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The Jaguar or Bluebird? (A): Mark Chan's Decision to Stay Overseas or Return Home after his Expatriate Assignment case study tackles the plight of Mark Chan. He was troubled upon returning home and not getting a good position at a Singaporean subsidiary of the company he used to work for. He used to work for a British multinational company that assigned him abroad to the company's headquarters in London.
Gunter Stahl and Hwee Chua Chei
Harvard Business Review (INS764-PDF-ENG)
October 01, 2003
Case questions answered:
- Should Mark Chan accept the job in Singapore and return home or remain in England? Why or why not?
- Do you think his perceptions (interpretations) are reasonable? Why do you think this?
- How can he manage the conflict with his organization and within himself? Or is there no conflict?
- What can the organization do to support Mark? Are they responsible for doing this?
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Case answers for Jaguar or Bluebird? (A): Mark Chan's Decision to Stay Overseas or Return Home after his Expatriate Assignment
Jaguar or Bluebird? (A): Mark Chan’s Decision to Stay Overseas or Return Home after his Expatriate Assignment Case Study
The Jaguar or Bluebird? (A): Mark Chan’s Decision to Stay Overseas or Return Home after his Expatriate Assignment case study tackles Mark’s plight after his assignment abroad. He used to work for a British multinational company that assigned him abroad to the company’s headquarters in London.
After his assignment in London, he must decide whether to stay there or return back home to Singapore. He was troubled upon returning home and not getting a position at a Singaporean subsidiary of the company he used to work for. This happened despite having performed well during his London assignment.
1. Should Mark Chan accept the job in Singapore and return home or remain in England? Why or why not?
Mark was an expatriate from Singapore who kept a foreign assignment of his business in London. He was quickly finishing his task and had to decide whether to pursue his international career or return home. Mark needed to take his career growth and his family’s interests into account.
He had followed the Western lifestyle and lived peacefully in England with his children. By sacrificing his professional growth, he may pursue his international career journey to ensure his career advancement or consider his family needs.
According to the current scenario, it would be fine for Mark to return to his home country instead of selecting his expatriate role. There are several reasons for the Marks to move to a home country where his career growth and a comfortable lifestyle are the only justification to live as an expatriate.
The key reason for his repatriation is that the Singapore company wants him more to fill the role of a hard-working, skilled, and successful employee within the company. The company gave him opportunities to work on a foreign assignment as an expatriate.
Through appointing him different jobs and sending him to several countries, including Japan, Thailand, Indonesia, Vietnam, and Malaysia, this organization helped him develop early-stage carer growth. He lives and works aboriginally during his overseas assignments and reads about diverse communities in many other countries.
Now, he is required by the home business, and it is Marks’ duty as well as the privilege to return to his home country to accept the job provided, share his expertise and skills with other workers, and allow other employees to develop themselves as expatriates.
Mark Chan has established himself as a positive mentor while working in Singapore by offering guidance to other workers during their expatriate training programs. Therefore, his decision to repatriate is very positive for his children and Marks’ personal life.
Marks’ wife, Linda, always wants to go back to Singapore because her father is suffering from chronic illness and is very interested in going back to the home country to look after her brother and parents. Marks’ family and friends are already in Singapore.
After moving to England, Linda abandoned her banking career, and if they move back, it would be a perfect chance for her to resume her work and establish herself as well. Yet if they live in England, it will be tough for her to reclaim her career.
Returning home will also be very beneficial for their children because they are now in their stage of growth, and Singapore’s educational system is different from the English system. When they return soon, it is time for their children to know their native culture and languages and preserve their Singaporean identity and emotionally bind themselves to their family members.
Mark’s decision for the future depends on his judgment. If Mark prefers his occupation, on returning to Singapore, his kids will face additional challenges. Although Mark has difficulty deciding one of the two options, and in both situations, he must surrender his family needs, including his job as a spouse and kids or his profession.
By scarifying his professional development, he may follow his international career path to ensure his family’s job performance needs to be considered.
2. Do you think his perceptions (interpretations) are reasonable? Why do you think this?
Marks’ perceptions are appropriate as he is in a dilemma either considering an expatriate’s job growth or going back home for a more family-focused life. Mark Chan currently has two choices, and both are equally important to him. If he wishes to develop himself, he must maintain his expatriate arrangement and live in England, where he loves his comfortable lifestyle. Still, if he pays more attention to the family and the company’s desire, he will return home.
The only thing is that he does not get sufficient repatriate incentives upon returning. He must operate on a lower role and still not get a relaxed lifestyle and adopt Singapore’s traditional culture.
Going back to Singapore will be an excellent decision for the better future of his wife and children. Mark Chan is a very…
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