and years of experience in their industries". The strategic vision myth - "Most successful entrepreneurs have a well-considered business plan and have researched and developed their ideas before taking action". The venture capital myth - "Most successful entrepreneurs start their companies with millions in venture capital to develop their idea, buy supplies, and hire employees". Entrepreneurship overlaps with two other workplace revolutions: self-employment and flexitime. The number of new businesses started each year in USA tripled from 1960's to almost 800,000 in 1990's. Taking into account home-based and part-time ventures - number soars to an incredible 5 million new businesses a year. Most entrepreneurs are self-employed and work flexible hours from home on ever-changing assignments. This kaleidoscopic pattern has already "infected" Europe and is spreading to Asia.
Small businesses absorbed many of workers made redundant in corporate downsizing fad of 1980's. They are backbone of services and knowledge economy. Traditional corporations often outsource many of their hitherto in-house functions to such nascent, mom-and-pop, companies (the "virtual corporation"). Small and medium businesses network extensively, thus reducing their overhead and increasing their flexibility and mobility. The future belongs to these proliferating small businesses and to those ever-fewer giant multinationals which will master art of harnessing them.
Sam Vaknin ( http://samvak.tripod.com ) is the author of Malignant Self Love - Narcissism Revisited and After the Rain - How the West Lost the East. He served as a columnist for Central Europe Review, PopMatters, and eBookWeb , and Bellaonline, and as a United Press International (UPI) Senior Business Correspondent. He is the the editor of mental health and Central East Europe categories in The Open Directory and Suite101.