Perceptions And Benefits In Multinational

Introduction

A multinational corporation simply refers to a business entity that operates, owns or controls production of services as well as other products in at least another country other than its home country. It is also referred to as worldwide enterprise and has recently been a global phenomenon stretching far and wide owning to the advancement of technology. According to Dickens (2007) Multinational Corporations (MNCs) are in the fore front of the globalization phenomenon through facilitating the exchange of capital, trade, labor, communications, knowledge, technology, skills and employment across borders but within international supply chains. This research aims to highlight the perceptions that employees of Multinational Corporations within Australia derive from these MNCs and any associated benefits they gain from these MNCs.

Research Problem

The concept of MNCs is among the major development that has been witnessed within the internet and technological era which has led to the reduction of the world into a global village. Despite the fact that these MNCs existed in the colonial age as a way to conduct expeditions, especially among the European colonies (Smelser and Baltes, 2001), they were limited to high social class members who mostly consisted of the colonialists themselves and as such their perception among the locals was unclear. Given the increased interconnectedness between individuals from different countries and the ease with which international businesses can be developed currently owning to advanced technology (Chung, 2018), individuals of different countries are afforded opportunities to work within these corporations and as such the research seeks to understand the concept of MNCs and its impact to the employees working within them with specific biased to Australia. After reviewing the relevant literature pertaining to this area of study, the research problem can therefore be formulated as ‘an exploration of perceptions and associated benefits by employees of multinational corporations in Australia’.

Research Aim

This research study aims to explore the perceptions and associated benefits by employees of multinational corporations in Australia. Given the increased development of these MNCs within Australia as well as other countries, what are some of the advantages of these MNCs to the countries they operate in with significant bias to the individuals employed within these companies? This research question is divided into two parts, therefore the analysis

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Research Objectives

To be able to adequately achieve the aim of this study, the researcher will focus three objectives including: To evaluate the current perceptions held by Australian employees regarding Multinational Corporations. To determine how negative perceptions of Multinational Corporations can be changed among the Australian employees in case any is expressed To determine the benefits Australian employees derive from working in Multinational Corporations.

Research Questions

Given the distinct objectives to be able to guide the process of this research and ensure the achievement of its aims the research will answer the following research questions: What is the current perception held by Australian employees regarding multinational Corporations? How can the negative perception of multinational corporations expressed by Australian employees be changed, if any? What are the benefits that Australian employees derive from working in Multinational Corporations?

Justification of the research

A wide range of research studies including singh (2012) and Chung (2018) have been conducted to highlight the general benefits of Multinational corporations in the growth of a countries economy as well as its continued development. Research works have tackled almost every aspect of multinational corporations including ways with which to change individual perspectives of the MNCs. However little insights as to the perception of different employees who actually work within these MNCs and the benefits with which these individuals reap from these corporations have been highlighted in research studies. This research identified that gap and as such embarks on examining the perception and benefits derived from MNCs by the employees working within them. The research narrowed its scope by specifically focusing on Australian employees.

According to Smelser and Baltes (2001) a Multinational Corporation (MNC) refers to a business organization whose activities are located in more than two countries and is the organizational form that defines foreign direct investment. Basically this informs a company incorporated within one country and runs subsidiaries or branches in foreign countries therefore operating on a multinational scale. MNCs facilitate the prospect of globalization through enhancing the trade and exchange of Knowledge, technology, skills, employees, capital and communication across borders to further facilitate international interdependence (Dickens, 2007).

Global Railway versus Air

Modes of Foreign Investment by MNCs

MNCs develop their operations in different countries through a range of different ways which do not necessarily include developing branches in these countries. Kumar (2015) highlights that among the forms that can be used in developing and operating MNCs include the selling of brands, setting up subsidiaries, developing mergers and joint ventures through foreign collaboration as well as establishing company branches and distribution centers in different countries.

This represents one of the financial sensitive ways of developing MNCs as highlighted by Peslj (2011). A multinational company supplies their products to localized companies who in turn sell them on behalf of the MNC. The MNC allows a local firm to sell their product which is branded in foreign markets.

An MNC can establish its operations in foreign countries by setting up subsidiaries (Kumar, 2015). This informs the establishment of an independent entity to which the business has complete control over ranging from production and development of their products or services within the said foreign country and effectively marketing and selling them to the ultimate customers.

Setting up branches is another way an MNC can establish itself in a foreign country without going through the hurdles and struggles of registration and attaining legal independence. The branches are not stand alone entities but rather extensions of a parent company which may not be necessarily based in that country. They are mostly used as distribution centers.

According to Tirimba and Macharia (2014), MNCs can also establish their presence within a foreign country by establishing joint ventures or partnerships with foreign countries. In this way the local company is afforded the rights to produce, distribute and sell the foreign companies products within the foreign country. A model of measuring integration of MNCs to a host economy is highlighted by Thornburn, Langdale and Houghton (2002) to cover all the major factors regarding legislations and business operations and is represented in the figure below:

Global Railway versus Air

Importance of MNCs to a country’s Economy

Multinational Corporations have a wide range of benefits to already developed economies as well as developing economies. Among these as highlighted by Khawar (2006) include: enabling the transfer of technology and Capital into different countries. Through investing in different countries with the development of branches and subsidiaries a range of benefits such as advanced technology and investment capital are afforded to these countries consequently boosting the growth of their economy. With help of advanced technology brought into a country by the MNCs a country can engage in mass production of quality products at cheaper costs and eventually accentuate the economic growth. MNCs also increase foreign countries government revenue, lead to establishment of good and beneficial international relations as well as increase employment opportunities within a country (Jansen and Stockman, 2003).

