International Assignments: An Integration of Strategy, Research, and Practice

By Linda K. Stroh; J. Stewart Black et al. | Go to book overview

CHAPTER 3
Selecting: Identifying
Candidates With Global
Leadership Potential

Case 5: Mathison

Doug Sweedlow, director of Mathison's Information Technology (IT) department, was starting to feel frantic. He had promised to have somebody in Brazil in a couple of weeks and still no one had been chosen for the job-

Pressure was mounting from corporate headquarters in Los Angeles. “We need to get somebody there fast, Doug. The plant is having no end of problems!”

Because of delays in the Brazil plant, Mathison had missed several critical deadlines for rolling out software. These delays had been costly because the group there was an essential component of Mathison's software-development team. When Mathison got behind, production got delayed in other plants as well. Corporate headquarters wanted an immediate change in the upper rungs of the Brazil operation to ensure that production got back on schedule and to set up safeguards to prevent the plant from getting behind in the future.

Doug spent the rest of the morning reflecting on who had the best skills in IT to effectively solve the problems in Brazil. After mentally reviewing the best programmers in his division, he came up with a short list of three good candidates for the job.

As Doug reviewed the candidates, one name kept jumping out at him: Mike Tompkins. Mike was one of the best programmers Doug had in the United States. He also fully understood Mathison's approach to software development, and most relevant to Doug, Mike had done a similar job in Atlanta when a group there had problems. Convincing himself more and more that Mike was the man to send to Brasilia, Doug set up a time to interview him.

-49-

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