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    Country Analysis for Japan - HR Manager

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    Place yourself in the role of a human resource manager who has been asked by your company to go and set up an office in Japan. In doing so, please answer the following questions:

    1) What are some of the risks that an organization faces when stationing an expatriate overseas?
    2) Do you have the "Survival Skills" to be a successful expatriate manager?
    3) What are some of the capabilities that other expatriates believe contribute to success and failure in overseas assignment?
    4) What have been some key issues for successful expatriation of families?
    5) How can firms help with the repatriation process?

    Identify 4-6 sources of information to support your answers to these questions.

    ---- In general, I'm looking to prepare an 8-10 page report on the information that you provide me. Please include references and soures (links) in order for me to elaborate on the information which you provide. What I would desire is 4-5 pages from you which I can expand on. Thank you for your assistance.

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    Solution Preview

    1. What are some of the risks that an organization faces when stationing an expatriate overseas?

    There are several risks that an organization faces when it makes a decision to station an expatriate overseas. In the current scenario, if we take into account the case of a Human Resource Manager being asked to go and set up an office in Japan, there are several risks involved.

    While taking into consideration, all the factors involved, the risks are:

    a) Cultural Shock: It is quite likely that the manager would be faced with the situation of facing, what is generally referred to as cultural shock (International-business-careers.com, 2003). In the current scenario, it is even more likely as Japanese culture is quite different if we compare it with other western cultures. The cultural practices followed in Japan are quite different from those followed in European and other Western cultures. Hence the manager is going to deal and interact with people who belong to a different culture.

    b) Inability to adapt to working conditions: Japanese are traditionally very hard-working in nature, and are known for their high degree of professionalism. As a Human Resource Manager, it would be a challenge dealing with people whose working atmosphere is totally different from the current working conditions, hence as a HR manager, adapting to the new work atmosphere is definitely going to be quite challenging task.

    c) Lack of proper communication: In general, communication in local language or working knowledge of the local language is one of the attributes that is quite essential for any manager working abroad. In this case too, Japan is one of the countries where the local language is used more, as it is linked with national pride, and as a HR manager one of the key challenges would be to learn the language in a short span of time. This is quite critical as learning Japanese is not an easy task and it involves quite an effort and time. Apart from that the manager would have to learn the language in a short span of time as it is quite essential to interact with other staff.

    2. Do you have the "Survival Skills" to be a successful expatriate manager?

    Yes, I do believe I have the “Survival Skills” to be a successful expatriate manager. If I had been given such an opportunity, I would ...

    Solution Summary

    This solution describes the point of view of an expatriate HR Manager who has been asked to set up an office in Japan, and the policies she is going to adopt.