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Decision-Making in an English Teacher’s Career


Selected Character

This paper seeks to analyse the decisions made by Mr Higashi, as explained in the case study provided. In this case, Mr Higashi is a professional aged forty-four and has a 20-years experience in teaching high school English around Soto in Japan.

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Perspectives and Theories

When seeking to analyse the decisions made by Higashi, this discussion will apply two decision making theories, including the MBIT preference and the Big Five model. These theories seek to determine the characteristics portrayed by decision-makers in their line of duty. In essence, the theories will be used to analyse some of the decisions made by Higashi when accomplishing his roles as the overseer of the JET program and the advisor to fellow teachers.

Decisions by Higashi

  1. He decided to take on the role of teacher’s advisor that granted him the mandate to supervise the JET participants automatically.
  2. He constantly encouraged Kelly to subscribe to the Japanese culture to behave in a manner that fitted into the traditional women domains.
  3. He often disenfranchised the JET participants and other office workers when determining schedules for them and hence became forceful implementer.
  4. During the instance of Kelly’s sore throat, he required her to come with a doctor’s note when going back to work.
  5. He forced Kelly and the other two JET participants to sign papers for a paid leave to compensate for the sick leave and ensure they worked consistently with Japan employees.


Selection of Character

As stated in the introduction, Mr Higashi was a prominent high school teacher around Soto for 20 years. Having been a competent scholar and teacher, he was granted a promotion to work as a chief advisor of the fellow teachers in the Soto Board of Education (SBE). Accordingly, the promotion also mandated him to act as a supervisor of all the scholars who participated in the Japan Exchange Teaching. This program was meant to let teachers from other parts of the world get an opportunity to teach in Japan. This aspect implies he was a direct supervisor with the role of overseeing their performance during the exchange program.

Indeed, most of the JET participants had met with Mr Higashi since they used to attend his classes when he was teaching them as high school grade students. In this regard, his supervisory and teaching position grants him the opportunity to make critical decisions in times of conflicts and performance-related issues. As such, he is a better focus when it comes to decision making as compared to Kelly, who is a junior teacher.

Perspectives and Theories to Approach Higashi’s Decisions

One of the theories whose aspects are evident in the decision made by Higashi is the MBIT preferences theory. MBIT preferences are framed in terms of four different dichotomies which seek to answer several questions.

  1. Where do the decision-makers obtain their energy?
Extroversion Introversion
  1. How do the decision-makers absorb and process information?
Sensing Intuition
  1. How do the personnel make the decisions?
Thinking Feeling
  1. How do the decision-makers organise and plan their world?
Judging Perceiving

Table1: Showing the questions addressing the four dichotomies of MBIT preferences and the corresponding perspectives (Goldsmith, 2009).

In accordance with this theory, Mr Higashi comes out as introvert who makes the decision alone and then informs the rest on what to do without involving them actively. This aspect comes out clearly when Mr Higashi decided to send one of the JET participants to a high school meeting without informing her in advance. As a result, the participant resisted against the decision and Mr Higashi was very annoyed about her action.

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With regards to the second dimension, Mr Higashi concentrates on sensing rather than intuition. He values things that can be seen rather than believing in words and explanations provided by the JET participants.

For instance, he demanded a doctor’s notice from Kelly despite receiving a call from her concerning the illness that befell her. Also, it is clear that Mr Higashi makes decisions by thinking. From his decisions, it is evident that he considers factual information before making decisions. This was portrayed when he asked for a doctor’s note to get evidence that Kelly was indeed sick. Lastly, he makes decisions in a perspective of judging rather than perceiving. This is based on the fact that he tries to control every subject serving in the JET program rather than adapting to events.

On the other hand, the Big Five theory seeks to analyse decision-makers’ personality in terms of their openness, conscientiousness, extraversion, agreeableness, and neuroticism (Ashton & Lee, 2009; Patten, 2011). In accordance with these five dimensions of this model, Mr Higashi can be described as intellectual, achievement-oriented, sociable, intolerant and irritable. The intellectual character is evidenced by his professional way of handling the subjects.

