A Case Study of Conflict Resolution Between a JET Participant and His Supervisor

1. Introduction

This paper provides a case study about conflict resolution concerning the Japanese Exchange and Teaching (JET) program. The major cause of the conflict is communication problems. The JET program, which is designed to promote internationalization at the local level in Japan, has been in existence since 1987. It is one of the largest cultural exchange programs sponsored by the Japanese government, with over 60,000 participants from more than 60 countries (Wikipedia, 2020).

The JET program aims to improve international understanding and promote foreign language education in Japan. It does this by placing foreign nationals in local authorities and schools to work as Assistant Language Teachers (ALTs), and by providing support for co-ordinators for international relations (CIRs) (JET Programme UK, 2020).

The JET Program has been successful in promoting internationalization at the local level in Japan. However, there have been some cases of conflict between JET participants and their supervisors. This is due to the fact that JET participants come from a variety of cultural backgrounds, and they may not be familiar with Japanese working culture. In addition, the language barrier can also lead to communication problems.

In this paper, I will discuss a case of conflict between a JET participant and his supervisor. I will first describe the background of the conflict, and then I will analyze the conflict using the theoretical framework of negotiation and conflict resolution. Finally, I will offer some suggestions on how to resolve the conflict.

2. Background of the Study

I am a JET participant from the United Kingdom, and I have been working as an ALT in a high school in Japan for two years. I have generally found my experience to be positive; however, I have had some problems with my supervisor. My supervisor is a senior officer in the school, and he is responsible for managing the ALTs. He is a very traditional Japanese man, and he has very strict rules about how ALTs should behave and work. For example, he expects ALTs to arrive at school early in the morning to prepare for classes, and he does not allow them to take days off work unless it is absolutely necessary.

My supervisor also has a very negative attitude towards ALTs who break the rules or who are perceived to be lazy or disrespectful. For example, he once told me that I was “lazy” because I did not arrive at school early enough to prepare for my classes. He also said that I was “disrespectful” because I did not stand up when he entered the room (this is not customary in the UK).

I have found my supervisor’s behavior to be very frustrating, and it has led to several arguments between us. Recently, our relationship has deteriorated further because my supervisor has been critical of my placement at the school. He thinks that I am not working hard enough because I am not teaching as many classes as other ALTs. He has also said that he does not think I am suited to working in a high school because I am “too laid back”.

3. Theoretical Framework

In this section, I will use the theoretical framework of negotiation and conflict resolution to analyze my conflict with my supervisor. According to Fisher et al. (1991), there are four basic elements of negotiation: interests, options,BATNAs, and ZOPPs.

Interests are the needs, wants, and concerns that each party has in a negotiation. In my conflict with my supervisor, my interests include being treated fairly, being respected as a professional, and being able to work in a positive environment. My supervisor’s interests include maintaining discipline among the ALTs, ensuring that ALTs are working hard, and preventing ALTs from breaking the rules.

Options are the possible solutions to a problem that the parties in a negotiation can choose from. In my conflict with my supervisor, some of the options that I have considered include finding a new job, going back to the UK, or confrontational behaviors such as arguing with my supervisor or telling him off. However, these options are not ideal because they would not address the underlying causes of the conflict, and they could make the situation worse.

BATNAs are the best alternative to a negotiated agreement. In my conflict with my supervisor, my BATNA is to find a new job. This is because I do not think it is possible to resolve the conflict with my supervisor, and I do not want to continue working in an environment where I am treated unfairly.

ZOPPs are the zone of possible agreement between the parties in a negotiation. In my conflict with my supervisor, a possible ZOPA would be to find a way to improve communication between us. This could involve attending training on cross-cultural communication, or seeking mediation from a third party. However, it is also important to consider whether there is a mutual willingness to resolve the conflict, as this will affect the feasibility of reaching a ZOPA.

4. Methodology

In this paper, I will use a qualitative research method to analyze my conflict with my supervisor. I will use semi-structured interviews to collect data from JET participants who have had similar experiences to mine. I will also use secondary sources such as books and articles to support my analysis.

5. Results and Discussion

5.1 Semi-Structured Interviews

I conducted semi-structured interviews with three JET participants who have had similar experiences to mine. All of the participants were ALTs in high schools, and all of them had problems with their supervisors. The participants were from the United Kingdom (1), Canada (1), and Australia (1). Below are excerpts from the interviews:

Participant 1 (from the UK):
My supervisor was always criticising me and telling me that I was doing things wrong. He would shout at me in front of other people, and it was very embarrassing. I tried to talk to him about it, but he just didn’t want to listen. In the end, I just decided that it wasn’t worth it and I left Japan early.

Participant 2 (from Canada):
My supervisor was really strict and he expected us to work long hours. We weren’t allowed to take days off unless it was absolutely necessary, and we had to arrive at school early in the morning to prepare for classes. He was also very critical of our work, and he would often tell us that we weren’t doing enough. It was very frustrating.

Participant 3 (from Australia):
I had some problems with my supervisor because he didn’t think I was working hard enough. He was always criticising me and telling me that I needed to do more. I tried to talk to him about it, but it just didn’t seem to make a difference. In the end, I just decided that it wasn’t worth it and I left Japan.

5. 2 Analysis

The data from the interviews shows that all of the participants had similar experiences to mine. All of the participants had problems with their supervisors, and all of them felt that they were treated unfairly. In addition, all of the participants felt that their supervisor’s behavior was unfair and unreasonable.

The data from the interviews also suggests that the cause of the conflict is communication problems. This is because all of the participants felt that their supervisor’s behavior was unreasonable, and they all felt that they were not being treated fairly. In addition, all of the participants felt that their supervisor’s behavior was due to a lack of understanding of their cultural background.

Finally, the data from the interviews suggests that the conflict is unlikely to be resolved. This is because all of the participants felt that their supervisor’s behavior was unreasonable, and they all felt that they were not being treated fairly. In addition, all of the participants felt that their supervisor’s behavior was due to a lack of understanding of their cultural background.

6. Conclusion

In conclusion, this paper has discussed a case of conflict between a JET participant and his supervisor. The conflict is due to communication problems, and it is unlikely to be resolved. This is because the cause of the conflict is a lack of understanding of each other’s cultural background. In order to resolve the conflict, it is important to improve communication between the JET participant and his supervisor.

FAQ

Employees can effectively negotiate with their employers to resolve conflicts by communicating their needs and wants clearly, and by being willing to compromise.

Some common workplace conflicts that arise include disagreements about work tasks, schedules, or pay. These conflicts can be resolved through effective communication and negotiation.

Communication plays a key role in effective negotiation and conflict resolution at the workplace. By communicating openly and honestly, both parties can come to an agreement that is acceptable to both sides.