Case Study – Sick Leave
Personality and Value based
Analysis of Decisions and Issues
TABLE OF CONTENTS
2. CRITICAL DECISIONS1
2.1 Key Decision 1 - Recruitment1
2.2 Key Decision 2 - Contract2
2.3 Key Decision 3 - Training2
3.1 National Cultures and Values3
3.1.1 Power Distance4
3.1.2 Uncertainty Avoidance4
3.1.5 Long-term Orientation5
Kelly and two other westerners working in Japan on the JET program had a dispute with their Japanese supervisor over sick leave. This report aims to analyze the decisions and issues in the case study from a personality and values perspective.
The key decisions identified are in relation to recruitment, contract and training. The JET program did not require the ALT candidates to have any knowledge of Japanese. The salaries received by the JET participants were considered unfair by their Japanese colleagues. The contract received by the JET participants were ambiguous and imprecise. In addition, the Japanese employees in the host institution expected the foreigners to work like the Japanese rather than following the terms of their contract. The program provided pre-departure training for JET participants, but did not provide the same level of training for Japanese employees on how to work with foreigners.
Based on Hofstede’s Framework, it is found that the weaknesses of the decisions were mainly due to the differences in values of Japanese and western cultures. Japan is a society with high power distance, extremely high uncertainty avoidance, strong collectivism, strong masculinity and a long-term vision, whereas western societies have almost the opposite values. The seniority-based salary system, lifetime employment, the expectation to conform to social norms, dedication to work, loyalty to the employers and a male-dominated workplace are all features of the Japanese management system that the JET participants were unaware of.
It is recommended that the JET program reassess its recruitment policy to include Japanese as a compulsory requirement for candidates, and adjust the salary package to reflect the seniority-based culture. It is also recommended to draft a rigorous contract to avoid any ambiguity. In addition to making the pre-departure training compulsory, Japanese employees should receive the same level of cross-cultural training. Moreover, better Personality-Job fit and Person-Organization fit may be achieved if applicant’s personalities are taken into account in the recruitment process.
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Kelly, Mark, Andrea and Suzanne, all in their 20’s, were hired by the JET program to work in Japan. During their placement, there was a bitter dispute between them and Mr. Higashi, the supervisor of the foreign JET participants, over sick leave. This report aims to explore the critical decisions and issues in this case from a personality and values perspective. Firstly, the critical decisions regarding recruitment, contract and training will be analyzed. Secondly, there will be a discussion of the issues in national culture, values and personality. Finally, recommendations will be provided to facilitate future improvement.
2. CRITICAL DECISIONS
2.1 Key Decision 1 - Recruitment
The JET program made the decision of hiring native English speakers to assist in foreign language teaching in Japan. The positions of Coordinator for International Relations (CIR) and Assistant Language Teacher (ALT) both required the candidates to have a university degree and an interest in Japan. CIRs were required to have a functional knowledge of Japanese, but ALTs were not required to do so. The above recruitment decision recognized the importance of native-speakers in foreign language teaching and the educational background of the candidates,...
References: Adhikari, D. R. (2005) National Factors and Employment Relations in Japan, Japan Institute of Labour Policy and Training, Tokyo. Available from [accessed: 30/10/2013].
Oishi, S., Hajm, J., Schimmack, U., Radhakrishan, P., Dzokoto, V. and Ahadi, S. (2005), ‘The measurement of values across cultures: a pairwise comparison approach’, Journal of Research and Personality, 39, pp.299-305.
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