Xerox in Kenya
Xerox Corporation conducts business in more than 160 countries and employs about 140,000 employees. Furthermore, Xerox is a member of the Electronic industry Citizenship Coalition (EICC) that helps promotes standards in areas such as social responsibility, health and safety and environmental activity. They are also supporters of human rights throughout the globe. They are also big on the promotion of women throughout their corporation. Their CEO, Ursula M. Burns, is a women. They participate in human right throughout the globe (www.xerox.com).
Kenya is a country in East Africa. It covers approximately 58,000 square kilometers of land and has the population of approximately 39 million. Kenya is the home to over forty different ethnic groups, making it a very diverse country. Although several African countries have problems with their political system, Kenya is considered to be a stable country. It is a third world country, however, it is continuing to develop over the past couple of decades. The economy is growing and is expected to continue to grow in the future. The country does have a high literacy with computers, however, the majority of the country is employed directly or indirectly in the agriculture industry (www.africa.com).
Attitudes towards Women and Children
Kenyans are generally described as being relaxed and friendly individuals. However, their attitudes towards women is less than friendly. Men are generally referred to as being the ‘main’ gender while women are said to belong mainly in the kitchen. Even though they are often placed into domestic roles, Kenyan women do have some high powered jobs. In 2007, out of the 222 members of the Kenyan parliament 18 of the members were women. However, some Kenyan men are known to have a problems with this. Several women were assaulted by men just weeks before the 2007 election. One women political was even shot to death (www.kenya-advisor.com).
Some parts of Kenya are considerable worse than others. Some women describe the relationship between men and women as ‘intolerable discrimination’ by the men. Rape and violence against women are high in Kenya. Sexual violence has been a growing concern in the country in the past few years. Domestic violence is also prevalent country. A recent study revealed that at least half of all Kenyan women had been a victim of some sort of violence against women, either domestic or other types of violence. The majority of these victims were assaulted by family members (www.irinnews.org). However, Kenyans have been working to try to fix the way younger males see and treat females throughout the country.
Child labor has become somewhat prevalent in African countries in the past couple of decades. Unlike some African countries, Kenya has taken steps to eliminate child labor. According to their law, Kenya prohibits children under the age of 13 to take on any form of employment. Children from ages 13-16 may take on light work responsibilities and children ages 16-18 are considered employable. There are also time limits that a child under the age of 18 can work. These time frames are from 6:30am-6:30 pm. However, these age restrictions do not apply to children if they are in the same family as their employer. Furthermore, these child labor laws do not provide protections for these children who are employed in these circumstances (www.softkenya.com).
Values and Attitudes
Kenya is a multi-racial country. These means that Kenya is composed of several cultures and ethnic groups. However, there are several common values throughout the country. Kenyan’s value things like the institution of marriage, respect for others and their property and leadership. Marriage is one of the largest objects that is valued in the Kenya. The reasoning behind the high value on marriage is due to the fact this is the foundation that families are built on. Individuals seek to obtain maximum protection in the community for which they live. Members of a community want to gain influence and prestige throughout their culture. In Kenya, it is believed the only way for an individual to gain such prestige is through marriage and through parenthood. Therefore, marriage places social status on an individual (Wandibba).
Another attribute Kenyans value is human life. Human life is consisted to be highly valued throughout most countries in world. It is, however, allowed to kill an enemy under just cause. In other cases, taking another’s life was not allowed under any other circumstance. Kenyans are raised to respect human life and not take that right away from other individuals. In many cultures, there is no higher value than the value of human life. Therefore, no property or other materialist possession has value higher than life itself. The value of human life is therefore priceless. Kenyans also believe in this philosophy in that there is no greater value than the value of human life.
One big value is to respect others and their property. Kenyans are taught at a young age this valued and are expected to follow this value. Each family has a responsibility to make sure that every child grows up to understand the difference between acquired and stolen goods. They are also responsible to teach their children to respect their neighbors and their property. If not properly taught to respect the property of others, then adulthood might be an awakening for them. Individuals who are found stealing in Kenya are heavily punished (Wandibba).
