Where is the next Shenzhen

I would like to talk more about Shenzhen. So I searched “Shenzhen” in the blogsphere. However, most of the blogs popped out have no significant connection with the factory working conditions there. I am glad most foreigners still enjoyed this city, even if it has some unpleasant reputation around the world. Then I searched Foxconn, which is known as the largest electronic contract manufacturer. Surprisingly, instead of blogs about the terrible working conditions, which I was expecting, most reports about Foxconn now is about how it is going to outsource its own business.

There are two relatively opposite directions Foxconn is going. First is Foxconn is expending its business to less developed countries, such as Indonesia and Vietnam. I believe that is what most people are expecting. Just like what I talked about in my previous blog, China was the next Japan. After Japan successfully transfer from an export country to  an import country around 1970s’, China became the next Japan and foreign companies outsourced billions of business to China’s contract manufacturers. Now, China is doing the same to other countries. As China is focusing on the economic transferring, more and more factories are forced to shut down due to poor working conditions or uncontrolled environment pollution. Major manufacturers, like Foxconn, with their advanced managing model are trying to outsource their work to cheaper labor countries.

At the same time, there are posts about Foxconn build plants in US as well. Reports said that Foxconn invested plant in US with robot labor forces. Clearly, US is a great choice for such factories with its advanced technology and large electronic market. However, this is totally opposite to what the contract manufacturers are famous for—-cheap labor. Of course, they have done their homework. It must be more profit for them to draw such decision. Maybe it is the era that even the cheap labor force can no longer beat the technology efficiency.

We can hardly tell which is a better direction to go. But it becomes interesting to guess where will be the next Shenzhen. The countries with even cheaper labor forces? Or the countries with more efficient production lines and larger market?


An Interesting Choice of Guest Speakers

On February 11, my MGMT 319 class was privileged to have Bernedette Muthien come and speak with us about her experiences in Africa. Before coming to class, I quickly read her CV and was extremely impressed by her incredible life accomplishments. I can honestly say that I have never, in my life, seen a longer CV before. When she showed up, she immediately greeted the class and began explaining to us how the two most important life principles are justice and compassion. The ability to blend these two concepts together when solving problems is crucial to the harmony of humanity. While her talk about the significance of justice and compassion greatly interested me, she began to venture off into some “questionable” areas of conversation. I do not really know how she came to begin speaking of this topic, but at one point, she began discussing her view on vaginoplasty. This, she later linked to her displeasure in society placing higher values on “fake beauty” instead of “natural beauty.” While I agree that it is unfortunate our society places such high value on plastic surgery, I do not believe she should have gone on such a tangent as a university’s guest speaker.

Students attempted to “reel her back in,” however, it seemed as though she was more interested in comparing our problems with Africa’s than educating us about her cause and how it is currently aiding the various governmental issues Africa is facing. I really wanted this talk to be highly educational and broaden my views of Africa’s current political and societal restructuring. While I may seem to take a negative view of her as a guest speaker, I do greatly appreciate her ideas about the interrelation of justice and compassion in today’s society. I was also greatly influenced by her discussion of humanity’s roots. She stated that humanity is rooted in the collective humanity, therefore, one can never truly view themselves as an individual entity. They must view themselves as a cog in the system. Hopefully, I can influence others to understand and adopt this concept throughout my lifetime. I think that modern global society has a far way to go in terms of reaching a sustainable equilibrium; however, society is already beginning to take accountability for their actions. This will eventually lead to a unified global society.

The Problem with People, The Problem with Business

This piece is about losing sight of what’s really important in our lives. The author writes about people who live their daily lives in the pursuit of making more money and buying nicer things and using material objects as a measurement of happiness. But it’s clear that he knows that is all wrong. It’s about finding worth in your everyday tasks. It’s about learning, loving, and being happy.

Now stick with me, because I promise this relates to our class…

As I was reading this article I couldn’t help but think of shareholder and stakeholder theory. Businesses focusing on shareholder theory think that by bringing more wealth to their shareholders, their company will thrive. But this seems so backwards to me. I will not argue that companies should not be focused on earning money. Of course they should! However, this is a result of their main priority – selling some good or service. Companies need to be focusing on this – selling their product or service in the best way possible. Businesses should be working to make the business the best it can be. The corporate world, much like our social world, has lost sight of the main priority. Businesses work through a tunnel vision to raise shareholder value, thinking of nothing other than that. However, it’s important to step back and reevaluate. Businesses will be far more successful if they consider a holistic approach to their success – not just shareholder wealth. Just like people will be far happier if they consider a holistic approach to happiness – not just money and material things.

My Search of the Blogosphere

The blog I selected is a student looking at Kiva for a class in college, similar to myself.  I found this blog to be interesting because it allows me to see another student’s perspective and thoughts on Kiva.  I am extremely interested by the organization, and it appears this student’s class is going more in depth with the organization than our own.  While this blog currently only has three posts, it will be updated weekly throughout the semester.

With the user name “cptnkoolaid,” I was not expecting much out of this blog.  But, they actually bring up a lot of great points about our society today.  In his first post, “Kiva – 001 – The Struggle of Humanity,” he brings up ideas about the wealth distribution in the world and how it is not equal at all.  His dialogue about the family structure and how it is different when a breadwinner has to travel far from home just to make enough to feed his family really got me thinking.  I am lucky to have two loving parents, a stay at home mom and a dad who has always had a stable, traditional job where he was home by 6:30 most nights.  Not many people around the world can consider themselves as fortunate as I can.  When the breadwinner of a family is forced to travel far or work gruelingly long hours just to make enough money to provide dinner for their families, this has a strong impact on the lifestyle of that family.

By providing these struggling families with a microloan, donors can have a bigger impact than they could ever imagine.  What is a small, almost negligible amount to the donor could be the difference between eating and skipping a meal for a poor family.  These microloans allow the breadwinners of a household to more easily provide for their families, leading to a more stable household from which everyone benefits.  I enjoyed reading “cptnkoolaid”s thoughts on Kiva and how closely they matched my own.