Workforce Relations


Workforce Relations


Write a 3-4 page analysis of a labor relations scenario and the impact of culture on unionization in the
international workforce.


Just as cultures are different, so are the labor laws and rules that govern employment processes in
nations throughout the world. It is important to understand this point, so this assessment takes a closer
look at South Korea as an example of global differences in workforce relations and unions to orientate
you on the challenges HRM professionals encounter.


For this assessment, consider the following scenario. CapraTek has several global HRM professionals on
an extended assignment to Korea. The workforce in the Korean operation is relatively stable and has
been non-union. Recently, a small group of employees has been moving in the direction of bringing a
union to the operation. This group is looking to join a national trade union. That national union believes
that if they could get into the organization through a small group or bargaining unit, then they could
spread throughout the firm.

In consulting with your U.S. employees in Korea, they shared that they simply did not know what would
happen. In the past, this union had been able to improve the compensation and working conditions of
some occupations, but not all. Also, the organization process had at times become contentious and
disruptive. Soon after the labor ministry approved the pipefitter union group, the union went into two
more departments. They sought to organize the electricians and the assemblers. The assemblers
represent about 80 employees, while the electricians are a small number like the pipefitters.

As union organizing activities began, the assemblers broke into two groups; one was sure that they
wanted to become part of the union, while the other more seasoned portion of the group was not sure.
The electricians did not want to say anything. They were unwilling to discuss activities with anyone in
the firm but each other. This group of employees represented long-term employees who were well-
compensated and often had a business on the side. They made an announcement through a letter to
both the union organizer and the HRM that they had no interest in becoming part of the union. The
assemblers went on for about two weeks and then the movement lost momentum as summer came and
many people went on vacation. The assemblers notified the union and HRM that at this time they were
unwilling to take a vote. During all of these activities you, as the senior HRM professional present,
advised all management personnel on the labor code requirements with respect to organizational
actions during organizing activities. All management personnel behaved professionally. There were no
violations of the labor code in terms of organizing activates by management personnel.

This assessment is not about what you as an HRM professional in a global setting should do when faced
with a situation of this type. It is about what you learned from this small story of labor relations in the
international workplace. We know what happened with the pipefitters. The assemblers seemed to be
fast to respond and slow to act, finally choosing not to act at all. Present your views of what occurred in
this situation with the following points in mind:

In what ways was the union effective or ineffective in its organizing efforts? What are your
reasons for your position?

What lessons in union activities has CapraTek HR in Korea learned from this experience?

What lessons has CapraTek corporate learned about dealing with international union organizing
efforts? While union laws differ greatly from country to country, look at the general issues that
might be applied to similar situations.

What cultural factors might have played a role in this situation? Which factors were the most
significant? How did culture influence this situation’s outcome?


Include the following in this assessment:

Evaluate the impact of culture on labor unionization.

o What cultural differences did you find in your research on Korean culture? What role did
culture play and how did it influence the outcome? What comparisons or differences
can you make to U.S. culture?

Analyze this scenario to support your position on the effectiveness of the labor union’s
organizing attempt.

o How much of this effectiveness is driven by the national culture?

Analyze how workforce roles influence the attempt to organize labor unions.

o What comparisons can you make to similar roles in the U.S., or what differences exist?

Additional Requirements

The deliverable for this assessment applies professional skills in HR to workplace situations that you will
likely encounter in your day-to-day work in HRM. As part of your learning, we focus on the development
of effective professional communication skills for the workplace.

Length: 3–4 typed, double-spaced pages.

Organization: Make sure that your assessment writing is well-organized, using headings and
subheadings to organize content for the reader.

Font and font size: Times New Roman, 12-point.

Resources: Use at least two scholarly or academic sources.

Evidence: Support your assertions with data and/or in-text citations and create a reference list
at the end of your documents.

APA formatting: Format resources and in-text citations according to
APA Style and Format.
Written communication:

o Convey purpose, in an appropriate tone and style, incorporating supporting evidence
and adhering to organizational, professional, and scholarly writing standards.

o Write for a specific audience, using the vernacular of the profession.

o Use spell-check and other tools to ensure correct spelling and grammar. Communication
is thoughtful and free of errors that detract from the overall message. Understand the
audience for each component and communicate appropriately.

Competencies Measured

By successfully completing this assessment, you will demonstrate your proficiency in the course
competencies through the following assessment scoring guide criteria:

Competency 1: Apply human resource principles and models in multiple contexts within a global

o Analyze how workforce roles influence the attempt to organize labor unions.

Competency 2: Navigate the global legal and regulatory environment and its application to
human resource practice.

o Analyze this scenario to support your position on the effectiveness of the labor union’s
organizing attempt.

Competency 3: Develop an awareness of global cultures and effective practices for working
across cultures.

o Evaluate the impact of culture on labor unionization.

Competency 4: Communicate in a manner that is professional and consistent with expectations
for human resource professionals.

o Articulate meaning relevant to the main topic, scope, and purpose of the prompt.

o Support main points and conclusions with relevant and credible evidence.

Note: Your instructor may use the
Writing Feedback Tool when grading this assessment. The Writing
Feedback Tool is designed to provide you with guidance and resources to develop your writing based on
five core skills. You will find writing feedback in the Scoring Guide for the assessment, once your work
has been evaluated.

The following resources support the assessment, Workforce Relations, which analyzes international
labor relations and the impact of culture on unionization, specifically in South Korea.

Global HRM Interactions

Dowling, P. J., Festing, M., & Engle, Sr., A. D. (2017). International human resource
management (7th ed.). Boston, MA: Cengage.

o Chapter 9: International Industrial Relations and The Global Institutional Context.

The following media pieces provide views of different cultures and communications when working

Children Working in Factories
o Child laborers often worked long hours under dangerous conditions to help support
their families before reform occurred with the help of labor organizers.

Global map of World Cultures
o This map provides a reference point to key cultures and provides insight into some
social nuances for each culture.

Intercultural Communication
o These videos show real people talking about their experiences that involve differences
between their culture and another culture they have either lived in or studied in. You
will see there is a wide array of differences across the cultures of the world.