Skip to content

One firm, two countries, one workplace model? The case of Foxconn’s internationalisation

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Original languageEnglish
JournalThe Economic and Labour Relations Review
Early online date16 Oct 2019
DateAccepted/In press - 1 Sep 2019
DateE-pub ahead of print (current) - 16 Oct 2019


This article aims to gain insight into the employment relations in China-based multinational companies internationalising to Europe, which is still a relatively unexplored topic. This is achieved by investigating the transfer of work and employment practices from Foxconn’s manufacturing headquarters in mainland China to its subsidiaries in Czechia and the factors that influence the firm’s internationalisation of production. By drawing upon original ethnographic fieldwork, the study makes a two-fold contribution. First, it shows the analytical inadequacy of the ‘latecomer’ model which assumes that the Chinese firm is an asset seeker. Second, it illustrates the relevance of diversity of labour and non-institutionalised forms of workers’ agency for theorisation of internationalisation: these topics are still insufficiently addressed by the literature that favours managerial agency and the model of distinctive and stable national labour forces. The study contributes to the theoretical debates on internationalisation by illustrating the limits of the national institutionalist perspective, the importance of considering a multi-scalar analytical framework and the relevance of labour composition in shaping multinational employment relations.

    Structured keywords

  • Perspectives on Work
  • Global Political Economy
  • Migration Mobilities Bristol
  • MGMT Work Organisation and Public Policy

    Research areas

  • internationalisation of production, Chinese work and employment practices, workers' agency, migrant workers, Foxconn

Download statistics

No data available



  • Full-text PDF (Author’s accepted manuscript)

    Rights statement: This is the author accepted manuscript (AAM). The final published version (version of record) is available online via SAGE Publications at . Please refer to any applicable terms of use of the publisher.

    Accepted author manuscript, 297 KB, PDF document


View research connections

Related faculties, schools or groups