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Fred Bailey An Innocent Abroad Case Solution
Fred Bailey is facing many problems in Japan, and with each problem there is a reason, and every single of that reason is attached to one factor, lack of knowledge about Japanese culture and practices. The problem arose with the opportunity of changing life. The managing partner of the firm presented the opportunity to Fred in such a way that he was unable to reject it. In other words, he sugar coated the pill and made Fred swallow it, unaware of the consequences. Fred didn’t inquire the reasons for failure of the last managing director. Addition to that, he accepted the opportunity without knowing anything about Japanese culture. He was given a very short time to move to Japan and take on the charge. The company didn’t provide him any training, neither any other help in understanding of culture and nature of the task. This was the second phase of the problem, where, within such a brief time, he was just able to collect his family and learned nothing about Japanese culture. Addition to that, he forced, or one can say convinced his wife by showing her bigger dream, before that, his wife was not willing to move to Japan because of children education and her own career. This also fuelled up many other problems in Japan.
Following questions are answered in this case study solution
Who has responsibility for this situation? What is the nature of various stakeholders' responsibilities? Headquarters' HR? Japan’s HR? Fred Bailey? Jennifer Bailey? Dave Steiner, company managing partner? Management development?
What does the situation say about the firm's human resource department?
What are the roots causes of the problems that Fred Bailey experienced?
What should Fred Bailey do now? What are his options and what are the pros and cons of his various options?
Case Analysis for Fred Bailey An Innocent Abroad
1. Who has responsibility for this situation? What is the nature of various stakeholders' responsibilities? Headquarters' HR? Japan’s HR? Fred Bailey? Jennifer Bailey? Dave Steiner, company managing partner? Management development?
Responsibility of occurring of this situation can’t be solely blamed upon one party. As, laziness was shown from both of the parties so, one can say, both of them, organization and Fred, were responsible. However, there is an always a skewed side for the responsibility of any event, and same is the case here, where company sugar coated the option, put Fred to dream bigger. Doing so, company didn’t give him much time to learn about Japan, its culture and business practices etc. Fred was given time of less than three weeks, this opportunity was sugar coated such way that success may turn him into a partner, company showed him dreams of a successful future and so, he accepted the responsibility. Proper cross cultural training was given to Fred. He was not even given time to learn about Japan. It was very important to have cross cultural training and learning about Japan. Because, there is a great difference between American style of doing business, culture and communication, as compare to Asians, especially, Japanese. On the other side of it, Fred didn’t evaluate this opportunity and was dreaming about his success, so he accepted this opportunity, putting everything on stake.
Kline & associates tried to put an experienced man to task, but they took this step in haste. It was their responsibility to put Fred through cross cultural training. If the company didn’t have a successful venture in Japan, then their reputation and investment at Japan is at stake. They sweetened the offer and presented it to Fred in a way that he couldn’t stay back from accepting it. This venture at Japan is quite new, and it this hustle proved that there was no proper planning from Kline & associates. The failure because of misunderstanding culture can damage its venture in this project.
In Japan, it’s not considered good to lay off the people. Addition to that, the failure in the project can put a number of employee’s job at stake. Lack of understanding of Japanese people can lead to many hurdles in success of the project. American management and blunt communication style can be taken as a threat in Japan this can increase turnover and arose many problems. Addition to that, failure in this project can cause a great a setback for the career of Fred Bailey. He is the appointed managing director, so success or failure of the project will be associated with his success or failure. Failure can lead to extreme of firing of Fred. Moreover, his personal life is also getting affected. Jenny was against the decision of moving to Japan because of children education.
Jennifer is facing many problems, with increased expenses and children education getting suffered. She has no friends, can’t go out, don’t understands road signs or else. Overall, Japan is a frustration for her. Because of all these problems, she is pushing Fred to go back to their home country and pursue job there. While, Fred is trying to stay, this is creating tension between husband and wife.
Dave Steiner, the management partner; was the person who was responsible to convince Fred to move to this opportunity. He was the one sugar coating and presenting the opportunity. Consequently, he didn’t provide reasons for X managing director to leave Japan in less than one year. His reliability and trustworthiness is severely under question as he can do like that next time, as well. Addition to that, he can be removed from this post for being the reason of failure.
Management development and efficiency will have a negative impact because of failure. Because, management provided the option to Fred at the last moment and he was not given any training in cross cultural management and communication. Failures of the project will directly be related to failure of management.
2. What does the situation say about the firm's human resource department?
Human resource department is the heart of the organization, which carefully analyses each step and plans everything to mediate risk of failures. In the case of Kline & Associates, management failed to perform its core function. Happenings of the events were as such that the management was not able to take preventive measures. Moreover, they decided to provide an opportunity to a person that just came back from a project, management sends him without any proper cultural training, any knowledge of Japan. Kline & Associates is a multinational firm and they know the importance of cross cultural training. They are also aware of cultural difference in American and Asian cultures, and so management was well aware that untrained person can commit blunders. Not only that, this opportunity was provided to him as a sugar coated pill, by showing him a bright future. He was not given any idea about the nature of the job and the people he was going to deal with. As a result, difference in attitude and communication caused great problems his meetings were failure. He has to sign the contract, which still is pending. Despite of all these miscommunications and misunderstandings, the management is not taking any corrective actions. The management would have either arranged training for him or put another person with a vast knowledge and experiences about Japanese. Kline & Associates has already put the stake on Fred, so they should look ways to train him, in this case its better providing on the job training.
Until now management has shown immaturity, despite their vast business experience. On the other hand, it’s never too late to take corrective measures. The Japanese human resource is finding difficult to adjust to the style of Fred. Japanese are relation builders, but Fred went for the very first day and started talking about business. There were some changes worth mentioning like sitting of Japanese on one side and American on one side, vague replies from Japanese. Unsuccessful events resulted in failure of the meetings. It was the responsibility of the Japanese human resource department to guide him about Japanese management practices and approaches. In other words, it was Japanese human resource department responsibility to provide him on the job training. Overall, the Japanese and the management back at home are not performing well they are showing immaturity they can improve on many things, but for this, they require an initiative.
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