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Acceptable for both the organization and employees

    Assignment Instructions

    Before departing, Charles and his family had learned background information about the culture of the islands and knew what to expect about personal issues such as housing, education, and access to medical services. Charles had also received some general information about conducting business in Fiji. He had not, however, learned details about hotel management protocols in the country, because his company was not able to locate persons with this background who could or would provide basic information for a reasonable fee. The consensus was that this was not a major problem because, in its most general sense, the hotel would be managed and operated in the same way as any other hotel in the company.

    Charles and his family arrived in Fiji and were pleased to learn that their prearrival preparation was good and there were only a few minor surprises to which they were able to adapt without significant hardship.

    Charles’s experiences on the job, however, were different. All of the employees spoke English (as he knew they would), and communication did not seem to be a significant issue. However, there were two concerns that he did not expect. One involved the fact that most of his staff members lived in the same tribal village. Numerous awkward situations arose when persons of different tribal rank and/or familial relationships were required to supervise, or to be supervised, by each other. Problems arose when, for example, a family patriarch in the village was supervised on the job by a junior nephew.

    The second concern was one that he wished he could have experienced in his domestic positions: entry-level staff members wanted (almost excessively) ongoing training. Charles liked this request, wanted to provide the training, and realized its long-term benefit to the organization. However, he was concerned about the time needed for these staff members to learn tasks required for their current position. The time available for additional training for future positions was minimal because of the significant amount of start-up work that was necessary.

    Charles wished that he would have been prepared for these issues so he would have known how to deal with them better.


    1. How can Charles deal with these issues in a way that is acceptable for both the organization and the employees?

    2. What, if any, general assistance can his organization, headquartered in the United States, likely give him as he addresses these concerns?

    3. Assume you were the HR manager of Charles’s company. Based on Charles’s experiences, what specific recommendations would you have for better preparing employees selected for international assignments?

    Reference: Food service administration Hospitality Management

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