MGMT 801-HR IN THE GLOBAL FIRM
MARK CHAN CASE STUDY
1. Background information
Mark Chan had spent the past six years working overseas and Mark’s past international experience helped him to get the job at Energem, a diversified, global company with market-leading positions in a number of industries. Headquartered in the UK. By the end of his third year at Energem Mark was offered a three-year international assignment opportunity at the corporate headquarters in London. The job was another promotion and he would now be part of the company’s senior management. This was a great opportunity and with the expatriate benefits package and Mark’s wife Linda would not have to work and could stay at home with their two children who were still very young. She could always go back to work as a private banker when they returned to Singapore. This assignment would be a big stepping stone for Mark’s career when he returned. Mark had very little trouble settling into his new position, his past experience as an expatriate had equipped him well. He and his family quickly adapted to life in the English country side and with his salary plus the benefits they were able to afford to a very comfortable lifestyle. They made many friends both inside the company as well as in the community. The time has come for Mark and his family to decide if they want to return to Singapore or ask to stay in London. Mark has been trying to find a suitable position within Energem that would allow him to maintain his current level in the management program but nothing has been offered. But Mark have been out of the loop and there is not a position waiting for him when he want to return. Mark and his family can suffer from what is known as reverse culture shock. 2. Key facts of the case & Primary Blame
Based on the brief of the case, I identified three major key facts of the case as follows: I. What’s the reason that make the ideal expatiate to facing a potential failure risk? Analyze:
It seems that everything messed up just in one minute. The perfect life in UK is going to end and the home country company could not offer a competitive position for the expatriate. In my view, there are several key elements for this potential failure. First of all, the Company does not prepare a good repatriation program. When the staff is going to home, no equivalent position could be offered, this will be significant issue for those expatriates. Secondly, the family’s influence, especially the spouse attitude become a pressure to Mark. Apparently, the life in UK is an ideal life style for Mark. But due to the eastern counties special concept of “family”, Linda want to back to Singapore to take care of her mom. Thus made Mark have to consider to back to home country even though it’s not the best option for him. Last but not least, the different life style become a block for Mark to make the decision. II. Should Mark deicide to change a company and stay in UK or receive a demotion and back to Singapore? Analyze:
This is a tough question to answer. Because of his position in management system and his ability in dealing with his professional tasks, there would be no doubt good opportunities for Mark to find another company in Singapore who could offer him a good position. But this also means loss of talent for his company Energem. More importantly, because Energem could not handle the situation when the expats came back to home company, it will decrease the reputation for those after period expatriate program. Even if Mark went back to the home company, he could only be offered a middle management position and what's more, he was not chosen to be a regional general manager of Asia Pacific which would definitely affect his moral and commitment to the company. Moreover, if he came back, he would lost his dreaming life oversea. The whole thing was attributed to the improper arrangement of his home company dealing with repatriation. III. What’s the insight from this case could...
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