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Case 2 - Essay Example

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Juanita Roberto, who happens to be the HR departments Vice president does not seem not to notice the problem. The company, which specializes in…
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Case 2
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Case 2 From Eric Christopher’s understanding of the situation, Tex-Mark, the company that he works for is facing a big management problem. Juanita Roberto, who happens to be the HR departments Vice president does not seem not to notice the problem. The company, which specializes in the manufacture and supply of computer input and out devices, needs to design and start a more intensive and complete training program for its expatriate employees. This program is aimed at providing information, and helping them get the necessary language skills before sending them on assignments oversees. Eric wanted to avoid a repeat of what had happened in Mexico and China, where projects that were initially planned to take a short time to do ended up taking a lot more time.
This was especially the case in India, where a research assignment that was initially planned to take a total of eighteen months, ended up taking three years instead. This was mainly due to company employees like Fred. Fred was unwilling to train the locals and hand over some of the duties and responsibilities to them. The company employees had also shown a tendency of being unable to work effectively, with the district and federal regulations in the various countries that they had been sent to. This created a situation where they ended up taking more time on their various jobs.
Alternative solutions and how they would solve the problem at hand.
Eric should tell the HR Vice President all the problems that the company keeps on facing each time they send out expatriates to new countries. This should be done when they have their company meeting. This will help show the seriousness of the matter, especially now that they want to expand into China. China promises to be a more challenging environment and market as compared to all the other countries that the company has set up operations. To drive the point home, he can use the example of Fred Banks to further help make the point more clear.
He should also suggest to them the need of creating a more intensive and complete training program for the company employees who were being sent overseas. This would be a total change of the current system. The current system is raising concerns for its not being effective and is being seen by the top management, as a series of “ tell and sell” sessions with no meaningful exchange of insights or even ideas. The program should also learn from the problems facing the current program, where most people did not go through all the sessions. The company should make it a must for everyone undertaking the program to attend all the sessions.
Eric should also make them understand the need for repatriation of the non-performing expatriate staff. This might initially seem to be too expensive, but it will save the company a lot in terms of the extra time that was being spent on all the overseas assignments that were taking longer than planned and ended up costing the company more.
In the future, the company can also consider sending out teams of expatriates, each including at least one person who is fluent in the local language. The language person will help the rest of his team, who might not have fully understood the local customs and languages of the country that they were being sent by the company to work in.
Emphasis should be placed on training the local support staff on the job that needs to be done. This will help the expatriate team to get additional help from them since the locals, are more familiar with the existing government licensing and permit granting processes.
Cost Effectiveness of the Proposed Solutions.
The proposed solutions will prove to be a cost effective solution to the problems facing the company. This is because, they will make international assignments more efficient, and thus reduce the amount of extra time they were taking.
The “Country briefings” with the consulting firm that the Tex-Mark employees attended should be renegotiated and charged on a group session basis as opposed to being charged on an individual basis. This will help to ensure that the company fully benefits from the economies of scale. In anticipation of the future reduction in cost that the sessions will help make, they could also consider increasing the future number of sessions, based on the effectiveness of the new program.
The licenses and permits required for operations in other countries should be taken care of before the expatriates go to other countries to work. This is to ensure that all systems are ready to be implemented before the expatriates team arrives in the country. There will be an overall reduction in expenses since the team will go in ready to work. This is as opposed to their idling around in the country not being able to do anything while they await clearance.
Relevance of Eric’s Personal Background
Eric’s personal background is appropriate. This is because the role he plays in the company, needs someone who has a basic understanding of just how challenging going to live and work in different countries is. He has useful and necessary understanding on the problems facing expatriates especially when they are assigned to go to European countries. Eric could be useful in giving them useful tips on the local business climate that they were going to be experiencing.
Different Approach to the Situation
If I had been in Eric’s position, I would work more on utilizing the local population of the country I was expanding into. I would try, and look for potential employees from the foreign country, and bring them over to the U.S. for briefing and training on the company policies and expectations. When the time came, I would give them assignments in their home countries to be performed together with the help of one or two expatriates. The two expatriates would help oversee the assignment and offer advice and guidance wherever necessary. This would help to reduce the cost of sending people oversees as expatriates and ensuring that the company fully benefit from the expertise of the local people. Read More
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