MNCs are a global phenomenon and have existed in Australia for many decades. MNCs are well established in all sectors of the Australian economy such that the ratio of FDI to GDP in the country in 2002 was 3% higher than that of other countries that have something to do with the world economy (Treasury 2002). According to the UNCTAD Report (2008), there are over 80,000 MNCs in the world and they employ over 55 million people globally. MNCs contribute to a country’s investment, employment and development. Australia is one economy that is heavily influenced by the activities of MNCs therefore it is important to understand the role that MNCs play in the country as well as how employees perceive them.

Employees in Australia have different perceptions of MNCs with some considering them necessary for socioeconomic integration and globalization while some perceive them as manipulators of the host country that only aim to benefit their home countries. Different researchers have carried out research in this field of study to understand how people perceive MNCs. In the study by Pettinger (2017) on whether multinational corporations are good or bad, the research findings were inconclusive due to a range of factors among which include the country of the parent company, the existing trade agreements or other legislations as well as the type of business or product production the organization is involved in.

In a study by Stanton (2009) aimed at understanding employment relations in MNCs in Australia, among the findings cited were that majority of MNCs are still influenced by the ‘country of origin effect’ and tend to use HR strategies and employment relations practices that are similar to those of their parent companies. Many Australian employees in these MNCs do not agree with most of the employment relations practices which explain the ever ongoing local vs. foreign debate. This has resulted in creation of a conflict whereby MNCs are required to ‘think global but act local’ forcing them to adopt local employment practices that favor their employees (Thorburn, Langdale and Houghton, 2002).

However some people agreed that although MNCs exploit their employees by making them work longer hours, pay them lower wages and most of the benefits are enjoyed by their home countries, people still considered working for MNCs better than the alternative of not having employment at all. The employees argued that working standards can always be improved but you need to be employed first.

The literature review highlights a range of ways in which MNCs can be incorporated into a Host country and the potential benefits it has to their employees as well as the country’s economy. It also highlights the development of these MNCs within Australia and highlights various factors that affect the employee’s attitudes and perception of these MNCs as either friends or foes.

Research Technique

The study takes up a qualitative research study design seeking to establish the perception of Australian employees towards the Multinational Corporations they work for and highlighting any benefits or potential benefits that these employees are likely to gain from the MNCs. According to Corley and Gioia (2011) the research philosophy and approach of interpretivism and induction are often adopted for research practices that carry out research studies supported by collected data such as this study. As such these philosophy and approach will be adopted by the researcher to guide their study process.

Target Population

The study aims to establish the perception of Australian employees towards MNCs and the potential benefits they derive from working in these organizations. As such the population will include employees in the various MNCs available within Australia. In this research brief, Multinational Corporations are used to mean large-sized corporations that own or control production of goods and services in two or more countries apart from their home country (Pitelis 2000). Such corporations are structured to take into account different resources, languages, government policies, skills, technologies, time-zones, cultures, regional trade agreements and labor. MNCs are perceived to have several benefits and drawbacks such as they are a source of employment and wealth to both the host and home country.

Knowledge of the range of one’s population is integral in the determination of whether probability sampling can be implemented (Blaikie, 2010). Despite the presence of a range of employees working in different levels of MNCs within Australia, each individual harbors a specific perception of the companies they work for and are therefore bound to benefit differently from these companies. To develop an elaborate sample that will produce viable and reliably elaborate perspectives and benefits therefore random sampling will be carried out in 2 different MNCs in Australia. This means that the sample is open to restrictions such as age, gender and number of years spent as an employee in these MNCs. 6 employees will be selected at random from each of the 2 MNCs selected based on their availability, to participate in the study.

Given that nature of the research being a qualitative study and its wide scope of determining employee perspective, satisfaction as well as benefits derived from MNCs, the researcher will employ the use of structured Interviews that will represent an ease in the analysis process. In addition to this so as to be able to adequately derive the employee perspective beyond any legislation boundaries of the MNCs the researcher will also employ the use of informal conversation.

The data collected will be analyzed using thematic analysis. Thematic analysis, used as a form of analysis for qualitative research studies focuses on examining themes, patterns and connections within raw data collected through different research methods such as interviews as applied in this research study. Accurate and replicable inferences are made from the analysis of the various patterns and themes regarding the perception of individual employees as related to the MNCs in Australia. Conclusions are then drawn from the findings.

The research involves the collection of primary data that involves human interaction and the use of humans as the major information source. Ethical issues therefore arise concerning the relevant courtesy to be afforded the various individuals while collecting this information as outlined by British Psychological Association (2013). The ethical issues in this study concerns involvement of employees within these MNCs who depend on these employments for their survival and as such, it is paramount that the research do not compromise in any way their positions in the organization. To avoid ethical issue therefore the study will focus on interviewing only willing participants and further keeping their names and identity anonymous so as to enhance their privacy.

