21928 PWE Foxconn Assessment 1




21928 PWE Foxconn Assessment 1

21928 PWE, Spring 2019

Assessment task 1

Case Study AnalysisFoxconn Technology Group


For the past 30 years, strategic human resource management has been the dominant approach to human resource management policy. During the last decade however a new dominant approach to human resource management labelled sustainable human resource management has evolved, according to (Kramar R., 2014). Ultimately, this approach connects HRM and sustainability together to help organisations make decisions that enable the achievement of financial, social and ecological objectives. Sustainable HRM is considered to prioritise the longevity of an organisation over the financial outcomes of the organisation.

This case study analysis will be based on the sustainability and labour practices of Foxconn Technology Group. Foxconn Technology Group has become notorious for its harsh work conditions and treatment of human resources, accentuated by the extraordinarily high number of suicide attempts and deaths which occurred in the year of 2010. This report will identify two HR sustainability initiatives practiced by Foxconn Technology Group and analyse the authenticity, contribution and outcomes of the HR sustainability initiatives.

Identification of HR sustainability initiatives

The first HR sustainability initiative identified is the creation of the Foxconn University. The Foxconn University was first established in 2001 and was built with the purpose of promoting the continuous development of education and training for its employees. Foxconn has established numerous scholarship funding schemes to help bright and talented students afford University education. This initiative is considered a HR sustainability initiative as it gives its employees more encouragement to continue learning and developing their qualifications and skills to help achieve a more successful professional career. The book by (Vince, 2009) explains that these employees will subsequently, serve as drivers for positive change and innovation by boosting the research and development at Foxconn and the application of advanced manufacturing technologies.

The second HR sustainability initiative that I have chosen is the development of their Fourthgeneration Industrial Park in Guiyang, China, the provincial capital of Guizhou. Before the city’s sudden technological transformation, Guiyang was a very poor province of western china, hidden within luscious green mountains. Foxconn’s 4G industrial park was the first of many Tech-giant’s data centres to open in this area of china, which is now considered “China’s Big Data Valley”. Although, Foxconn’s 4G industrial park provides a lot of strategic benefits such as tax incentives, state support and lower costs, the industrial park has also boosted the economic growth of Guizhou to become the 3rd fastest growing province in 2016, (Debroux, 2014). Foxconn’s dedication to sustainable development is evident through the design of the 4G industrial park which includes R&D centers, a cloud computing center, sewage treatment plants, green parks, and natural greenery surrounding transportation routes. Every building in this industrial park follows the notion of eco-building design, and strives to satisfy the objectives of environmental preservation and protection.


21928 PWE Foxconn Assessment 1
Last updated: Aug 2023

Page 1

building in this industrial park follows the notion of eco-building design, and strives to satisfy the objectives of environmental preservation and protection.

Authenticity of the identified HR sustainability initiatives

Organisations can make any claims that they want and it is quite difficult for people to disprove their claims, and therefore it is always wise to be sceptical of their claims and analyse the authenticity of their claims before believing them. (Bonini, Koller & Mirvis, 2009) states that Foxconn’s initiative to create a university that provides training and continuing education opportunities to its employees does have significant evidence and support to show its stakeholders that their program is real. In the year of 2014, Foxconn has spent over 2.5 million for its employees to further their education through scholarship funding. In the same year, the Foxconn university has allowed over 26 million trainees to complete their degrees in courses such as management, technology, industrial engineering, etc. The Foxconn’s investments and partnerships with other universities further support the authenticity of this initiative. Although this initiative requires a lot of financial resources and other resources, there are a lot of benefits that it provides to the growth and development of the Foxconn, making it a very viable and worthwhile HR sustainability initiative. The authenticity of this initiative is therefore very high as it is both highly beneficial to the organisation as well as sustainable.

Similarly to the Foxconn University initiative, the development of the Foxconn 4G industrial park in Guiyang is another HR sustainability initiative that provides practical benefits to the Foxconn organisation. The tax incentives, state support and lower costs that the geographic location provides has already convinced the likes of Microsoft, Huawei, Hyundai Motor, Tencent, Qualcomm and Alibaba to invest heavily in Guiyang. What makes this initiative more substantial is the approach that Foxconn committed to, making the industrial park completely eco-sustainably driven, according to (Ehnert, Harry and Zink, 2013). Every detail and design aspect was tested for compliance to energy-savings, environmental protection and eco-culture of Foxconn. The industrial park itself is evidence of this initiatives authenticity, as the efficient roof panel design, sewage treatment plants, green parks, and natural greenery surrounding all help to prove that Foxconn is aiming towards a “green, ecological, natural, zero emissions, and recyclable” facility that can be used as a model for the development of future industrial parks.

Contribution of initiatives to enhancing positive social and human outcomes for Foxconn’s HR

The Foxconn University initiative enhances positive social and human outcomes for Foxconn’s HR by providing its human resources with the opportunity to integrate theory and practice, to promote knowledge application and lifelong learning, and to encourage employees to interact with and learn from one another. The Foxconn University contributes further to the development of their HR by conducting student internships, cadre training, scholarships…


21928 PWE Foxconn Assessment 1
Last updated: Aug 2023

Page 2

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