Lastly, good leadership is also valued and respected throughout the Kenyan culture. Traditional cultures in Kenya are based on the importance of good leadership. This also goes hand in hand with seniority in age. Age is considered to be important because old age is associated with wisdom. Wisdom is important to leadership because it dictates the decisions a leader may or may not make (Wandibba).
Safety and Fairness
Women and men do work in different industries in Kenya. Women generally work in services while men stick to education and building/manufacturing. There are legal limitations on how much and frequently a worker can legally work. Workers in the non-agricultural workforce are allowed to work up to 53 hours a week and are allowed one rest day per week. Workers are also allowed one month of annual sick or regular leave. There are strict health and safety standards which all organizations must follow. Workers may not be forced to work in hazardous conditions (www.kenyaplex.com).
Kenya follows the rules stated in their Occupational Safety and Health Act. This law was enacted to guarantee the safety and welfare of all workers in the workplace. The acts purposes and goals at set to secure the safety and health of the working environments. This is to make sure the workers are not working in hazardous areas or conditions that may be detrimental to their health. This law was also established for the prevention of child labor. Especially when this threatens the health of the child. The act has also developed regulations as to what is considered a safe and healthy work environment and requires all companies and organizations to follow these regulations. The employer has the duty to take care of its employees and is required by law to make sure employees are not subjective to hazardous working environments. This act attempts to achieve its purpose in three main ways: 1) creation of preventive measures, 2) institutional frameworks, and 3) punitive measures (www.kenyaplex.com).
There are five labor law in Kenya: the Employment Act, Labour Institution Act, Labour Relations Act, Occupational Safety and Health Act and Work Injury Benefits Act. Their goal was to replace their current labor laws in order to make them up to date with the demands of their development and the standards of international labor (www.softkenya.com).
The Employment Act establishes terms and conditions of employment. It also provides prohibition against discrimination in the workplace due to race, sex, religion or nationality. It does not except forced labor or any other type of discrimination in the work place. This act also focuses on wages and deductions of the employee. This law states an employer cannot deduct wages over two thirds of an employee’s salary. Furthermore, the law also states what is adequate working conditions: basic conditions, hours of work, maternity/paternity leave and any other type of authorized leave. The last part of this act requires employers to justify termination of employment. This law created the idea of unfair dismissal. It also is the part of the law that regulates child labor. It prohibits unauthorized child labor and sets minimum age and conditions that children are able to work under (www.softkenya.com).
The Employment Act also has consists of a Work Injury Act. This replaced the country’s Workman’s Compensation Act. This law states that employers are required to obtain and maintain insurance policies to cover liability and register with the Director of Work Injuries Benefits. Employers are also required to keep and maintain records of work injuries. They are then required to keep these records for a minimum of 12 months after the claim. Employees are also guaranteed compensation for disablement and death due to work related injuries (www.softkenya.com).
Economic/Political Conditions or Competition
Corruption is a current and serious problem in Kenya. However, no top officials have been prosecuted yet. In 2013, the head of the state was charged with corruption, however, he was never prosecuted. The individual and corporate income tax rate is at 30 percent. Property rates are poorly protected and many individuals lack titles to their land. Recently, Kenya’s economic freedom score has declined and the economy has also declined (www.heritage.org).
Xerox should enter into Kenya. Kenya culture follows the similar rules and beliefs that Xerox does. Kenya has placed laws to equal and fair employment throughout the country. Kenya has also adapted to common values and beliefs as to the rest of the world. This would make it easy for Xerox to move into the country. One difficulty companies have moving into a different country is trying to find a happy medium between cultural differences. Kenya has several of the same cultural values and beliefs that Xerox does. Therefore, they would not have to motify that much in order to fit into the Kenyan culture. This can make it easy for the company to hire and work with the individuals of this country.
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