Fred Bailey: An Innocent Abroad
Table of Contents
Premature Termination of the Contract and Return Home
Cross-Cultural and Language Training
Home Buddy Support System
Local Mentor Support and Expatriate Gatherings
Short-Term: Alternatives 2 & 3
Recruit Local Managers
1. EXECUTIVE SUMMARY
Fred Bailey was offered an opportunity to head the new Tokyo office of Kline & Associates on a 3 year contract as the managing director, which is a big promotion and on the path to become a partner of the firm. This news was met with less enthusiasm by his wife Jenny, who was concerned about the children and her idea to return to the work force part-time. Despite Jenny´s concerns, the career move and expatriate benefits seem too good to pass up, thus Fred accepted the role. Subsequently, the Bailey family moved in a short period of time with little knowledge of Japan, the people and the culture. The subsequent problems arose in many aspects – firstly the cultural differences including language and food were not prior known to Jenny, which resulted in her daily frustrations. For Fred, it was the differing culture in the workplace and behavior that invoked his frustrations. Both suffer from the mistake of attempting to impose their own home values on the host country´s people and employees which resulted in cultural clashes and misunderstandings, hence culture shock. On the other hand, the overemphasis on the technical qualifications of Fred by Dave Steiner could be another contributing factor to the current dilemma of Kline & Associates Tokyo office and Fred as well. Although credentials and technical skills are ingredients to a successful manager, cultural sensitivity is just as important, if not one of the most important deciding factors for sending personnel to head an overseas division. Lastly, the family problems such as the unwillingness of Jenny to adapt to life in Japan are recipes for disaster in the move abroad. Fred not only had to deal with stress from the new work environment, he was also confronted by the frustration of his wife, who sacrificed her potential return to a career for Fred´s opportunity. The alternatives discussed will attempt to address the issue at hand, whether it be going home or staying in Japan but with support. The solution chosen for implementation will be that Fred stays in Japan, but requests for cross-cultural training and regular contact with a buddy for support as it is too costly to return early, and the consequences of returning may be worse. An expatriate gathering and local mentor for Fred in Asia Pacific are also options explored for implementation. An additional long term solution will be suggested for Kline & Associates to be more precarious in terms of choosing personnel to go abroad and steps to prevent Fred´s situation from occurring. Note that this report will mainly cover aspects in regards to Jenny and Fred, as their children´s thoughts and dispositions are unknown.
2. PROBLEM STATEMENT
With an unhappy spouse and frustrations at work that is not leading to results, Fred faces the predicament of how he could improve the situation at work and for his family, whether it be going back home before the end of the contract at high costs for himself and Kline & Associates, or completing the contract whilst seeking ways to ease the uncomfortable disposition and improve the situation for himself and his family. 3. ALTERNATIVES
4.1. Premature Termination of the Contract and Return Home One of the obvious solutions Jenny requested of Fred is for him to terminate the 3 year contract and move home straight away....
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