Essays on Managing under Uncertainty - Japan Exchange Teaching Program Case Study

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The paper "Managing under Uncertainty - Japan Exchange Teaching Program" is a great example of a management case study.   Making effective decisions under the circumstances of uncertainty entails the capacity to identify the risks, create strategies for action, as well as to coordinate in the hope of bringing an incident under control (Comfort & Wukich, 2013). The concepts of uncertainty and probability occupy a significant position while making decisions. Indeed, in a typical decision-making process, there have to be facts. However, decisions will often be made under uncertainty. At this rate, probability comes into the process as a substitute for certainty (Lattimore & Witte, 2009).

The theoretical models and perspectives for making decisions under uncertainty, such as sociological perspective, psychology perspective and lastly Personality and value-based perspective, could be applied in this scenario. The three could help identify the variable that could be manipulated to minimise errors in making decisions. The selected character from the case study is Kelly. Two fundamental decisions Kelly made that form the backbone of the entire case study are analysed. The first critical decisions considered include Kelly’ s decision to apply for the Japan Exchange Teaching (JET) Program.

The second includes Kelly’ s decision to contact CLAIR in order to make a complaint regarding Mr Higashi’ s decision that she should sign for “ paid leave” rather than “ sick leave, ’ despite being entitled to ‘ sick leave” by JET contract. Analysis The selected character from the case study is Kelly. The critical decisions considered included her decision to apply for the Japan Exchange Teaching (JET) Program. She made the decision based on a sociological perspective -- in particular Group Polarisation model. Her decision is based on the Group Polarisation (Choice shift) model, which describes the propensity for a group to increase the level of their inclinations, which makes them be more ready to take risky alternatives (Friedkin & Johnsen, 2011).

For instance, she was told by some of her friends that applying for the program was easy, and acceptance was easy too. Most of these friends influenced her decision once they reached a consensus that it was a great way to make money. It was also based on a psychological perspective. Kelly believed that having lived in Japan provided her with an added advantage and that her knowledge of the Japanese language increased her chances of acceptance.

She also believed that the opportunity to work in Japan would improve her knowledge of Japan. She also believed she would be able to make money and enjoy associated benefits like fun. The decision to select an Assistant Language Teacher (ALT) could also be analysed based on the psychology perspective. Within this context, and based on his choice of the program to take, it is clear that the theory of Risky Choice Framing explains the procedure by which she made the decision to select the Assistant Language Teacher (ALT) programme.

As Mandel (2013) explains, the theory is concerned with the tendency for people to select choices that are more certain, or risk-averse, than the riskier ones. It explains a situation where people tend to give preference to the things they are sure about over the gamble (to avoid risks) when the outcomes are certain to be positive and reject the things they are sure about in favour of the ones they are not certain about when they perceive outcomes to be negative.

The evidence provided in the case study supplies sufficient evidence showing that Kelly was also prone to the “ framing effect. ”


Comfort, L. & Wukich, C. (2013). Developing Decision-Making Skills for Uncertain Conditions: The Challenge of Educating Effective Emergency Managers. Journal of Public Affairs Education 19(1), 53–71

Druckman, J. & McDermott, R. (2008). Emotion and the Framing of Risky Choice. Political Behavior 30, 297–321

Friedkin, N. & Johnsen, E. (2011). Social Influence Network Theory: A Sociological Examination of Small Group Dynamics. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press

Gonzalez, C., Dana, J., Koshino, H., & Just, M. (2004). The framing effect and risky decisions: Examining cognitive functions with fMRI. Journal of Economic Psychology 26(9), 1–20

Hall, D., Guo, Y. & Davis, R. (2003). Developing a Value-Based Decision-Making Model for Inquiring Organizations. Proceedings of the 36th Hawaii International Conference on System Sciences - 2003

Lattimore, P. & Witte, A. (2009). Models of Decision Making Under Uncertainty: The Criminal Choice. Retrieved from:

Malle, B. (2011). Attribution Theories: How People Make Sense of Behavior. Retrieved from:

Mandel, D. (2013). Do Framing Effects Reveal Irrational Choice? Journal of Experimental Psychology 1(1), 1-14

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