Explanation of Higashi’s Decisions

Recalling Mr Higashi indicating that Japanese use their vacation to work for the company and compensate for the sick leaves, it shows how he wanted to instil the ideologies of Japanese culture in the mind of Kelly. It was aimed to increase commitment to the company to make the best outcomes. In addition to this, the forceful signing of the paid leave forms was meant to ensure that the organisation does not lose any money due to employees’ recklessness.

Critical Discussions

Advantages of Higashi’s Decisions

From the decisions made by Mr Higashi, it is evident that there were minimal chances of recklessness from the side of the employees. His strict and professional approach ensured that the employees’ claims were scrutinised carefully and stringently to avoid unnecessary losses on the organisation’s side. Also, Mr Higashi made a good decision to work as an advisor since he had profound experience regarding the teaching profession.

This implies that the expected outcomes were deemed to improve under his supervision and advice. Understandably, more applause can be granted to him, bearing in mind that he decided to accept the promotion despite understanding that he would be in charge of the JET participants who never understood the Japanese Language. In this scenario, he had the responsibility to keep on translating Japanese to English to ensure coordination in the office.

Disadvantages of Higashi’s Decisions

Although he aimed to increase the outcomes of the organisation, it was evident that he did not consider the sociological coexistence within the organisation. Despite the importance of applying stringent measures, he intruded in the personal space of the employees and hence oppressed them. For example, it was inappropriate to suggest persistently that Kelly should adopt the Japanese culture. In this case, it should be a personal decision for Kelly to make and determine whether she should buy in the culture or not. In addition to this, it was clearly indicated that Mr Higashi made decisions without involving his subordinates.

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For example, he arranged for Suzanne to attend a high school function without involving her and informing her in advance. This is an oppressive approach that increases the resistance from the JET participants and destroys the coexistence between them.


In essence, Mr Higashi should be more considerate and profound when making a critical decision for the team. First, he should not only concentrate on the financial outcomes, but also the social welfare of the employees (Horton, 2009; Leahy, 2002). If an employee produces the necessary documentation to prove his/her case, it is not appropriate to proceed with further punishment (Johnson & Ostendorf, 2010).

In addition, Mr Higashi should be inclusive when making decisions that affect the employees. For instance, he should inform them in advance when he has organised an event that should be attended by the employees. This approach will reduce conflict between him and the JET participants (McAuliffe & Chenoweth, 2009). Furthermore, she should come up with a different approach when seeking to instil the values of the Japanese culture.

For example, Mr Higashi can organise an event that shows the positivity of Japanese culture. This can play an important role when mobilising the employees to adopt the ideologies of the cultures (Johnson, Rustichini & Macdonald, 2010). Otherwise, forceful instilling these values increases the resistance to change and intrudes in the employees’ personal space. Indeed, he should be considerate and focused on ensuring that the organisation is satisfied socially and financially (Wischniewski & Brüne, 2011).


Ashton, M., & Lee, K. (2009). Honesty-Humility, The Big Five, And The Five-Factor Model. Journal of Personality, 10, 1321-1354.

Goldsmith, R. (2009). Personality components of decision making. Psychologische Forschung, 18, 187-212.

Horton, R. (2009). Some Relationships between Personality and Consumer Decision Making. Journal of Marketing Research, 10, 233-233.

Johnson, J., & Ostendorf, F. (2010). Clarification Of The Five-factor Model With The Abridged Big Five Dimensional Circumplex. Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, 8, 563-576.

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Johnson, M., Rustichini, A., & Macdonald, A. (2010). Suspicious personality predicts behavior on a social decision-making task. Personality and Individual Differences, 12, 30-35.

Leahy, R. (2002). Decision Making and Personality. Journal of Cognitive Psychotherapy, 15, 209-225.

McAuliffe, D., & Chenoweth, L. (2009). Leave No Stone Unturned: The Inclusive Model Of Ethical Decision Making. Ethics and Social Welfare, 13, 38-49.

Patten, G. (2011). Developing the Five-Factor Model: Is the big five a theory of personality? Psycritiques, 11.

Wischniewski, J., & Brüne, M. (2011). How Do People With Borderline Personality Disorder Respond to Norm Violations? Impact of Personality Factors on Economic Decision-Making. Journal of Personality Disorders, 12, 531-546.

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