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Treating Foxconn Personnel As Machines

Foxconn Technology Group is a multinational anchor company of Hon Hai Precision Industry CompanyLtd. , a Taiwanese company that is the world's most significant leading of electric company. Foxconn is the most significant exporter in China that includes a workforce of 90, 000 employees all over China. Its well-known clients include Apple, Dell, Nokia, and Microsoft and so forth, which take comparative advantages of labour cost and development resulting in profit maximisation (BBC, 2011). For satisfying immediate and huge demand on IPad, Foxconn has promised Apple Company to boost the output to fulfil their orders. Unfortunately, Foxconn did not get worried on the employees of job stress anticipated to intensive manufacturing process. According a report from Student and Scholars Against Corporate Misbehaviour (SACOM) (2010), it stated that 14 frontline personnel died from suicides between January and August 2010, anticipated to high working volume and depressed emotion. It reflected that the maximizing effective management would lead the workers as dehumanized machines and the deterioration of dignity and well-being. In respond to the tragedy situations, then your CEO Terry Gou Tai Ming suggested that the personnel signed the determination of a myriad of suicides disregarding as the company's responsibility. He also attributed the suicides to personal problems, such as bad socialisation and finical bad debts, in order to get the give amount of settlement offered by the company. Although the company initiated the action for the restoration of job satisfaction, the severe management technique was eventually not modified to contribute to job stress and burnout. For example, the action asked counsellors to the manufacturing plant, negotiated to make higher wage, proven the hotline and Employee Care Centre, organised an anti-suicide assembly and organised the activities for creativity, but it is worthless for reduce in job stress.

Despite to carry out the disaster decision-making, there is a close marriage between poor wage and accommodation, severe management and lack of health and basic safety safeguard (Chamberlain, 2011). First, the brought up wage was somewhat increased CNY 100 set alongside the minimum wage (CNY 1250 monthly) set by municipality. This improvement is insufficient for living condition especially in Shenzhen where the monthly living wage should be CNY 2293 (Students & Scholars Against Corporate Misbehaviour, 2010). Furthermore, each congested dormitory can accommodate 24 staff and observer was informed by a worker who was pressured to sign "confession notice" after illicitly using a hairdryer (AM 730, 2011). Second, excessive and involuntary overtime can be an obviously serious problem led to job stress and burnout. The report of SACOM (2010) uncovered that workers were required to work 10 hours and 6 days per week this means overtime accumulated to 84 time during the midst of group of suicides. The top quality should generally be 1. 5 or two times weekend hourly income conformed to Labour Legislation, yet there is absolutely no benefit for overtime during weekend. Then, the recurrent change of work shifts may be abnormal that probably organise your day and night shift in a day, are changed 2-3 3 times per month. The workers wouldn't normally allow talking at the job. Finally, the workplace has responsibility to provide a safe workplace and the effective safeguard and training the employees on occupational health by Occupational Disease Legislation of China. Unfortunately, 3 employees were identified as having leukaemia and 1 employee is restless related to the harmful chemicals. In the mean time, no personal protecting equipment liked goggles and gloves would be provided when the staff controlled a drill on his responsibility. The patients even need to pay medical fees themselves.

An assistant of CEO explained to the criticism of anti-suicide commitment becoming over extensive and also to the prohibition of discussing during working in order to improve the quality of productivity (The Liberty Times, 2011).


While Overall economy becomes flourishing period, employer would make large incomes by fulfil the demand. For instance, the manufacturers wish to use existed development machines and lots of workforces in order to complete the requests and gratify their clients. Giving an answer to accomplishment of goals and goals, management may underestimate the front-line employees' job issues and anxieties that results in turnover or potential negative results. This goal is to analyse the dangers of employees' health insurance and safe practices in Foxconn and to research the implication of leading organisation.

Job stress and Burnout

Job stress is thought as a marriage between employee's mental or physical stress and working environment (Kahn & Boysiere, 1994). Other classification may allow stress for enhancing performance that is the connection of work conditions and staff personality with changing mental functions (Beverage & Newman, 1978). However, the personnel in Foxconn wouldn't normally contribute to this improvement, the tragedies took place under stress and severe management instead. The main three stressors are job quality, romantic relationship, and physical quality that yield to job burnout. Job burnout identifies due to job stress that advances from the sustained situation that employees are unable to deal with the abnormal demand resulting in physical, emotional and cognitive exhaustion (Hu & Cheng, 2010). The degradation of job quality in Foxconn may create of low income and high work time. The workers wasn't able to receive the reimbursement on overtime; even there is absolutely no inner (mental) or external (monetary) reward. It could damage the job security and marriage between the employer and workers, then the company would be reduced the labour drive due to the increasing resignation of staff. Another stressor is a lack of physical quality that results from abnormal work time and work-life imbalance. Consequently, the business should face the potential loss of income and take the duty of turnover.

