Chicago Food and Beverage Company: Case Study

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The modern world gives people multiple opportunities for people to interact internationally. In particular, this affects the work of various large companies. Their employees need to travel, communicate with new partners, and open branches in new countries. On the one hand, this opens up tremendous possibilities for development. On the other hand, international interaction is much more complicated than interactions within one state.

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Therefore, it is vital to consider the different aspects of such activities and approach them with increased attention. A striking example of international activity is the case of the Chicago Food and Beverage Company (Bodolica & Waxi, 2007). The purpose of this paper is to discuss and analyze the challenges faced by this organization.

In the case under study, company managers follow a specific traditional staffing framework: each employee has certain development stages. Having achieved some success and having worked for a certain period in the company, they can proceed to the next stage. Such a framework is quite common in modern organizations. Undoubtedly, it has many advantages, as it allows employees to become real professionals step-by-step (McNulty, & Brewster, 2017). In addition, this way, people clearly understand what they need to do to move to the company’s next stage of development. This reduces the level of competition within the company, which helps to improve the organizational climate.

Unfortunately, in part, this framework negatively affected Paul’s work, the new manager of the Vietnamese branch of the company. First, he did not have enough international experience. Consequently, he has not reached sufficient managerial heights to receive sufficient pay for him. Second, he was put in a completely unfamiliar place and a new group of people. On the one hand, this is a great step for the development of his career. However, on the other hand, his higher-ranking colleagues did not want to immediately let him into their team (Bodolica & Waxi, 2007). Thus, working at this branch became difficult for Paul, in part due to company policy.

In any case, the discussed position was coveted by Paul. He wanted this job because the experience of running a company abroad is an excellent opportunity for professional growth. First, it allowed him to find a common language with foreign colleagues (Chen. 2019). Second, it is an opportunity to show himself well in a serious position and be more professional in the eyes of the company leaders (Takeuchi et al., 2019). Third, moving abroad implies bonuses such as accommodation and transportation. Consequently, Paul could be calm about these aspects of life during the trip. In addition, the cost of living in Vietnam is lower than in the United States, so working abroad allowed him to immerse himself in the life of another country fully.

It is worth noting that Paul is the right candidate for an expatriate position. The company’s managers immediately noted his ambition and openness required for such work. In addition, his level of education and experience living abroad increased his credibility in their eyes. Despite the psychological difficulties associated with living and working in a new place, Paul coped with his tasks. This is how he justified managers’ trust and proved that he has the right to work on high and responsible positions.

There are undoubtedly some shortcomings of the company’s expatriate management that should be noted. For example, given the number of branches in different countries, each of them needs competent managers. They must also be adapted to work in a particular country. It can be seen from the case that this is not always so; therefore, Paul was less comfortable working conditions than he could have. To address this situation, it is necessary to develop the HR department and pay attention to expatriate employees.

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Despite this, the case shows that the company provides ample development opportunities. Paul had not yet worked for six years to become one of the senior employees (Bodolica & Waxi, 2007). However, he received a quick career jump and support from the leadership. This suggests that bosses consider various personal and professional factors, not just formal aspects. This is one of the benefits of working for this organization.

In addition, one should pay attention to the positive aspects of the company’s international policy as a whole. Some companies choose to recruit professionals in new countries. These people can undoubtedly have a better understanding of the aspects of doing business in their country (Wiernik et al., 2017). However, as can be seen, the Chicago Food and Beverage Company prefers to work with people from the central headquarters. They have specific training and performance standards, so managers can rely on them. This is why employees like Paul can have a unique experience abroad.

As mentioned above, the company provides various methods of expatriate compensation. For example, these include accommodation and corporate transportation. It should also be mentioned that the expatriate employees retain some parts of the compensation packages in their home country. In this way, people are not left “abandoned” and continue to feel like a part of the company (Bader et al., 2016).

Undoubtedly, the advantages of this approach are good working conditions and a feeling of reliability and safety. Unfortunately, however, employees may not be able to take advantage of all of these benefits in another country; thus, some bonuses remain useless. Simultaneously, live human communication (one of the best rewards of any job) may not be as high-quality as necessary.

The HR department of the US headquarters can take some steps to improve expatriate satisfaction. First, this department must be expanded to pay more attention to each employee abroad. It can be developed not only within the main headquarters but also divided into separate parts for different countries for more accessible communication.

This way, people like Paul will not feel abandoned and alone in another country. Meyer et al. (2016) state that “cultural, economic and social elements can be listed as relevant external factors that have some influence over expatriates” (p. 139). In addition, according to Qureshi et al. (2017), “corporations are progressively struggling to face the challenges of knowledge transfer, control, and coordination across units” (p. 321). Thus, it would be easier to have a separate management team for each branch.

There is also a need to revise the monetary and non-material compensation of employees. Even those who have worked for less than six years in the company can be paid amounts corresponding to the economic situation in another country and get compensation for work abroad. In addition, intangible incentives in the form of certificates of honor or even promotions will also help improve employees’ moods. Despite the prestige of working in another country, it is quite difficult; therefore, the expatriate of employees must be continuously maintained.

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Thus, the considered case is a vivid example of the organization’s international activities. When studying it, it becomes clear that there are many difficulties associated with this process. If a company opens branches abroad and sends employees there, then the manager needs to work with them with redoubled attention.

It should be borne in mind not only that their labor needs to be compensated differently because they work in different conditions. It is also important to remember that working in a foreign atmosphere is psychologically challenging. Therefore, people on expatriate positions need constant support and assistance, and then the development of the company will indeed become fast and efficient.


Bader, B., Schuster, T., Bader, A. K. (2016). Expatriate management: Transatlantic dialogues. Springer.

Bodolica, V., & Waxi, M. (2007). Chicago food and beverage company: The challenges of managing international assignments. Journal of the International Academy for Case Studies, 13(3), 31-42. Web.

Chen M. (2019). The impact of expatriates’ cross-cultural adjustment on work stress and job involvement in the high-tech yndustry. Frontiers in psychology, 10, 2228.

McNulty, Y., & Brewster, C. (2017). Theorizing the meaning(s) of expatriate: Establishing boundary conditions for business expatriates. The International Journal of Human Resource Management. Web.

Meyer, B., Meyer, V. Jr., Da Silva, K., Brandão, L. (2016). Managing expatriates: Analyzing the experience of an internationalized Brazilian company. Revista de Ciências da Administração, 18(46), 137-147.

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Takeuchi, R., Li, Y., & Wang, M. (2019). Expatriates’ Performance Profiles: Examining the Effects of Work Experiences on the Longitudinal Change Patterns. Journal of Management, 45(2), 451–475.

Qureshi, M., Shah, S., Mirani, M., & Tagar, H. (2017). Towards an understanding of expatriate job performance: A conceptual paper. International Journal of Academic Research in Business and Social Sciences, 7, 320-332.

Wiernik. B., Rüger, H., & Ones, D. (2017). Managing expatriates: Success factors in private and public domains. Verlag Barbara Budrich.

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