HS Engineering as a company is facing some potentially drastic changes to its values and identity. With the planned relocation of low-end manufacturing over to Malaysia and taking this opportunity as a springboard towards internationalisation, this move is seen as way to stay competitive within the automotive market and can be potentially very lucrative and help the firm grow exponentially. This is an incredible opportunity for HS Engineering to reinvent itself as a company and change its culture for the better and setting up the stage for new site in Malaysia. However, there are conflicted opinions towards this move within the board of directors, as with many firms facing change, resistance to change is very normal and to be expected (Coghlan, 1993; Steinburg, 1992; Zaltman and Duncan, 1977, cited in Bovey and Hede., 2001). There are also many other implications from relocating a factory to Malaysia, such as; the drop in morale over job cuts in the UK, moving away from its current identity as a family run firm, the risk of the factory in Malaysia becoming another site like Wolverhampton with little loyalty towards the firm. Using an analogy of an overseas war, this will be fought on two fronts; the home front and overseas. The approach on each front will determine the future identity and profitability of HS Engineering. UK
As with any major changes, one must always start with the home front, and the importance of eliminating any problems before the move cannot be stressed enough. Bower (1966) described corporate culture as “the way we do things around here.” Using this loose description, HS Engineering has traditionally established itself as a family run firm, with many family members in key posts within the firm. The plan to move to Malaysia is a major change to the firm’s culture and identity, and has been opposed by some family members on the board. Like many other family-run firms, its own hiring and HRM practices along with personal...
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