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For this assignment, you will apply decision-making to the process of international human resource management as you determine which of the four final applicants to hire into a global executive position.
You are a member of the management committee of a MNE that conducts business in 23 countries. While your company’s headquarters is located in the Netherlands, your regional offices are located fairly evenly throughout the four hemispheres. Primary markets have been in the European Union and North America; the strongest emerging market is the Pacific Rim. Company executives would like to develop what they see as a powerful potential market in the Middle East. Sales in all areas except the Pacific Rim have shown slow growth over the past two years.
At present, your company is seeking to restructure and revitalize its worldwide marketing efforts. To accomplish this, you have determined that you need to hire a key marketing person to introduce fresh ideas and a new perspective. There is no one currently in your company who is qualified to do this, and so you have decided to look outside.
The job title is “Vice President for Global Marketing”; an annual salary of $250,000-$300,000, plus elaborate benefits, an unlimited expense account, a car, and the use of the corporate jet. The person you hire will be based at the company’s headquarters in the Netherlands and will travel frequently.
A lengthy search has turned up four people with good potential. It is now up to you to decide whom to hire. Although all the applicants have expressed a sincere interest in the position, it is possible that they may change their minds once the job is offered. Therefore, you must rank them in order of preference so that if your first choice declines the position, you can go on to the second, and so on.
First, read the biographies of each applicant. As you are doing this, rank each of them from 1 to 4, with 1 being your first choice, and explain your reasons for their ranking.
For your essay this week, respond to the following questions using the decisions you have made with your rankings.
The first section of your paper should be an overview of your rankings and reasons for your decisions.
Did your decision include any culturally based biases you may have—for example, feelings, personality traits, or politics in your rankings?
Did you make any observations that you feel would have been fully acceptable in your own culture, but were not accepted in other cultures? If so, explain.
What implications do you believe any of the applicant’s cultural differences would have in business dealings? In what countries or cultures?
What expatriate adjustments for the candidate need to be considered? How will the company handle these?
Explain the decision-making process you used to make your decisions.
Park L. is currently senior vice president for marketing at a major South Korean high-technology firm. You have been told by the head of your Seoul office that his reputation as an expert in international marketing is outstanding. The market share of his company’s products has consistently increased since he joined the company just over 15 years ago. His company’s market share is now well ahead of that of competing producers in the Pacific Rim.
Park graduated from the University of Seoul and has worked his way up through the ranks. He does not have a graduate degree. In addition to his native tongue, Park is able to carry on a reasonably fluent conversation in English and has minimal working knowledge of German and French.
Saya K. is a woman living in Malaysia. She began her teaching career while finishing her DBA (Doctorate in Business Administration) at the Harvard Business School and published her first book on international marketing ten months after graduation. Her doctoral dissertation was based on the international marketing of pharmaceuticals, but she has also done research and published on other areas of international marketing.
Two months after the publication of her book, Saya went to work in the international marketing department of a Fortune 500 company, where she stayed for the next ten years. She returned to teaching when Maura University offered her a full professorship with tenure, and she has been there since that time. In addition, she has an active consulting practice throughout Southeast Asia. In addition to fluency in Malay, English, and Japanese, Saya speaks and writes German and Spanish and can converse in Mandarin.
Peter had worked in a key position in the international marketing division of a US Fortune 100 company until the company pulled out of his country South Africa eight months ago. Peter has a long list of accomplishments and is widely recognized as outstanding in his field.
Peter has a Ph.D. in computer science from a leading South African university and an MBA from Purdue’s Krannert School of Business. Peter speaks and reads English, Dutch, Afrikaans, and Swahili and can converse in German.
Joe is currently job hunting. His former job as head of marketing for a single-product, high-technology firm—highly specialized workstations for sophisticated artificial intelligence applications—ended when the company was bought out by Texas Instruments.
Joe has both his undergraduate and MBA degrees from Stanford University. In addition, he was a Rhodes Scholar and won a Fulbright scholarship, which he used to support himself while he undertook a two-year research project on the marketing of high-technology equipment to Third World countries. In addition to his native English, Joe has a minimal command of French—which he admits he hasn’t used since his college days.
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