SPANNING THE GLOBE
1. 'Country briefings, outsourced to a consulting firm in San Antonio that had experience dealing with the countries in which Tex-Mark operated. Tex-Mark was prepared to pay for four sessions each lasting one hour.
2. 'Reading Assignments'. Three to four books (depending on region of assignment) on national or regional culture and/or doing business in the local region. Accompanying spouses/partners had access to a similar library. Interviews and conversations' with Tex-Mark employees with country experience.
3. 'Language courses'. Attendance at elective 'survival level' language classes. These courses last from 8 to 12 weeks, with 3 course meetings a week. Tex-Mark will pay for spouses/partners as well.
IN-COUNTRY TRAINING AND DEVELOPMENT
Upon arrival, Tex-Mark staff in the local operation will assist the accompanying spouse/partner with job search activities. They will assist with finding children acceptable schooling situations. Where possible, Tex-Mark staff will endeavour to provide a social support network.
Upon return all expatriates are required to go through a debriefing and career counselling session with HR staff. This should be held within two months of the person's re-entry to the home location.
In the role of Eric:
1. Summarize your thoughts on the problems at hand, alternative solutions and your strategy on how to proceed at the forthcoming meeting.
2. How will your proposal solve the problems you have defined?
3. How can you defend your solution from budgetary concerns? In what way is your approach both a solution to the problems of expatriates at Tex-Mark and a good economic investment?
4. Does Eric's personal background assist in his assessment of the problem he faces? Justify your answer.
5. Would you have approached this situation differently? If so, what benefits would your different approach provide for Tex-Mark?
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