CERIC Seminar Series: Foxconn’s expansion from China to the Czech Republic

This is a CERIC Seminar taking place at Leeds University Business School on Wednesday 14 February 2018.

One firm, two countries, one workplace model?

by Professor Devi Sacchetto (University of Padua) and Dr Rutvica Andrijasevic (University of Bristol)

This talk will investigate the transfer of work and labour practices from Foxconn's manufacturing headquarters in mainland China to its subsidiaries in the Czech Republic and asks what factors are influencing Foxconn's adaptation of its work and employment practices.

By drawing on original ethnographic fieldwork in the Czech Republic, the talk will suggest that while Chinese and Czech plants share several similarities (flexible labour arrangements, low wages, use of dormitories, and weak trade union representation), the use of these practices in the Czech plants is not a result of the regime imported from China. Rather, they are an outcome of host country institutional environment, sectoral specificity, and systemic logic of capital. Furthermore, the talk will show that Foxconn adapted its work and employment practices also on the basis of the social composition of the workforce and its various forms of agency.

This talk aims to make a contribution to debates on internationalization by illustrating the limits of the national institutionalist perspective and showing the importance of the workforce composition and the non-institutionalized forms of workers' agency for investigating firms' cross-border expansion and adaptation.

For further information, please contact Anastassia Belynskaia at A.Belynskaia@leeds.ac.uk