1. Think of the initial impressions you formed of Foxconn as you read the case. To what degree did stereotyping influence your thoughts? How much did additional information about the firm change your initial impressions?
The title alone raised red flags. Right away my perception of the company took a turn for the worse. As I continued reading I began to question the suicide rate. Living in the US all my life it is hard to fathom working in such terrible conditions. I do not think that the work alone is what caused the suicides since it sounds like low wages, poor work is common in that area, so much so that people moved near Foxconn to work there. I think that many factors played in the amount of suicides. I do however think that the company could do more to try and help lower that rate. Offering counseling, or family events or additional perks here and there for workers to utilize could do wonders for such a work environment.
2. While the manual labor of assembling electronics is challenging for Foxconn employees, the workers may also face the emotional burden of being away from family and isolation from the outside world. How might management recognize and help employees constructively cope with these challenges and emotions?
As I mentioned above I think that Foxconn could offer incentives here and there to help employees adjust. Family days where employees families come in for a picnic. It is a technology company so maybe offer the employees and their families a phone or computer to help communicate (skype, facetime, etc) could also help. Foxconn could also provide on-site counseling for employees who may be having a hard time with the isolation. A system that could be successful at a company of this caliber is an incentive type program where employee could earn paid leave throughout the year. This would allow employees to visit family without worrying about losing money. It also could increase the value of the work performed.
3. How has Foxconn engaged in impression management? Have their efforts been successful?
I think Foxconn engaged in impression management by providing employees with a roof over their heads and food that was more than likely much better than what they were used to. Foxconn proved that their efforts were successful and it can be measured by the amount of employees who would come a distance in hopes of landing a position. Wages were low but still better than other jobs available so it is obvious that Foxconn is doing something right. I believe the Media, as always, skewed the situation making it look one way.