The business sector is one of the most challenging economical sectors in the global market. To be concise, the manufacturing sector is one of the most challenging business sectors the market. There are a lot of factors that are considered while making business decisions. These factors include, financial decisions such as cutting down on costs and improving sales.
The Foxconn Company is a company that deals with the Apple Company. The company manufactures i-pods and i-pads for the Apple Company and it works collaboratively with other leading technology firms. The company has been surrounded by multiple controversies concerning employee welfare within the company. The company’s main manufacturing plant is located in China. In the past years, the company has received huge levels of criticism after news broke out that the company was overworking its employees. Further, the company has had suicidal cases among its employees perhaps due to work pressure.
The thesis of my essay is to analyze the organizational problems that led to suicide cases within the company. I will explore various theories such as self-determination theories, equity theory, and expectancy theory, need theories of work motivation and goal-setting theory. Further, my essay research entails an interview survey on six participants; two of them are managers (all male), four of them are workers (aging from 18 – 23).
The equity theory argues that in order for a business to achieve efficiency, there should be a rational satisfaction between the organization and its workers. The theory explains that employees devote their efforts in a company depending on the level of compensation and working environment offered by the organization. The theory addresses that the social relationships within an organization should be fair. Further, the theory explains that employees attitude towards a firm may affect the level of their input towards the firm. Skill tolerance, enthusiasm, hard work and skill level should be compensated by recognition, added benefits and salary increase (http://topics.nytimes.com/top/news/business/companies/foxconn_technology/).
The Foxxconn company does not consider the equity theory. This is replicated by the employee treatment by the firm. According to the interviewed employees, all of them claim that the company overworks them and they are not satisfied with the working environments in the firm. This evidently simulates that there is a negative attitude among the employees towards the company. Further, the company seems to care less about the employees’ welfare. According to the company, the firm’s employees are among some of the best-paid employees in the world. Furthermore, the company argues that it provides recreational facilities such as swimming pools and other recreational facilities for the workers (http://bits.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/05/17/daily-report-workweek-still-too-long-at-apple-supplier-audit-says/?ref=foxconntechnology).
However, there are vivid manifestations of poor employment of the equity theory within the company. For instance, despite the company being one of the largest companies in terms of financial returns, less is done to compensate the workers for the long working hours. In addition, the employee-worker relationship within the company appears poor judging from the interview respondents. This may be one of the reasons why the company has had suicidal cases among its workers in the past few years.
Consequently, the self-determination theory addresses the need for employee motivation through intrinsic tendencies. The theory explains that firms should focus on improving their motivation measures towards their employees in order to create an effective employer-worker relationship. Further, self-determination measures towards employees create a healthy working environment for workers within a firm.
Description of the organization
In the Foxconn Company situation, there appears to be low levels of self-determination measures employed by the firm towards its employees. According to the company, they address motivational issues to their workers during their admission orientation. Furthermore, the company prides in paying their workers high salaries, which may help them in their personal growth interests (http://www.cbsnews.com/news/what-happened-after-the-foxconn-suicides/).
However, the company portrays low levels of self-determination among its employees. The interviewed parties revealed that there is less time given to employees for family and personal growth. The employees revealed that the company expects more from them and they often harass employees through various ways. For instance, the company has been accused of using military punishment measures on its employees. In addition, the firm overworks its employees reducing their work enthusiasm because of exhaustion.
The self-determination theory addresses that firm’s should enhance a conducive working environment in order to satisfy their workers psychological needs. Overworking employees and using harsh punishment techniques may lead to negative psychological effects on the workers. Negative working environments may lead to increased stress levels among employees, which may in turn lead to suicide cases.
Motivation theories argue that organizations should give enough consideration towards their employee satisfaction towards their work and their working environment. Employees are the most fundamental part of an environment. Thus, if a firm incorporates huge aspects of employee motivation, then the benefits are replicated in terms of quality services. Further, employee motivation paves way for talent and innovation among workers (https://www.chinalaborwatch.org/news/new-433.html).
