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Case Study Analysis Example

Case Study Analysis Example

1. Executive Summary
The case study that will be analyzed in this report presents the case of an American woman who has been living and working in Bangkok, Thailand for three years. It comes without saying, that her life in Bangkok has not been easy. She does not speak Thai language and many of Thais do not speak English, this poses a communicational barrier. She does not own a car and does not have access to the corporate car, this poses a navigation barrier. Moreover, she had to face some differences in the approach to work in within Thai people. It came as a surprise for her that while Americans are usually ready to fulfill the tasks on the short notice, Thais are more laid back and are not willing to rush with completing one or other task. Being unaware of this Racela had troubles at work and was under constant stress. Furthermore, to Racela’s surprise she has discovered that women are usually paid less than man at the work place, and, in general, her firm lacked structure. At the same time, they are many splendid things in Thailand. Racela enjoys travelling, getting to know foreign culture and getting used to accept the cultural differences. Racela’s income is also stable, being rather low for the Western World, though reliable in Asia. Finally, living in Thailand has shaped Racela’s personality and helped her become a better, more intelligent, mature and sophisticated person. The three years spent in Thailand has surely been valuable, though being offered a new job in Hawaii, Racela is not sure whether she should continue her stay in Thailand or return to America.

2. Problem Statement
The main question that Racela has to answer now, is whether she is willing to stay in Thailand and try to integrate more in the society and struggle achieve what she has not yet achieved, or if she should go back to the United States and take up a new job there. What makes Racela’s decision rather hard to make is that she has got too many pros and cons for both options. Weighing up all pros and cons is vital for Racela because the decision she makes would influence her life and wellbeing in the few years to come.

3. Analysis
Analyzing the dilemma Racela is facing we see that this is a usual dilemma one comes across in professional life. Racela feels that she is not ready to leave Thailand, that she is not done with it, though at the same time there are many things she is unhappy there about and would be happier living in the country she was actually born. Indeed, the choice is not easy.

Being a foreigner especially in a country so culturally different from the United States of America is frustrating. I must emphasize that relocating to the foreign country and leaving behind, one’s family, one’s home, one’s language is always hard, but it is especially so, when the new country has absolutely nothing in common with the home country. Racela does not speak the language and even if she takes up learning it she would never speak it and be so comfortable using it as a native speaker or at least a person on the native speaker level. The language problem makes it very hard for Racela to integrate into the society and feel at home in Thailand. This is so because not many people speak English, thus making friends is rather challenging, and even with those Thais who do speak English connection would not be complete unless Racela fully and deeply gets to know Thai culture, and most importantly, the language.

Additionally, life in Thailand is rather stressful for Racela. Without a shadow of doubt, every person who is in social medium experiences stress. Though, it seems that Racela is overwhelmed at times by the fact that she does not have a car and has to use the public transportation that limits her freedom. It also strikes her that the working style in Thailand is very different from the one she is used to in America. On top of that, she feels that she works flat out but she still is not fully motivated because of the lack of structure and order at the company, and some degree of chauvinism. According to statistics of 2002, there are gaps between male and female labor force participation rate account of 89-70 per cent, and that female workers are more likely to participate in the informal sector (Chandoevwit). These numbers may be assumed to be relevant today. Chauvinism is, in fact, one of the only points that cannot be tolerated. While some of Racela’s integration problems can be solved or at least negotiated, the chauvinism that is enrooted in the culture is impossible to cope with for a Western person.

When coming to analyze the positive aspects of Racela’s life in Thailand we see that they are also valuable. To begin with nothing broadens the horizon the way travelling, and not only travelling but attempt for integration does. Racela mentions that she has become a totally different person and this is noticeable to everyone. This change had occurred in Racela because over the course of the last three years she got a chance to learn loads of facts about a totally new country. Moreover, she met people whose culture and behavior was so different from what she has used to, she has seen poverty, the latter made her realize that there are many things she must appreciate. So, to cut a long story short, looking back at the last three years we cannot but define them as meaningful and contributive to Racela’s character formation.

4. Discussion of Alternatives
There are two options, which Racela can choose from in the present situation. She can go back to the United States of America, take up a new job that she is still uncertain about, or stay back in Thailand, where she is unsatisfied with many things, and try to change some of her lifestyle choices to make her life easier. If Racela goes back to the United States and takes up the job she has been offered, I believe, for some time she would feel rather happy. It would be amazing for her to again be part of majority in the country, to understand every word that is said in the streets, and to be in the place where she, has not grown up in, though very familiar with. Starting a new job again might be rather challenging, especially knowing that she is not certain if the company would turn out to be success or even that she would enjoy the working environment there. Still, whatever happens Racela can be certain that she could never feel like an outsider there, because she would be working in a country she was born in. Furthermore, there is a chance that Racela would be more motivated by the new job and this would sweep her frustration away.

On the other hand, choosing to stay in Thailand would continue the complications and barriers Racela has already met with. She would still have to struggle with the local traditions, and she would feel tied because she does not speak the language. She would also continue to face with cultural differences at work. With time Racela might start to belong in the society, though this would be so only in case she chooses to stay in Thailand for a very long time. But there is a chance that this choice would make Racela stronger. It would also make her proud, because she would know that she had chosen a harder, though also more rewarding path.

5. Recommendations
I believe that it would be the best for Racela to turn down the job offer in the United States and stay in Thailand for at least some time. Indeed, life is not easy for her there, but if she leaves now there might be a part of her that would think that she did not do and did not learn enough. If she leaves now maybe some years later she would regret what she has done, and wish for the possibility to turn the time back.

I think what Racela should concentrate on is how to integrate in the society, how to become part of it, how to be seen not only as a foreigner, but also as someone who is willing to take in the culture. She should try to make more friends and also through these friends she would learn more about Thai culture and history. She should not hold back her frustration at work, because unless she says something straight her co-worker would never realize something is wrong. Of course, staying in Thailand would be very hard on Racela, but she is ought to remember that the can always leave the foreign country and take a simpler (to some extent) road, though there might not be a chance to return after she has left. In addition, it might be that she has more career opportunities in Thailand because this country recognizes the importance skilled workforce and is currently trying to attract foreign investment.

To come up with the above recommendation I have used the PMI that is an important decision making tool. PMI stands for ‘Plus/Minus/Interesting’ (De Bono). This tool works in the following way, first one states the question to be answered. The question being “Should Racela stay in Thailand?” Then different points are assigned to three columns and are weighted on the scale from -10 to +10. Then the numbers are added together and the result is evaluated.

6. Personal Perception
When reading this case I could not but sympathize with Racela when she described her hardships. However, I also could not but be curious about how it might be to live and work in a country so different from what I am used to. As a potential expatriate the case makes me wonder about several aspects of emigration. One of them is I started trying to figure out what qualities should one possess to expatriate successfully in emerging markets. In my opinion, initially the person should be ready to risk, prepared to face challenges and even barriers, and of course be open minded. Additionally, Racela’s dilemma got me to ruminating about what factors should be looked at when choosing between two employment possibilities. Some of these factors include: checking the new company’s financial health, determining how the move will advance the career, and asking what impact this will have on the personal and financial life. My personal feeling from the case was that Racela would not have positive answers to the above questions, thus I suggested that it would be better for her to stay in Thailand.

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