1. EP is a British engineering firm. It is a first-tier supplier mainly of automotive components, with production and sales divisions located in the UK, Continental Europe (mainly France, Germany and Spain), North America, and other parts of the world. More than two-thirds of its workforce is in Continental Europe, which also accounts for nearly half of worldwide sales.
2. Customers, which comprise the multinational final produces for cards, demand a standardized product and have sought to standardise their methods of production through the sharing of “best practices”.
4. While generally the local company supplies local customers, Headquarters has taken a greater role in making decisions about sourcing, even entailing moving production from one country to another. The movement involves not only volumes but also manufacturing processes, thus encouraging greater coordination of manufacturing processes among the local companies.
a. A performance-related-pay (PRP) package was implemented among the division’s plants, but local circumstances such that there were inequities in the measures of performance, the proportion of the workforce covered and the amount of their pay subject to performance measures. and
c. International integration heightened internal competition among plants. One advantage is that afforded upward mobility to managers from all countries, and has abolished limits for promotions to within particular countries. However, it also engendered coercive comparisons among plants, reducing the bargaining power of employees, at times with the specific threat of closure.
Environments and Operations (2004, p. 452), centralization for decision making and, thus, standardization, is determined by the pressure for global integration as against the pressure for responsiveness to local conditions.