Managing International Business
Assessment Stakeholder Negotiation (Group Task)
Assessment code: 011
Academic Year: 2021/2022
Module Title: Managing International Business
Module Code: MOD003497
Module Leader: Ismael Hamadi
Time Limit: 30 minutes
Outcomes 1, 3 & 4
Assessment date: Please refer to the deadline on the VLE
● This is a group assignment.
● No extensions are available for this assessment.
● Mitigation: The deadline for submission of mitigation in relation to this assignment is
no later than five working days after the submission date of this work. Please contact
the Director of Studies Team – [email protected]. See rules 6.112 – 6.141:
STAKEHOLDER NEGOTIATION TASK
You will be allocated membership of a group of between four and six stakeholder
representatives involved in the UK manufacturing operations of the Japanese
multinational enterprise, Kojo Furoa.
1. Regional Division Manager (Company Executive)
2. Board Member (Shareholder Representative)
3. Labour Union Representative
4. Supplier Consortium Representative
5. Environmental Activist Collective Representative
6. Local Councillor (Local Government Representative)
In response to a period of declining profitability, Kojo Furoa’s Chief Operating Officer
(COO) at the corporation’s European HQ is seriously considering plans to cut costs
by closing the major UK plant, in order to offshore manufacturing in another country.
The Regional Division Manager for Kojo Furoa’s UK operations has convened a
meeting between representatives of several key stakeholder groups who are
deeply concerned about the potential impact of such a decision on their interests.
An independent professional mediator has been hired to chair the proceedings.
The goal of the discussion is to reach a negotiated resolution that is acceptable
to ALL parties. [100 marks]
– Students are strongly advised to prepare notes in bullet point form and to
prepare a reference list of sources they intend to cite.
– These materials should be emailed to the assessor ahead of the assessment.
– Assessors may take these notes and reference lists into consideration when
assessing the standard of research that each participant has demonstrated.
– Each representative will be given 2 minutes to make opening remarks
outlining their perspective, goal(s) and rationale.
– These opening remarks are important as they are the best opportunity to
demonstrate: (1) command of the task brief and stakeholder perspective; (2)
knowledge and understanding of IB and/or Stakeholder Theory
– Other representatives should listen carefully and take notes during each
representative’s opening statement.
– After opening remarks, participants will be collectively allocated 15 minutes
to work towards a compromise resolution that is deemed acceptable to all
*** PLEASE NOTE: DUE TO COVID-19 IT IS POSSIBLE THAT THIS PRACTICAL
ASSESSMENT WILL BE CONDUCTED ONLINE VIA ZOOM ***
1. Knowledge and understanding of the key issues of international business
activity in the context of contemporary globalisation
2. Knowledge and understanding of multinational enterprises’ responses to
3. Ability to critically assess the activities of multinational enterprises in terms of
both business interests and wider socio-environmental impacts
Individuals’ marks will be awarded according to:
– Knowledge and understanding of relevant module content [30 marks]
– Knowledge and understanding of the task brief [30 marks]
– Standard of representation [20 marks]
– Critical engagement with other participants [20 marks]
To prepare for the task, students are required read several specific texts:
– The ‘Detailed Scenario Overview’, which follows on this briefing document
– An individual ‘Role Sheet’ describing the position of each participant’s role in
the negotiation. Lecturers will allocate these roles and email the relevant
sheets to students no less than two weeks before the assessment week.
– Relevant academic texts posted on the module VLE page across Weeks 8-10
In addition, it is expected that all students conduct their own independent research
for this task. The module Kortext book (Hill and Hult, 2019) and the ARU Digital Library
should both be drawn upon. Strong performances in this task should demonstrate
knowledge and understanding of both relevant IB theory and evidence/data
pertaining to the given scenario, which focuses on a Japanese MNE based in
Northeast England and its contemporary stakeholder relations with UK institutions.
Detailed Scenario Overview
Kojo Furoa is a Japanese multinational manufacturing company with a large base of
operations located in the city of Cardown in Northeast England. Within the wider
British manufacturing sector, the corporation is considered one of the most
successful enterprises, based on its long history and impressive revenue. Kojo Furoa
has been operating in Cardown since opening its first plant there in 1980. Today, aside
from the factory, the city also hosts the corporation’s European headquarters. The
company has consistently enjoyed strong relations with the local community.
The Cardown plant employs more people than any other part of the UK operation.
