2. Identification of correct human resource or management topic.

Your grade is a combination of the following elements:

1. Appropriate length of answer. One paragraph per question answered. Individual question minimum of 3 well-structured sentences in 12 point font.


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2. Identification of correct human resource or management topic.

3. Full quality answers which include research to determine how to apply standards, regulations, or laws covering human resources. These cases require you to research current federal employment law, regulations, and issues in order to answer them correctly.  Review “Website resources” tab. Also you can google topics, laws, cases, etc.

4. Correct notation of sources listed at the bottom of each answered case. You should list the textbook and any websites or other resources you used; cite direct quotes from sources in parenthesis and put (author’s last name, page #).

Case #105, page 293 “Fred Bailey: An Innocent Abroad”.  Each case requires you to answer the questions listed and to provide detailed answers with website resources, if used, listed at the bottom of each assignment. These are expatriate assignments and you can google “expartriate preparation” to help you find information that will support your answers to these questions. You can also google “Japanese business culture” to help you understand their business culture as it compares to the United States business culture to see what may have gone wrong and how to fix it. You will need to answer all 5 questions on page 296.

Your answer should be at least 2-3 pages with references listed at the end of the document on page 4 and in MLA 7th edition format


Instructors Manual  – Use Only as Guide – Plagiarism Software will be used!!!



                The case begins with Fred in Tokyo wondering whether or not to tell his home office in Boston that he and his family are returning early from their overseas assignment.  Fred reflects back on the events that contributed to his current situation. 

                The case really begins with Fred receiving a chance to head-up the firm’s Tokyo office.  Although Fred’s wife, Jenny, is not so thrilled about the opportunity, Fred thinks he cannot pass it up.  Fred and family leave not long after the decision is made, basically by Fred, to accept the position in Tokyo.  Fred and his family receive little training and have almost no time to do any preparation themselves. 

                Fred made several mistakes early in his assignment: 

1.       He failed to notice that there was a division between Japanese and foreign workers.

2.       He failed to realize that in the first meeting the Japanese felt put on the spot and were not comfortable giving their honest thoughts in that public situation. 

3.       Fred took the John Wayne approach to trying to win a new contract, an approach that was uncomfortable for the Japanese client. 

4.       Fred again failed to realize what a young Japanese research associate really was trying to say, and the situation got worse from there. 

                In addition, Jenny had trouble adjusting to Japan, and now she insisted that they go home. 


                The teaching objective with this case is primarily to help students explore the factors that facilitate and inhibit successful cross-cultural adjustment for an American expatriate and his spouse and how their adjustment is related to each other. 


1.       What factors (individual, work, and organizational) contributed to Fred and Jenny’s lack of adjustment to Japan? 

As was mentioned earlier, Fred made several mistakes: 

                He failed to notice that there was a division between Japanese and foreign workers.  He failed to realize that in the first meeting the Japanese felt put on the spot and were not comfortable giving their honest thoughts in that public situation.  Fred took a John Wayne approach to trying to win a new contract which clashed with the cultural values of the Japanese client.  Finally, Fred failed to realize what a young Japanese research associate really was trying to say, and the situation got worse from there. 

                It is usually easiest to get the class going by asking a student how adjusted they feel Fred is and what factors have contributed to his adjustment.  The student will nearly always state that Fred is not very adjusted and then begin to list factors.  It is often effective to group the factors on the board into four categories:  individual, work, organizational, and non-work.  This will provide a structure to the student’s laundry list of factors.  Also, it is helpful to ask the student from time to time to explain why a certain factor he or she mentioned either inhibited or facilitated Fred’s adjustment.  Generally, students will list primarily factors that are inhibiting Fred’s adjustment.  They should be pushed to consider factors that are facilitating Fred’s adjustment.  This process can be facilitated by statements such as, “with all these negative factors, it’s a wonder Fred has survived 6 months.  Why hasn’t he just jumped out his window?  Aren’t there any factors facilitating his adjustment?”

                This same process should be repeated to analyze Jenny’s adjustment.  At this point it is quite normal for students to begin to discuss the relationship between Fred and Jenny’s adjustment.  In fact, it is not uncommon for students to list Fred as a significant negative factor of Jenny’s adjustment problems. 

                Although logically backwards, it is often useful at this point to discuss the various mistakes Fred has made because of his lack of understanding of Japan.  This provides a nice lead-in to a discussion or mini-lecture on the underlying process of cross-cultural adjustment.  What is culture shock and why does it happen?  What is the U-curve notion of cross-cultural adjustment and why does it happen?  Based on this discussion or lecture, students can begin to debate whether or not Fred and Jenny are simply going through normal cross-cultural adjustment. 

2.       What mistakes did Fred make because of his lack of understanding of Japan?

                See list in question 1. 

3.       What criteria would be important in selecting employees for overseas assignments? 

                First it is important for organizations to carefully identify the types of skills needed by managers to successfully complete an overseas assignment.  Research on international selection issues indicates that companies often emphasize technical skills while neglecting cultural skills.  When international assignments fail it is usually because expatriates can’t fathom the customs of the new country or because their families cannot deal with the emotional stress of relocation to a foreign environment.  Criteria important in selecting employees for overseas assignment should include previous experience or knowledge of different cultures and demonstrated language skills.  These experiences would indicate a commitment and interest in living and working with different cultures.  For example, an individual who has been a foreign exchange student, traveled abroad, or who has studied another language would have some appreciation of how to interact with different cultures. 

4.       What special training and development programs might have been beneficial to Fred and his family prior to his assignment to Japan? 

                One of the major reasons for Fred’s lack of success was that his company sent the family to Japan without any type of training or orientation.  Fred and his family only had three weeks to prepare for the trip.  Needless to say most of this time was spent on packing and other logistical activities.  The company should have provided both Fred and his family with an orientation program that would provide knowledge of the customs and culture of Japan.  This program could have involved lectures, films and videos, museum trips, and even a restaurant trip to familiarize the family with Japanese food.  Fred should have also been given a “realistic job preview” and the opportunity to talk with other executives in the company who had completed an assignment in Japan.  This preview should have included information on the benefits and idiosyncrasies of an assignment in Japan.  The entire family could have benefited from some language training that would at least familiarize them with everyday phrases.  Firms that provide training for executives with overseas assignments suggest four levels of training:  Level I – focus on the impact of cultural differences and the impact on business outcomes of these cultural differences; Level II – focus on attitudes and aim at getting participants to understand how attitudes influence behavior; Level III – focus on factual knowledge about the country in question; and Level IV – focus on skill building in areas like language and adjustment and adaptation skills. 

5.       Assume you are Dave Steiner and you receive a call from Fred about his difficulties in Japan.  How would you respond?  What should be done now? 

                The real decision may rest with Fred and how he feels about staying in Japan.  Fred may see his options as either staying or leaving.  For those students that think Fred should leave, the self-esteem, career, and family consequences of that decision should be explored and carefully analyzed.  For those students that think Fred should stay a simple role play is often effective.  Usually someone will suggest that Fred try to convince Jenny to hang in there just a little longer.  Asking a female student who seems to identify with Jenny to play Jenny and the other student to play Fred creates an interesting means of analyzing the difficulty of staying. 

                Steiner needs to be supportive of Fred’s situation and help him to sort out the advantages and disadvantages of his situation.  Fred would naturally be concerned about this impact of his decision on his career future.  Steiner should offer support for language training for Jenny and Fred and to allow Fred more time to complete his goals and work plans. 

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