However, the Foxcon technology company employs poor levels of employee motivation. Judging from the interview responses, none of the respondents admitted that they were satisfied with the working environment in the firm. Consequently, all of the interview respondents did not consider the high technological facilities within the company as a motivational aspect. They all indicated that the company’s organizational culture pays less or rather no attention towards the employees’ personal needs. There is a lot that comes into play when planning an organizational employee motivation measures. For example, self-determination, expectancy theory and goal setting all require employee motivation. Poor motivational measures within the Foxconn Technology Company may have led to employee demotivation and increased suicide cases.
The Foxconn Technology Company is one of the largest company in the world. The company tenders for almost all the leading technology retailers in the global market. Thus, their goal setting strategies should deeply engage their workers. For example, the company has had past incidents of employee suicides and dissatisfaction of employee towards the firm’s organization and working environment. They should ensure they improve their employee motivation and attitudes towards the company. The firm’s goals should cover the needs of the employees in order to improve the company’s reputation.
The goal setting theory calls for efficiency and effectiveness while formulating firm goals. However, the Foxconn Company employs redundant measures considering employee motivation in their goal setting approaches. This is evident in the employee dissatisfaction with the firm. Furthermore, in goal setting theory, employees should be at the centre of the goal setting plans. This is because employees are the most essential part of a business with respect towards establishing a firm’s set goals.
The reinforcement theory addresses for further approaches towards solving a firm’s problems. For instance, reinforcement theories help firm’s identify their weak points (Griffin & Moorehead, 2014). Consequently, reinforcement plans enable the firm solve their organizational problem efficiently. In the Foxconn Technology Company situation, reinforcement measures should be applied to solve the workers crisis affecting the corporation. The failure of the company’s labor union to solve the rising cases of suicide calls for further assessment of the problem. In my opinion, the most ideal remedy is using reinforcement approaches. This will improve the efficiency of the firm’s labor union.
Description of the participants
There are major factors that led to suicidal cases in the Foxconn Technology Company. First, there are huge levels of poor employee motivation strategies employed by the company. Further, the company appears to pay less concern towards appreciating their employees’ efforts through rewards and salary increase. The firm focuses more on their short-term business goals rather than their long-term goals. The interview respondents all seem unsatisfied with the working conditions in the company. There is definitely a problem in the human resource department in the Foxconn Company since all the interview respondents have a negative attitude towards the company.
The organizational culture is deeply flawed and this is evident by the failure of the firm’s labor unions to address the employees’ problems. Consequently, if the problem persists it may cause severe losses for the company in the future. It is clear that the company has an internal business crisis judging by the interview respondents. There appears to be no signs of favourism or unfairness in terms of gender and age. This is because all the interview respondents explained that their working conditions were harsh and they were being deprived off their personal time. However, the problem is more prevalent in the subordinate sector because the interviewed managers appears less disappointed by the working environments than the other workers interviewed. Therefore, the problem appears more prevalent at the deeper levels of the organization.
Employee treatment is vital in improving the quality of services and sales within an firm. The Foxconn Company defends itself on the basis that it creates a competitive environment for its employees in order to increase efficiency. In my argument, there are many firms that pay concern to their employees’ welfare and these companies have achieved business success.
Cameron,D.,David. The “Suicide Company”. New York Times. Retrieved from http://topics.nytimes.com/top/news/business/companies/foxconn_technology/
Patterson, M., Henrick, J. Foxconn Company. China Watch. Retrieved from https://www.chinalaborwatch.org/news/new-433.html
King, S., Robin, D., Jen, C. What Happened after the Foxconn Suicides. Cbsnews retrieved from http://www.cbsnews.com/news/what-happened-after-the-foxconn-suicides/
Griffin, R. W., & Moorehead, G. (2014). Organizational behavior: Managing people and organizations. Mason, OH: South-Western/Cengage Learning.
Jenniffer, G. Workweek still too long at apple supplier audit says. New York Times. Retrieved from http://bits.blogs.nytimes.com/2013/05/17/daily-report-workweek-still-too-long-at-apple-supplier-audit-says/?ref=foxconntechnology