A Primer to Combating Terrorism: Playing it Safe While on Overseas Assignment (An Experiential Exercise)


  • B. Elango
  • Lee A. Graf
  • Masoud Hemmasi


Companies now face a much tougher time to persuade U.S. managers to accept specific international assignments, and many, if not most, of these “jitters” derive from concerns about safety. While employers have attempted to attract expatriate attention to overseas opportunities through a variety of means (i.e., extra pay, pre-departure security briefings, etc.), such efforts alone may not yet be sufficient. A clear understanding of the reasons for terrorist actions (the general goals of all terrorist groups that underlie the actions that they take), and the distinguishable stages of all terrorist acts provide a good deal of the critical detail that can be utilized by those taking preparatory action (developing a plan) to protect oneself/one’s employees and one’s family on an overseas assignment. The purpose of this experiential exercise is to help those unfamiliar with security issues during overseas travel to identify the vulnerabilities that could be exploited by terrorists, and then to develop a plan to diminish those vulnerabilities. Quizzes and expert answers are utilized as part of the exercise to bolster participants' depth of analysis and understanding.