Third Party Conflict Resolution – Sick Leave
The case of sick leave involved Kelly, who was hired by Soto Board of Education in Japan. Her employment was with The Japan Exchange and Teaching Program (JET) and Conference of Local Authorities for International Relations (CLAIR) had taken over the contracts for the workers of JET. CLAIR’s role was to be a liaison during recruiting and selection, counseling and participant welfare. Their main function was to promote the exchange at the local level. The paper stated that if there was a problem with the host institution, then it was up to the host to address and solve the issue. If the problem didn’t get resolved then the participant could go to CLAIR with their grievances. It was up to them to step in on JET participants’ behalf to work to solve the issue.
Kelly was hired as an assistant language teacher (ALT) and had been working for six months. She was to work three days a week in the board of education office and two days helping with the English program. Her contract stated that her hours were Monday to Friday 8:30 AM to 5 PM. These hours were not the hours of the Japanese workers. Their culture had the employees working six days a week and rarely took time off. Kelly’s contract also had vacation and sick leave time given but stipulations as to when a doctor’s note was needed and the notice time given for time off for vacations.
Kelly got sick and called into her boss at the Board of Education office and stated that she would not be in for two days due to illness. Her boss, Mr. Higashi, told her she needed to bring a note from the doctor when she returned to work. She did as was asked and had the note when she returned to work two days later. Her boss wanted her to take vacation time instead of sick leave for her absence since that was the custom in Japan’s workforce (Lewicki, Saunders, & Barry, 2006, pp. 678-687).
The possible intervention strategies consist of the following:
MCS (Means-control strategy)- Manager intervenes in the dispute by influencing the process of resolution (i.e., facilitates interaction assists in communication, explains one disputant’s views to another, clarifies issues, lays down rules for dealing with the dispute, maintains order during talks) but does not attempt to dictate or impose a resolution (through he or she might suggest solutions); The final decision is left to the disputants; high on process control but low on outcome control (e.g., mediation, conciliation).
ECS (Ends control strategy): Manager intervenes in the dispute by influencing the outcome (i.e., takes full control of the final resolution, decides what the final decision will be, imposes the resolution on the disputants) but does not attempt to influence the process; the disputants have control over what information is presented and how it is presented; high on out come control but low on process control (e.g., arbitration, adjudication, adversarial intervention).