The Leadership of Foxconn
The word of leader appeared in 1300, and the word of leadership appeared till 1834. The meaning of leadership is the ability of lead. (Charlotte,2002) Leadership is the process of reciprocal, transactional and transformational. In the course of a person is allowed to influence, inspire others to facilitate and achieve the target of groups and individuals.
Leadership traits began to focus on the leader’s own leadership scientific analysis. More specifically, it seems to distinguish the leader from the society to followers. (Richard rt al.,1996:167) Theorists, scholars and practitioners often have different definitions for leadership, therefore, each have different views on the meaning of leadership. Some researchers consider leadership as a trait or as a behavior, other view of leadership from a perspective or relationship standpoint.
Regardless of the size of organization, leadership and management are two essential elements of successful businesses. (Gill,2005) In any organization, the main difference between leaders and managers is: Leaders can predict the future, review the existing human resources, material and have a plan on adjust their milestones.
Managers do not need to have so-called lofty ideals, they only need to plan the human resources and materials properly. Managers execute the mandate given by superiors and to complete the work within the prescribed time, for short-range task has absolute executive power. Managers can bring great energy to the team. This following essay will firstly to compare the difference of theories in leadership and then introduce the leadership trait of the company.
Authoritarian leaders often judge according to their own ideas and make choices, rarely accept other opinions. In some cases, autocratic leadership is beneficial a large group of people to make decisions quickly. Some task requires strong leadership to work quickly and efficiently. Autocratic leadership is helpful in some cases, but sometimes this leadership style may cause problems.
Such as a leader abuse of autocratic leadership style is often seen to be bossy, control and dictatorship person, which may cause resentment among group members. The Democratic leadership style often gives the consultation space to workers. The members of the group take a more participative role in the decision-making process.
The benefit of democratic leadership is to inspire the subordinate to figure the better ideas and more creative solutions to problems. Some potential downsides of this kind of leadership is that it can lead to communication failures and inncompleted projects. Bubby(2011) states the type of paternalistic leader has a great relationship with their group just as the relationship with their family.
The leader offer the subordinate great working conditions and fringe benefits make the worker works harder and be grateful to the company. This kind of leadership was not suitable for the mature employees, it might generate antagonism and resentment between the subordinates and leader rather than gratitude.
Laissez-faire is the leadership which leaders are hands-off and allows group members to make the decisions. This kind of the leader may have high risk on their subordinate, the productivity may be low and it may be hard to make a decision. It is only suit the employees which are skilled and have high motivation on their work. McGregor’s theories of leadership are divided into two models: X leadership and Y leadership.
The theory X is based on authoritarian management. It assumes that the employees are less motivation and dislike working in the theory X. The management style is discovered most in manufacturing company with a large number of workers. The theory Y assumes that the employees are highly motivated and ambitious on the work. Based on theory Y, people at lower levels of the organization are involved in decision making and have more responsibility.
Terry Gou founded Hon Hai Precision Industry Company Ltd, the anchor company of Hon Hai / Foxconn Technology Group in 1974. Hon Hai Precision Industry Co., Ltd., trading as Foxconn Technology Group, is a Taiwanese multinational electronics contract manufacturing company headquartered in Tucheng, New Taipei, Taiwan.
It is the world’s largest electronics contract manufacturer measured by revenues. Foxconn is primarily an original design manufacturer and its clients included American, European, and Japanese electronics and information technology companies. The company manufactures notable product included the iPad, iPhone, iPod, Kindle, PlayStation 3, and Wii U. Foxconn Technology Group is the world’s 3C (Computer Computer, Communications Communication, Consumer Electronics Consumer) foundry Regulation Mold largest international enterprises. (Foxconn, 2013).
There are various admirable achievements and entrepreneurs in the world, Gou is one of the successful company of them. Hon Hai’s performance continues to expand under Guo’s military operation. He is not only their leader but also their role model. He believes employees are indispensable to the company.
