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Global Communications has declared that it will be outsourcing technical support jobs to the overseas market. Outsourcing jobs is a clear sign that layoffs are soon to follow. The union is displeased with news of upcoming layoffs, and has vowed to use whatever means necessary to combat the decision. The union feels as that the relationship with Global Communications has become adversarial in nature, due to the company's failure to forge a partnership between the two. The union states that Global Communication did not exhaust all its options to keep union jobs at home. The union has stated that the move toward outsourcing is a manipulation of its contract with Global Communications and is seeking a legal remedy to its problems. This paper will look at Global Communications' stockholder's point of view, current conditions, the opportunities and issues facing the company and alternative solutions.
Issue and Opportunity Identification
Global Communications has alienated their union by not communicating their plans for the future until the last minute. GC never let on that they were considering cost cutting measures to improve profitability. Cutting costs means cutting jobs and benefits. This ambiguity caused a complete breakdown of trust between the GC and the union. "Although a communication barrier, ambiguity is sometimes used deliberately in work settings. Corporate leaders rely on metaphors and other ambiguous language to describe ill-defined or complex ideas," (Mcshane & Von Gilnow, 2005, p. 18). The idea to remove the union from the decision making process will come back to haunt Global Communications in the near future.
The union has already initiated talks with the government, exploring the legal options they have available in their case against Global Communications. The next round of negotiations will prove most difficult for Global Communications. Global Communications has to move in a different direction when it comes to talks between them and their union. Global Communications must extend the olive branch to the union by being frank and upfront with all decisions that affect their employees.
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GC will be laying off its domestic employees to prepare for a global launch. The loss of domestic workers will negatively impact company morale. GC has to be aware that bliss and misery are highly contagious. "Emotional contagion is the automatic process of "catching" or sharing another person's emotions by mimicking that person's facial expressions and other nonverbal behavior". (Mcshane & Von Gilnow, 2005, p. 11). Negative employee morale will negatively impact Global Communications' productivity. Massive layoffs make Global Communications an unattractive company to potential employees. The public dispute with the union makes Global Communications look like combatants against the well being of its workers, and that image will turn off prospective employees needed to expand its business into the international market.
Outsourcing will damage the public image of GC. GC has to show how the outsourcing of jobs will allow for competitive prices for the general public. GC must alter public opinion on its plans to relocate jobs to other companies. "Words and gestures carry no inherent meaning, so the sender must ensure the receiver understands these symbols and signs. In reality, lack of mutual understanding is a common reason why messages are distorted." (Mcshane & Von Gilnow, 2005, p. 16). Outsourcing can cause the consumer to boycott a company, because of a distorted sense of patriotism. The rationale is that they will not support a company that takes American jobs overseas. Global Communications is in a position to play to their sense of self preservation by publicizing that the new plan will lower prices and maintain a superior product.
GC stakeholders will perceive the issues with the union as a negative sign of things to come. The loss in market share will only strengthen shareholder doubts. GC has the chance to reveal their plans to take the company to an international level, thus improving the bottom line. "Filtering may involve deleting or delaying negative information or using less harsh words so that events sound more favorable". (Mcshane & Von Gilnow, 2005, p. 16). Global Communications has to make its shareholders secure that despite the recent chain of events; the idea to jump into the global arena is a positive one. The shareholders want to ensure that a profit is made, and Global Communications has to ensure that profits become a reality.
Stakeholder Perspectives/Ethical Dilemmas
The present and future stakeholders involved with Global Communications are its stockholders, its consumers, and its employees both domestic and international. Global Communications must be mindful of the stakeholder's rights, values, and interests. First, GC should acknowledge that the main focus of shareholders in a return on their financial investment. Shareholders should be informed Global Communications company dealings.
Secondly, Global Communications must take into consideration the decision to reposition current domestic employees has to be made in respect to his or her abilities. Global Communications can ill afford to place employees in jobs they are unfamiliar with. GC must honor the societal differences in the overseas market. Global Communications must be a positive influence to overseas community at large, and to that nation's economy. As Sebenius (2005 p. 4) aptly phrased it "Cultural differences can influence business negotiations in significant and unexpected ways". Global Communications must provide competitive wages and health benefits that are fair. Global Communications must create an environment that allows the channels of communication to flow freely for both domestic and international employees. Global Communications must develop its employees, and provide them with the means for upward career growth. GC should provide information security, premium customer service, and competitive prices.
Third, the consumer has to be able to trust the company. Global Communications should provide information security, premium customer service, at competitive prices. The launch overseas loosens its grip on the customer's information. Global Communications must relay how important it is to keep consumer information private and secure, and how a breach in information security will have a disastrous effect on the company as a whole.
Global Communications has its eyes on the future. The future involves a strategy that involves a global launch with Global Communications leading the way for the communications industry. The actions of Global Communications are those of pioneers. Too look into the unknown and see possibility is unprecedented. Global Communications will attain international acclaim for strikingly upright business practices, and management operations. The economic turnaround will increase company morale. The consumers will recognize Global Communications a company who stands behind its products and customer service responsibilities. GC will see a 25% increase in stocks in 6 months because of the decision to develop an international product. The initiative to look overseas will prove to be a profitable move for Global Communications.
Global Communications is in the process of turning around its dismal performance in the telecommunications industry. The road to economic redemption is one filled with conflict. The plan is to outsource technical jobs to India and Ireland will create problems that will negatively impact Global Communications' bottom line. The conflict between Global Communications and the union will only further strain an already rocky relationship. Excluding the union from the decision making process when it came time to decide to cut union jobs and ship them overseas was a move that will make future negotiations rough. Global Communications has to repair its relationship with the union. Global Communications has to polish its tarnished public image. Global Communications must set out on a goodwill mission to garner trust from the public, its employees, and union.
"Employees perform better if they can quickly determine the best communication channels for the situation and are flexible enough to use different methods, as the occasion requires". (Mcshane & Von Gilnow, 2005, p. 13). Global Communications has to make its most drastic changes in the way it communicates. The barrier that exists between Global Communications and the union is one that can be brought down with an open communication. Global Communications has to get the union on board to ensure it will have the manpower to complete the international launch. "Some communication experts contend that listening is the keystone communication skill for employees involved in sales, customer service, or management". (Kreitner & Kinicki, 2004, p. 17)
The Global Communications scenario shows that in order to solve an issue that involves more than one party, all parties have to be taken into consideration. Global Communications tried to solve a multi partied problem without consulting those who will be affected by the decision. Ignoring the parties involved back fired and turned the situation hostile. Global Communications has more issues on its hands than when it started. This scenario shows that open communication can solve most business problems before they take form.
Kreitner, R., & Kinicki, A. (2004). Organizational behavior, (6th ed.).
New York: The McGraw-Hill Companies
McShane, S. L., & Von Glinow, M. (2005). Organizational behavior: Emerging realities for the workplace revolution, (3rd ed.). New York: The McGraw-Hill Companies
Sebenius, J. K, (2002) The hidden challenge of cross boarder negotiations. Harvard Business Review 3-12.