|Perfect Number of Pages to Order||5-10 Pages|
Challenges Faced by Expatriate Workers Essay
What do you believe are the biggest constraining factors to keep someone from taking an expatriate assignment? Please explain.
In addition to your reading, the following post might help you in crafting your response:
Instructor video lecture: Hofstede’s dimensions (power distance, individualism/collectivism, uncertainty avoidance, masculinity/femininity)
Globalization: Business in a Borderless World instructor video
See the Discussion post examples before crafting your post and the attached discussion rubric. To receive full credit, your response to the question should be posted by March 16, 11:59 p.m. CST. Your peer response is due by March 19, 11:59 p.m. CST.
Main post example
“Management potential” is a phrase I often see in job descriptions, and often I get thrown for a loop. What exactly is “management potential,” and do I have it? These are the questions I often asked before moving on to the next job listing. However, after reading Chapter 1 of our textbook and examining the article provided above, I have gotten a much better idea of what management potential is, and what I can do to prove I possess it.
One of the most important themes I have noticed while reading Chapter 1 were the interactions between the manager and his or her employees. As stated in Section 1-4 on pages 9 and 10 of our textbook, one of the three major roles managers must play are interpersonal roles.
The textbook even further defines these roles in subroles, which outline various scenarios where the manager is interacting with his or her subordinates in some way or another. On page 9, the Section 1-4 even specifically states that “[m]ore than anything else, management jobs are people-intensive.”
The interpersonal theme is also consistent throughout the other roles listed in Section 1-4, such as the releasing of information or your employees under informational roles on page 12 and the handling of disturbances in the workplace under decisional roles on page 13.
In the article above titled “Manager should recalibrate to attract and retain top employees” written by Dr. Gilbert, Dr. Gilbert included some statistics from a 2017 Workplace Bullying Institute study that stated that more than 60 million US workers suffer abusive behavior in the workplace, where bosses were the “… perpetrators in an approximately 2-1 ratio.”
In response, Dr. Gilbert lists four different ways to create a more positive environment via interpersonal connections: establish an office of equals by creating a mutual environment, talk to your employees face-to-face rather than only email correspondence, give your employees a say when it comes to making certain decisions, and learn how to come across to your employees to avoid a unnecessarily negative office environment.
In a world where, according to a Pew Research Center study, more than one third of the workforce is made of millennials, Gilbert states that older styles of more aggressive and exclusive management are being replaced with a more employee-friendly and mutual workplace environment that values positive interpersonal connections.
With this information provided through the textbook and Dr. Gilbert’s article, I have come to establish an idea of how to respond to the “management potential” question. While I have not had any previous managerial experience, I could prove my management potential through my human-to-human connection skills. I often find myself being able to sympathize with others well, while also not sacrificing the goals I must achieve.
For example, during my time volunteering at a local thrift store and food pantry, the all-women employee group often clashed over various things. Those things included who completes what task, how to organize different items, or what to bring out from storage to the storefront.
So, I learned how to deescalate these situations throughout my time there. I would typically sit down with the opposing parties and discuss pros and cons on each of their ideas for the store. During this time, I typically kept a low voice and allowed the sides to do most of the talking. Usually, this ended up in some agreement on what decision needed to be made.
Of course, there were times where it didn’t always work out, but through further suggestions and person-to-person conversations, we always made something work to keep the store running.
So in conclusion, I may have not had any previous managerial experience, but I could definitely prove to become a great manager in the future through genuine and positive interpersonal connections with my subordinates.
As demonstrated in Chapter 1 in our textbook and the article written by Dr. Gilbert, these interpersonal connections are one of the most important aspects of any manager’s career. And from my past experiences and new knowledge on how to be a great yet efficient boss, I feel as if I could prove that I have “management potential.”
Encouraging your workers and keeping them working ahead on company goals is definitely a great skill to have. This skill could fall under the leading function, as the textbook states that the leading function ” . . . involves inspiring and motivating workers to work hard to achieve organizational goals,” (6). Working with and encouraging your workers can also fall under interpersonal roles, or more specifically the leader role, in which ” . . . managers motivate and encourage workers to accomplish organizational objectives,” (11).
The book also mentions that the encouragement of workers and overall environment positivity is often a responsibility of top managers and first-line managers. Top managers are responsible for the development of ” . . . employees’ commitment to and ownership of the company’s performance,” (7).
First-line managers take on the responsibility of ” . . . encourag[ing], monitor[ing], and reward[ing] the performance of their workers,” (9). If you put the emphasis of your ability to encourage your workers to be productive, then these two positions might best suit you.
When offered an international assignment, a lot of people start daydreaming of all the things they want to see and do. According to our textbook on page 179, “If you become an expatriate, someone who lives and works outside his or her native country, chances are you’ll run into cultural surprises.”
Hence, in addition to planning your adventures, you should also research and learn about the cultures. There are several factors to consider before taking the leap and accepting an expatriate assignment. The potential expatriate must weigh the pros and cons before jumping in with both feet. Although it may seem like a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, is it right for you?
The first consideration would be dealing with language or communication barriers. According to our textbook, “simple things such as using a phone” or “asking for directions” may be misunderstood and frustrating (181). Although some expatriates receive training, most do not. Furthermore, conducting business in a foreign country is challenging.
For example, without knowledge of the culture or speaking their language, you may be at a disadvantage and miss opportunities. Additionally, your body language or nonverbal expressions may be offensive if misunderstood.
Secondly, the potential expatriate’s family would be an important consideration. According to a Harvard Business Review study, “32 percent of those offered international assignments turned them down because they did not want their families to have to relocate, while 28 percent turned them down to protect their marriages (183).”
This factor is very important because taking the assignment would affect all your family members directly or indirectly. For example, your spouse and children would have to adapt to the new culture and essentially start their lives over in unfamiliar territory.
Last, according to a blog posted by the Wall Street Journal, once an employee returns from overseas, “companies aren’t always prepared.” Often, their careers take a downward turn, and their time abroad is not recognized.” The CEO of Crocs, John McCarvel, said, “he still sometimes feels like a’foreigner’ at the office.” The fear of not being accepted or feeling unappreciated when you return is a factor when thinking about taking an assignment abroad.
In closing, there are many factors that might discourage someone from taking an expatriate assignment. Personally, my family would be the biggest consideration.
“Chapter 8.” MGMT¹¹: Principles of Management, by Chuck Williams, 11th ed., Cengage, 2019.