Kojo Furoa has received formal recognition for its standard of working conditions and
local corporate social responsibility (CSR) activities. The main factory has enjoyed
particularly good local relations with citizens and government and has often been
rated as one of the most desirable workplaces in the region.
Relations with local suppliers have also tended to be positive. However, in recent
years, pressures relating to foreign competition, decaying infrastructure and tax rates
that are high relative to other countries have contributed to rising tensions along the
domestic supply chain. Nevertheless, community and labour relations remain on
good terms. Domestic supplier relations began to worsen under the previous factory
manager, when she decided to shift purchases of various parts to foreign companies.
This manager has now moved to the European headquarters after being promoted to
chief operating officer (COO) at Kojo Furoa.
The UK division’s revenue has remained strong, but over the past decade, profitability
has started to decline, primarily because of increased foreign competition. Most
expert commentators are in agreement that many comparable factories overseas are
currently subject to considerably less government regulation and scrutiny with
respect to health and safety, worker’s rights and environmental standards, etc. Local
wages in Cardown are marginally higher than other parts of the UK and much higher
relative to the developing world. On the other hand, worker productivity and skilllevel in British factories tends to be world-leading. In general, the Cardown plant
continues to offer higher quality manufacturing, but Kojo Furoa’s global market share
has been diminishing as consumers have looked for less costly products.
In recent years, environmental issues have also emerged, provoking nationwide
controversy. Environmental and labour activists have increasingly launched protests
against the company, arguing that multinationals tend to flout their ethical
responsibilities for their local environment, in order to solely focus on profit
maximisation. Other analysts have suggested that such groups do not represent local
interests and instead are part of national anti-corporate advocacy networks. The most
contentious local issue currently involves a former supplier to the Cardown factory
that Kojo Furoa acquired after the enterprise went bankrupt. Thanks to the takeover,
many job losses were averted. Sadly, the business had suffered from years of
mismanagement prior to the acquisition.
Kojo Furoa’s recently-promoted COO is determined to move a large proportion of
Kojo Furoa production abroad, with the Cardown plant one of the main facilities in line
to be wound up. According to the COO, information about the drive to offshore
manufacturing will only be made public once a clear decision has been made. Several
expert commentators continue to maintain that the highly skilled local labour force,
coupled with current tax incentives and marketing concerns make Cardown the
optimal site for production. Aside from any perceived strengths of the current
production regime, cautious observers are also quick to point out that any major
transfer of activities across borders entails unforeseeable risks and challenges.
Conversely, others remain adamant that for the corporation, prospective savings from
offshoring production vastly outstrip any and all benefits to be drawn from remaining
in Cardown. Many even maintain this position in the hypothetical event that further
concessions could be extracted from labour, domestic suppliers and government.
Responding to the variety of pressures being applied by global management, in light
of the international competition facing Kojo Furoa, the current regional manager has
decided to conduct a stakeholder negotiation exercise with representatives from
local labour, suppliers, government and the environmental movement, so as to
address holistic cost issues at the Cardown plant. It is hoped that together, these
groups can formulate a compromise position that continues to serve their interests
and respect their concerns, while also enabling the corporation to attain a stronger
position in the market. The Kojo Furoa plant’s significance to the community was a
prominent feature of the most recent election campaign, wherein all major parties
signalled their support for continuing strong relations between government and the
plant. Despite occasional tensions with labour, formal relations between
management and workers have historically been amicable and productive and labour
representatives have reiterated their desire for constructive engagement in order to
overcome the pressures of international competition.
ASSIGNMENT INSTRUCTIONS FOR MANAGING INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS 1
Stakeholder Negotiation Evaluation (Group Task)
011 assessment code
2021/2022 Academic Year
Module Title: Managing International Business Module Code: MOD003497 Trimester: 2
Module Leader: Ismael Hamadi Level: 6
30 percent weighting
Time allotted: 30 minutes
Assessment of Learning Outcomes 1, 3, and 4
Date of evaluation:
Please refer to the VLE AssignmentTutorOnline deadline.
ADDITIONAL INFORMATION Because this is a group assignment, no extensions are available.
● Mitigation: The deadline for submission of mitigation in relation to this assignment is no later than five working days after the submission date of this work. Please contact the Director of Studies Team – [email protected]. See rules 6.112 – 6.141: http://web.anglia.ac.uk/anet/academic/public/academic_regs.pdf
2 STAKEHOLDER NEGOTIATION TASK
You will be allocated membership of a group of between four