Subject Business Human Resource Development

Question

Foxconn is a Taiwanese multinational electronics manufacturing company headquartered in Tucheng, New Taipei, Taiwan. Founded in 1947 as a manufacturer of electrical products, Foxconn is currently the world’s largest manufacturer of electronic components. Their clients include major American, European and Japanese electronics and information technology companies. Notable products manufactured by Foxconn include the iPad, iPod, Kindle, Playstation 3 and Xbox 360. By the end of 2011, there were an estimated 1.2 million employees working within Foxconn’s supply chain worldwide. Their factories are mainly based in Asia, Europe and South America, which together assemble around 40 percent of consumer electronics products in the world.
In recent years, Foxconn has been involved in several controversies, most related to how it manages employees in China. In 2010 it was reported that a series of suicides had occurred at Foxconn’s Shenzhen production base, where between January and November eighteen employees attempted suicide, with fourteen deaths resulting. The suicides of these Foxconn workers attracted extensive media attention. Foxconn has taken some actions to address the rash of suicides, offering employees multiple pay raises, psychological assistance, no-suicide contracts, worker rallies, and by placing safety nets around buildings where Foxconn employees live and work. The company also reported it would move at least some of its Chinese operations inland to rural areas where labour could be more than two-thirds cheaper than the areas where the company was already based.
Essay questions:
You are expected to carry out research on the issues at Foxconn before answering the following questions:
Question 1: What is the impact of globalisation on International HRM?
In answering this question you may find it useful to consider:
a) Why have the multinational companies been using Foxconn as a supplier?
b) What sort of HR strategy is adopted by Foxconn in China and why?
Question 2: What are the HRM challenges faced by MNCs in their global operations?
In answering this question you may find it useful to consider:
a) What are the main HR issues identified in the Foxconn Case?
b) What further changes might be required in the current practices of Foxconn?

Solution Preview

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Foxconn a Taiwanese company which is primarily a contract manufacturer for consumer electronic goods and components was in the news recently for many reasons including the employee suicides that happened inside of its premises in its China plant. Foxconn still continues contract manufacturing activities for reputed international brands such as Apple Inc, Sony etc. It was in 2010 that there were a reported 18 suicide attempts by Foxconn employees and 14 of them succumbed in such attempts. This essay tries to attempt the study in brief about the impact on globalization on HRM and HR challenges faced by MNCs in their global operations...

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