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12.7 End-of-Chapter Questions and Exercises

These exercises are designed to ensure that the knowledge you gain from this book about international business meets the learning standards set out by the international Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business (AACSB International).Association to Advance Collegiate Schools of Business website, accessed January 26, 2010, http://www.aacsb.edu. AACSB is the premier accrediting agency of collegiate business schools and accounting programs worldwide. It expects that you will gain knowledge in the areas of communication, ethical reasoning, analytical skills, use of information technology, multiculturalism and diversity, and reflective thinking.

Experiential Exercises

(AACSB: Communication, Use of Information Technology, Analytical Skills)

  1. One of the reasons that firms seek to employ people in other countries is the relative cost of labor. Visit the US Bureau of Labor Statistics website and scan the available comparison data for international compensation (http://www.bls.gov/fls/flshcaeindnaics.htm). Which countries have the lowest wages? Which have the highest? Why wouldn’t companies always locate their operations where labor costs are the lowest?
  2. You are an SHRM consultant called in by an American firm that wants to staff its new international operations with expatriates. They have asked you to compile a checklist of the key concerns the company should address and steps it should go through before embarking on this endeavor. Engage Michigan State University’s globalEDGE site (http://globaledge.msu.edu/) and similar resources to prepare your report.
  3. Drawing on information in this chapter and in resources such as globalEDGE, design a preparation plan that might improve the chances for success in foreign assignments. Does your plan include selection criteria as well? Why or why not? If so, what might these selection criteria be?
  4. Pick a foreign country where you’d like to sign up for a job assignment. How well do you know the business practices in that country? To see how well you understand the ways of doing business in other countries, go to Kwintessential—Language and Cultural Specialists’ web page at http://www.kwintessential.co.uk/cultural-services/aims-and-objectives.html. Click on Tools and Resources. From here, you can choose several online quizzes to test your knowledge of business etiquette in a number of countries.

Ethical Dilemmas

(AACSB: Ethical Reasoning, Multiculturalism, Reflective Thinking, Analytical Skills)

  1. Your company is just beginning to branch out of the United States, and your CEO suggests that it might be good for the company to put its ethical standards related to SHRM into writing for the entire company. Regarding selection and placement, job design, compensation and rewards, and diversity management, what standards would you propose? How would you go about determining if these standards fit every country in which your company wishes to do business?
  2. Your company’s home country believes in gender equality. What happens when locals from another country follow that country’s customs by treating a female expatriate employee as a second-class citizen? What obligations does your company have to her? How should she respond?
  3. Your company appears to be taking unfair advantage of the working conditions in an overseas subsidiary in which you work. At the same time, however, your company is providing much-sought-after employment in this developing region. Your conscience is bothered. What should you do? What rights and obligations does your company have in such a situation?