Is Foxconn a bad dormitory’s operator?
Foxconn is one of the largest and fastest growing multinational electronics manufacturing companies in the world. The main job of Foxconn is to make components for top global electronics companies, like Apple, Dell, Motorola, and so on. The record from Foxconn’s website describes that the company has over 1 million employees in the world. To manage large numbers of employees more efficiently and effectively is the big task for Foxconn. Due to the series of suicide at the dormitory on 2011, public spotlight has called attention on the dorms’ issue of Foxconn. Is Foxconn a bad dormitory’s operator?
On the one hand, squalid dorms of Foxconn have been exposed recently. An undercover report from The Shanghai Evening Post disclosed the deplorable conditions of Foxconn’s dorms. ‘The smell of dorms like garbage with the mixture of dirty sweat and foam smell, plus many cockroaches inside wardrobe and dirty bedsheets…’(The Shanghai Evening Post 2012). Furthermore, several conflicts between workers and security guard presented the tough management inside Foxconn. For example, hundreds of workers involved in a clash with security guards at the dorms in Foxconn Chengdu plant (Anna Leach 2012) on June 2012. More than two thousands of workers involved in the brawl at the dorms in Foxconn Taiyuan plant on September 2012 (Marisa Krystian 2012). The incidents indicate the young workers are less able to adapt the Foxconn’s militarization of management.
On the other hand, Foxconn has worked hard to satisfy the need of workers in the dorms. Various facilities include gym, canteen, hospital, postal office, library, playground and others are all in the dorms though some of them need to be improved. Workers can choose to live inside the factory’s dorms or outside the factory. Moreover, more strategies to help employees keep their sanities, manage stresses and prevent falls have been implemented. For example, Foxcoon has hired over 70 psychiatrists to prevent suicide (Lois Beckett 2012). After eleven workers died after jumping off buildings in the Foxconn Campus in Shenzen, the infamous preventive netting were draped outside the dormitory building.
Because of the mode of production, Foxconn needs a great amount of young workers. How to manage these young staff to meet the fast growing of company is a management challenge for Foxconn. Some people comment the transition from strict management of militarization to flexible management. As we are discussing the dorm business here, we comment if the squalid dorms were not improved, the more conflict would be occurred in the future. To provide dorms like home away from home is one of options to create the harmonious working environment and improve the productivity of workers.
Anna Leach 2012, 1,000 Foxconn iPad workers trash dorms in riot against guards, [online]. Available at URL:
http://www.theregister.co.uk/2012/06/07/foxconn_workers_riot/ [Accessed 26 Oct 2012].
Lois Beckett 2012, By the Numbers: Life and Death at Foxconn, [online]. Available at URL:
http://business-ethics.com/2012/01/27/1328-by-the-numbers-life-and-death-at-foxconn/ [Accessed 26 Oct 2012].
Marisa Krystian 2012, Apple iPhone Maker Foxconn on High Alert After Dormitory Brawl in China, [online]. Available at URL:
http://tv.ibtimes.com/apple-iphone-maker-foxconn-high-alert-after-dormitory-brawl-china-6513# [Accessed 26 Oct 2012].
The Shanghai Evening Post 2012, Accomplish 3,000 iPhone 5 back plates one night, [online]. Available at URL:
http://newspaper.jfdaily.com/xwwb/html/2012-08/27/content_870967.htm [Accessed 26 Oct 2012].
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