Emotional Labour

Emotional labour plays a significant role in daily work life for employees and immediate or indirectly effect to the business. For instance, the employees become psychological exhaustion and cognitive withdrawing from the job, and then finally resigned. Emotional labour is the legislation of feeling and emotional display at the job that interact with customers, co-workers, and the public (Chau et al. 2009). The psychological labour includes two categories are surface acting and deep performing. Surface performing refers as suppressing one's emotional and pretending to the required emotional expression, while deep performing involves modifying real one's feeling to show proper emotional display. Chau et al. stated that the top acting would relate with the negative final results, such as turnover, or withdraw behavior, due to emotional dissonance and interior exhaustion, whereas deep performing may reduce negative outcomes due to genuine and positive emotions. Acknowledge of profound performing for the employees performs in Foxconn that can result in decrease the mental exhaustion and avoid the turnover motives.

Psychological Contract

A psychological agreement (PC) is considered as a mutual responsibility that was founded by both employees and their employers regarding the terms and conditions of exchanging romantic relationship (Kotter, 1973; Rousseau & Tijoriwala, 1998). In other words, the expectations matter on what the employees owe their employers and on what their employers owe the employees in return (Ng & Feldman, 2009). For instance, the employers might provide the inducement, such as high pay or potential advertising, for the determination to encourage the employees' maximise effort. Nevertheless, the breach of emotional contract (BPC) could not reach the guarantee by either the employers or employees. Chen, Tsui and Zhong (2008) categorised into two types of BPC which can be reneging and incongruence. Reneging occurs when worker breaks the guarantee, or the company is unable to satisfy the promises. Incongruence occurs when the staff and employer have misunderstanding of the agreement and promise. Obviously, the former PBC is the Foxconn employers who violate the law and may not pay the overtime rate wage to pay the employees' effort. The excessive work number would be damaging to their physical and subconscious health that lead to depressive work condition and finally happened suicides. The second option BPC was analysed misunderstanding of the Foxconn employers driving a car the additional work hour into daily work volume; on the other hands, employees would like to have a standard socialisation with certain work hour and well-being. Ironically, the employers made military management to be able to achieve the productivity maximisation, however they neglected the employees' job stress to earnestly misunderstand that was the employees' needs.

The four methods can package with BPC depending on years and work experience, because PC targets relatively young employees with relatively low work experience (Ng & Feldman, 2009). The first method is leave that refers to voluntary withdraw behaviour. Flaherty and Pappas (2002) proven that the more mature and more experienced workers have more likelihood to stableness in their work live and less likelihood to intend to leave their employers. The second method is speech that the employees try to tone out to the employers yielding to improvement in work condition. Alternatively, it may increase the risk of retaliation from employers. As a result, younger and less work experienced employees should point out their disappointment due to less malleable PC, while the more aged and more capable employees should stay away from voice immediate to employers to be able not to lower their job security. The third method is commitment which involves silence or passion to negative work condition for left over with an organisation. Generally, more aged and more capable employees may have significantly more flexible expectation to cope with interpersonal marriage problems. Regarding the suicides at Foxconn in China record of SACOM (2010), the victims' a long time from 18 to 25 that belongs to early age or junior work generation. It implied the younger or less experienced employees that could not have appropriate expectation to get over the difficulties. The very last one is overlook in term of counterproductive behaviour that is lower involvement and better workplace drawback. The older and more experienced employees would be less to activate in this technique because of more malleability within the existing firm and less replication in external company. In additional, other research showed that mentors and supervisors can support with BPC by giving career-related information and internal support (Zagenczyk et al. , 2009). The career-related support includes the provision as security, awareness and sponsorship, while mental support includes a friendly relationship, confirmation, acceptance and counselling. The supervisors would like to evaluate the performance as well as presenting reviews to subordinates.