Given the research is based in workplaces of international companies which are not only governed by the local host companies legislations but also the parent companies legislations, in addition to the fact that the research will be carried out during the day and probably during working hours, relevant permits are paramount to allow the researcher accommodation within these organization premises. In addition relevant permits will be required certifying the researchers’ capacity to carry out the research within the bounds of the law as well as the companies terms and conditions in the interest of protecting the company as well as the employees reputation from any outcomes of the research work.

The allocated budget for carrying out this research is $250; this budget should be able to cover among other contingencies, the expenses of printing questionnaire materials, travel expenses, permit applications and other expenditure. In order to meet the deadlines stated within the Gantt chart highlighting the project timeline below, this budget will be sufficient to cover all necessary costs while conducting this project.

The timeline for this research project is a period of four months, starting from September to December, 2018. The author will use a Gantt chart to plan his project tasks in order to have a direction to follow when performing project tasks. The Gantt chart outlines the start and end dates of the project in one simple view making it simple for the researcher to understand the timeline for carrying out each task and what the task is about amongst other things. Additionally, the Gantt chart allows for a grace period for unforeseen delays and challenges while conducting the research study such as delays while seeking permission from MNCs management to carry out research on the firm and its employees. An example of a proposed timeline in which this research project is expected to take place within is illustrated below.

Global Railway versus Air Order Now

Conclusion

The research study carried out aims at evaluating and determining the perspective of Australian employees who work for Multinational Corporations regarding these MNCs as well as highlighting the various benefits as well as potential benefits expected from them by the employees. Data sources to be used within this research study include; primary data that will be collected from individual employees across 2 Multinational Corporations within Australia as well as secondary sources which are freely available from various journals and books across the internet as well as online newspapers and website within the Australian domain. To be able to effectively summarize the findings arrived at by the researcher, the research will also employ Thematic analysis in being able to analyze the various first hand data collected from the field and relate it to the already present secondary data collected from secondary sources. The research will be able to clearly highlight the perception of the Australian employees towards MNCs and as such provides means by which to establish ways of changing any negative perceptions expressed as well as highlight the potential benefits that might be derived from these MNCs as a worker. These benefits are also analyzed in the context of their overall impact to the country’s economy and how the country benefits from the Multinational Corporations.

References

  • Blaikie, N. (2010) Designing Social Research (2ndedn).Cambridge: Polity
  • British Psychological Society (2013) Ethics Guidelines forIntermediated Research. INF206/1.2013 Leicester:British Psychological Society. Available at . 2018].
  • Bryman, A. (2011). Business research methods. Cambridge: Oxford University.
  • Chung C. (2018). "Making sense of global integration and local responsiveness in international HRM research," International Journal of Multinational Corporation Strategy, Inderscience Enterprises Ltd, vol. 2(2), pages 153-175.
  • Cohen, L. and Morrison, K. (2000). Research methods in education 5th Edition. London: Routledge
  • Corley, K.G. and Gioia, D.A. (2011) ‘Building theory abouttheory building: What constitutes a theoretical contribution?’,Academy of Management Review, 36(1), pp. 12–32. Jansen W. J. And Stokman C. J. (2003). "The Importance of Multinational Companies for Global Economic Linkages," DNB Staff Reports (discontinued) 99, Netherlands Central Bank.
  • Khawar, M. (1997). The impact of multinational corporations on a developing country: a trade off in the long run?. The Journal of International Trade & Economic Development, 6(1), pp.101-112.
  • Kumar A. (2015). Role of Multinational Companies in developing markets: A special reference to India. International Journal of Applied Research, 1(4), pp. 154-157.
  • Pesalj, B. (2011). Competitive advantages of multinational companies: A review of theoretical approaches. Medjunarodni problemi, 63(2), pp.237-259.
  • Pettinger, T. (2017). Multinational Corporations: Good or Bad. [Online]. Available at 538/economics/multinational-corporations-good-or bad [Accessed on 30 May 2018]
  • Pitelis, C. (2000). The nature of the transnational firm. London: Routledge Singh, D. (2012). Emerging economies and multinational corporations. International Journal of Emerging Markets, 7(4), pp.397-410. Smelser, N. and Baltes, P. (2001). International encyclopedia of the social & behavioral sciences. Vol. 25. Amsterdam: Elsevier.
  • Thorburn L., Langdale J. and Houghton J. (2002). Friends or Foe: Leveraging Foreign Multinationals in the Australian Economy. International Journal of Busines Administration. 3(5), pp. 30-35
  • Tirimba O. I. and Macharia G. M. (2014). Economic Impact of MNCs in the development of developing Nations. International Journal of Scientific Research Publications. 4(9), pp. 1-6
  • Treasury (2002) Trends in Direct Investment Inflows. Canberra.
  • UNCTAD (2008) World Investment Report 2008. Transnational Corporations and the Infrastructure Challenge, New York and Geneva, United Nations.

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