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What drives global/multinational companies' decisions on where to source products and production? What factors do they take into account when making decisions such as whether, when and where to invest or to cut back/pull out? To what extent are such decisions driven by people-related matters - local economic, political and social considerations, such as stability, certainly; infrastructure, government sweeteners and labour laws, perhaps; but what about labour market factors such as costs, availability, education and skills?

These were some of the questions concerning the Board of the WFPMA early in 2001, as a result of which they commissioned demographics guru Richard Judy, currently director of the Centre for the 21st Century Workforce, Discovery Institute, based in Indianapolis in the US, to see what answers he could come up with.

The report he produced, entitled ‘Where on earth companies choose to do business and why’, includes some analysis and general discussion of trends, a collection of examples of named companies’ people-related decision-making, as well as one major case study, and a look at the implications of such decisions and decision-making processes for HR professionals.

Richard Judy presented his paper at the most recent World Congress on Human Resource Management, held in Mexico City in May 2002, and it is summarised in the July 2002 issue of the WFPMA newsletter WorldLink. For the full report, click here.