Organisational Misbehaviour

Organisational misbehaviour (OMB) is the intentional action that violates the distributed organisational norms and expectation or unconventional tactics that are not supposed to do at work (Vardi & Wiener, 1996). Vardi and Wiener (1996) recognized OMB into three types to impact in personal, organisation yet others or organisations. OMB type S is intent to benefit self-interest which frequently occurred in internal organisation. For example, distorting data may obtain the high evaluation to be able to boost the chance of campaign; stealing and providing the house from organisation take money into personal account; and harassing peers by managing the personal work process or gossip others is damaging to other accounts of reputation. Type O OMB intends to profit the employing organisation that usually occurred in external organisation. For example, cheating other firm's associates is to get the contracts for the employing company. Type D OMB intends to injure others or to damage the company that associated with both inside and external company. A good example of type D is revenge in order to deriving the own satisfaction and giving an answer to actual or identified mistreatment. Furthermore to three types of OMB, work environment deviance and dysfunctional behavior are important to analysis in the case. Workplace deviance pertains as voluntary behavior of organisation associates that infringe after the organisational norms scheduled to threaten to the company or organisational associates (Robbinson & Bennett 1995). The last mentioned considered as the behaviour rather than inspiration, the action will hold the negative result and consequence for an individual or group within organisation (Griffin, O' Leary-Kelly & Collins, 1998). Hence, dehumanised management in Foxconn belongs to type O that high work time and low overtime paid would profit to the organisational interest that encourage the revenue maximisation. This step would deteriorate the relationship between employers and employees, and damage the employees' socialisation and physical quality. Then, the supervisors compelled to sign "confession letter" scheduled to unintentional faults that traits to workplace deviance since it should immediately be detrimental to employees' physical and mental aspects. Although the company attempted to allow the activities such as hotline and anti-suicide set up, for motivating the employees, those activities would be compulsory to become listed on rather than be counted in their work time. Because of this, the behaviours would invert the function of motivation that regarded as dysfunctional behaviour.

However, Shamsudin (2006) proved the ways to avoid OMB that are personal counselling and surveys with questionnaires. Personal counselling is an initial solution that recognizes the reasons of OMB and different expectations of behaviours because employees may possess the different ideals, perception and norms. But personal counselling might not work when the OMB is in group, violent or legal in nature, studies can acquire and analysis the whole employees' understanding and norms to avoid the issues in the relationship of employers and employees.

Job quality

Job quality can come from many measurements that enhance job security and satisfaction. Consequently, understanding of job quality is significant to keep employees in the company, and the likelihood of BPC can be reduced within the conversation of employees and employers. Job diagnostic survey is a job measurement that knows the degree of job quality (Hackman, 1975). The motivating potential credit score that add up skill variety, task identity and task significant to divided by three and then combine with autonomy and feedback. In addition, other studies expressed the work quality in the us and Europe, so that can help to enhance the situation of Foxconn. Handel (2005) described that Fordism is a period which is the context of stable industrial system including American economic dominance, rising output and earning, steady or reducing inequality, and strong employment growth. Neo-Fordist theory promises that job quality for most workers is at term of material incentive and work tempo which is the bottom process of high pay, job security and job mobility as a consequence to inequality between management and labour in post-war market. Increasing job quality through Post-Fordist theory means the respect to both materials (e. g. pay) and intrinsic (e. g. job obstacle, autonomy and workplace cooperation) rewards and working condition (e. g. reduced physical workloads). Referring to Handel's theory, post-Fordism period is comparable as booming market in China where real GDP grew at the average rate of 9. 3% by overseas investments and become the world's most significant overall economy (Morrison, 2005). The Foxconn should boost the wage by the material pay back, offer sufficient time and self-reliance by intrinsic compensation, and decrease the quantity of workload to decrease the likelihood of job burnout. In European work market, the work-life balance and working time and training and career development are concepts of job quality (ETUL, 2009). The management of Foxconn could supply the flexible working agreement by employees choosing working style themselves for balance the job stress and well-being to be able to improve the socialisation (Kelliher & Aderson, 2009). Also, training and job development can expand the self-confidence in job task and individuality.


In bottom line, Foxconn has made a military management to its employees as dehumanised treatment that drove the suicide tragedy. Job stress may contribute to job burnout that made up of excessive work quantity and low wage in Foxconn. Mental labour may help to increase the turnover objective and mental exhaustion by profound acting. Laptop or computer is s common expectation including employers and employees and BPC would fulfil PC which can use exit, voice, loyalty and neglect method to eliminate BPC depending on era or work experience. OMB type O should feature to overtime and low wage deteriorate the relationship between employers and employees. Furthermore, the work environment deviance and dysfunctional behavior could be harmful to the partnership as well. Job quality is also significant to improve job security and satisfaction because job redesign is to change the role and return of job when the current economic climate changed.

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