South-Western - Management  
Hit the Road, Jacques
Topic Human Resources Management
Key Words global, international, labor laws, human resources
InfoTrac Reference A84798286
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News Story

This is a case study of an American manager who hired a European sales manager from Belgium to manage operations there. When the employee wasn't happy and was underperforming on the job, the manager tried to fire him with severance pay. The employee did not fight the decision, but the severance pay turned out to be more complex than expected. According to Belgium law, severance included not only three months pay, but also bonus, social security, pension plan, vacation, the 13th month and medical coverage. The manager concluded that European employees are too expensive to hire or fire.

Questions
1.

What are the advantages and disadvantages of hiring a local manager in a foreign company vs. moving an American to that county? How should American managers educate themselves to insure they don't run into the same problems this manager did?

2.

If this underperforming manager was an American, what would his manager need to do to legally discharge him?

3.

Do you agree with the conclusion in the final sentence of the article? Justify your answer.

Source Lisa Bergson, "Hit the Road, Jacques," Business Week Online, April 15, 2002.
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