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What Kelly should Do
The most appropriate action that Kelly should take is to call The Conference of Local Authorities for International Relations (CLAIR), since Mr. Higashi is not willing to cooperate with the Assistant Language Teachers (ALTs). When employees sign employment contracts, it is clearly stipulated what each party should do for the other (Lewicki, Barry, & Saunders, 2011).
This was the case with the contract Kelly signed because the number of sick and paid leaves was indicated. She should therefore not be denied sick leave since it is different from the paid one. The treatment she is receiving from Mr. Higashi is thus unwarranted since it violates the employment contract.
Discussing the issue further with him will not be helpful because he has already formed opinions regarding ALT foreign assistants. He is supposed to respond to her concerns when she is asked to sign the forms by the accountant but he excuses himself by saying that he has an important meeting to attend. This implies that he is not ready to talk to her thus her attempts to talk to him will be futile.
CLAIR will handle this problem since it is the organization mandated with the task of looking into issues of ALTs. The body ensures that they are comfortable by maintaining their welfare and counseling them.
In addition, it works towards speedy resolutions of any matters affecting them. They should be accorded the respect they deserve since they play an important role as employees and this includes honoring the contract they signed.
Cause of the Dispute
Kelly’s dispute is that the employment contract she signed stipulates the number of sick and paid leaves entitled to ALT participants. She therefore argues that denying her sick leave contravenes the contents of the contract. She was genuinely sick but after returning to the office, she is forced to sign two days for paid leave instead of the sick one.
Once she informs the accountant and Mr. Higashi of the mistake, they both tell her that it is intentional. Higashi tells her that most of the Japanese employees do not go for their paid leaves for love of their jobs.
She argues that she is not Japanese but he tells her that she probably needs to behave like the Japanese because she is in their country. She is disputing the idea of her sick leave being substituted for a paid one because this implies that the number of paid leaves she is entitled to will be reduced. She feels that he should not treat her in such a manner because this is unreasonable of him.
Importance of Compromise
In such a type of conflict, compromise may be an option. Kelly is a junior while Mr. Higashi is her senior in the workplace. It might be difficult for her to concede compromise but for the sake of her job it is advisable for her to compromise. Employees do not always get what they expect from their employers and all they have to do is to tolerate them (Lewicki, Barry, & Saunders, 2010).
Since she is in Japan for a season, there is no reason why she should pick up arguments with the supervisor. She may be labeled deviant and uncooperative and end up being the loser. For the sake of achieving her goals, she should compromise knowing that she is not in the program for the rest of her life.
Tangible and Intangible Factors
The case has both tangible and intangible factors. The first tangible factor in the negotiation is that by signing a two-day paid leave instead of a sick one, the number of paid leaves that Kelly is entitled to will be reduced.
The second one is that she is not in good terms with Mr. Higashi since he feels that she is not showing full commitment in her work while the third one is that she wants to do things the Canadian way but he tells her to do them the Japanese way.
Apart from the tangible factors, there are also intangible ones. The first intangible factor in the negotiation is that Mr. Higashi focuses on saving the face of the company more than anything else. That is why according to him employees should be fully sacrificial.
The second one is that ALTs are not satisfied with the Japanese style of management because it seems to have some loopholes while the third one is that it is shameful for them not to have joined AJET because it would have addressed their concerns effectively.
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Saving the face is more important to Mr. Higashi more than it is to Kelly. This is because loyalty to the company according to him is paramount. Kelly argues that work should not prevent her from enjoying her life. The intangible factors are more important than the tangible ones.
This is because they cannot be felt but they affect the company significantly in that they determine how the company is perceived by people. Kelly believes that the tangible factors are more important than the intangible ones while Higashi argues that the intangible ones are the most important.
Lewicki, J., Barry, B., & Saunders, D. (2010). Negotiation: Readings, Exercises and Cases. New York: McGraw Hill.
Lewicki, J., Barry, B., & Saunders, M. (2011). Essentials of Negotiation. New York: McGraw Hill.