Early in the financial tsunami, Hon Hai efforts to develop more new business opportunities, such as to strived Apple iPhone3G mobile phone order when other companies appeared tiredness. Gou driving the company’s revenue rapidly up in 2009. In such a slump era, the company’s business strategy and internal competitiveness is far higher than other companies. The company has a good leader can make the company sustained progress.
Leadership with Foxconn
Gou states that a successfully enterprises should pay attention to efficiency, rather than democracy. “Democracy is the most inefficient way of work, democracy is an atmosphere, a feeling, so that we can communicate, but…, in the fast-growing company, leaders should be a little more domineering.” For enterprises, discipline is more important than democracy.
This kind of leadership is between Autocratic and Paternalistic. Due to Gou’s strong leadership, everything goes efficiently according to table drills of the company. Gou considered that the executive power is mainly pressure to force the company to rich the company goal. Gou also requiring employees to work even during the typhoon day. Ordinary companies only operate 24 hours per days, Hon Hai was able to operate 28 hours.
By the time difference between the U.S. and Taiwan, Hon Hai works 4 more hours than others. “Reward and punishment” is his leadership spirit. At work, once they accept the consumer’s order, they will finish the work within the time. The employee will be punished by the company if they did not submit the products in the deadline. However, despite the military discipline, they will not stingy to distribute the commission to the employees.
As the outstanding performance of the employee, it is not difficult to get share stocks at the end of assigned. (Chang, 2005) The leadership of Gou’s management finally causes some problem. Foxconn has been involved in several controversies relating to how it manages employees in China. There were a series of suicide incidents of the manufactory in Mainland China during the 2010.
The main causes of the event pointed out that employees work in a deep pressure working environment. It reveals a huge drawback of the management. The company began to concern the issue of the working environment and working hours. In 2012 Apple hired the Fair Labor Association to conduct an audit of working conditions at Foxconn. After the events, FoxConn decided to increase wages, and stop issuing compensation for suicides at the same time.(China Labor Watch, 2011)
To conclude, Hon Hai presents the standard Autocratic leadership and also involved the Paternalistic style. This essay has introduced the leadership of Gou, and also well-present the managed way of Foxconn. Gou’s management makes the company operation much more efficiency than other well-known company.
Foxconn knocked out other competitors and win the chance to take the order which other company also wanted. Gou’s specialized leadership will continuously lead Hon Hai to a higher position. In order to lead the road to success, a leader must fully understand its mission and tasks. In short, leadership is the main key to successful of a company.
Charlotte,L. (2002) Oxford Dictionary: Oxford University Press
Richard, M., Lyman, W.P., Gregory, A.B.,(1996) Motivation and Leadership at Work: McGraw-Hill
Bubby D(2011) Management An Introduction 5th ed :Harlow Financial Times Prentice Hall
Gill N,Managing and Leading People :Chartered Institude of Personnel and Development,2005
2013 HON HAI PRECISION IND.CO.,LTD http://www.foxconn.com.tw/ 2013鴻海精密工業(股)公司http://www.foxconn.com.tw/
Career Consulting Co. LTD @2005, LEADERSHIP The Competent leadership
philosophy2 http://media.career.com.tw/Careerbook/magshort.asp?CA_NO=329p074 就業情報資訊股份有限公司Copyright @2005 ,LEADERSHIP主管領導哲學2http://media.career.com.tw/Careerbook/magshort.asp?CA_NO=329p074 Yi, C., Wen, C., Fang, L.,(2005) The 50million Legendary of Ho Hai – The Empire of Gou: Common Wealth 張戌誼,張殿文,盧智芳/著, 五千億傳奇－郭台銘的鴻海帝國 (典藏版): 天下雜誌
Statements on Foxconn’s Decision to Increase Wages and to Stop Suicide Compensation-Electronics : China Labor Watch(2011) http://www.chinalaborwatch.org/pro/proshow-95.html