Questions for Discussion
1. Culture Shock is an important international topic because it is an issue in labor turnover and job satisfaction. After reading our Chapter discussion of Culture Shock, offer two or three suggestions that you would give to a Human Resource Manager that is interested in reducing turnover and increasing job satisfaction of individuals planning on working in a foreign country.
Culture Shock is a very real dilemma and can impact expatriates in any country. Cultural training should be the number one priority for any employee planning to live overseas. Even cultures that share similarities can be shockingly different when the unwary are fully emerged. Cultural training should focus not only on making the expatriate aware of cultural differences, but also train them how to navigate the differences. Additionally, language training is very important for anyone working in a company where the language is different. Even if the company uses English (in the case of a US company) as a primary language, if the rest of the country uses something different, the future expatriate must be ready.
2. Our country has developed an organized labor structure that is unique to our country when compared to other countries. Thus, what labor issues should U.S. firms is concerned about as they enter international operations?
US companies must be prepared for the strength of the labor force in other countries. As our textbook points out, only about 9% of the US workforce belongs to a labor union (p. 407). In other countries, labor unions may be much more common and powerful. Additionally, even countries without strong unions may have a strong labor movement. US firms need to be ready to navigate either of these situations and respond accordingly.
3. I have posted two media stories for Lesson/chapter 16, one gives us a view of salaries in the Dallas Fort Worth area (e.g. our data is a bit old but still a relevant view) and a DMNs business writer’s view of labor supply in Texas (a controversial topic because of immigration views and opinions). You are also reaching the end of your reading for international management. How does the Dallas Fort Worth wages and salaries compare to salaries offered in the international market places. Beyond one’s salary, what benefits would you think important if you were considering an international appointment?
Based on cost-of-living compared to the rest of the world, wages and salaries in the DFW area appear to be extremely competitive. When thinking of taking an international appointment, many benefits still relate to salary. For example, one might consider being paid in the local currency if the exchange rate is beneficial. Additionally, the cost-of-living in the destination country may be much higher or lower to what one is accustomed. In this case, salary must be taken into consideration. Further, there are benefits US employees often receive that may not be normal in the foreign country. For example, it is uncommon for Australian companies to pay for health benefits. In that case, do employees on work visas qualify for Australian health insurance. Additionally, Australian companies are required to pay into a retirement plan for all of their employees. How does this benefit extend to expatriates?
Wild, J. & Wild, K. (2013). International Business: The Challenges of Globalization. (7th ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson.