Sample Paper on Apple’s Ethics and Social Responsibility

Apple’s Ethics and Social Responsibility

Apple Company was founded in 1976 by Steve Paul Jobs, Steve Wozniak, and Ronald Gerald Wayne. It is involved in manufacturing mobile communication devices and media devices, personal computers, digital music players, software, and networking peripherals. They sell and deliver digital content and applications via the iTunes, App, iBooks, and Mac App Store. This is a global company that has a worldwide market where they make direct and indirect sales. Indirect sales are facilitated by cellular network carriers, wholesalers, and retailers (Klein, 2011).

Social responsibility and ethics is the perception of all those affected by the organization or affect the organization. Contemporary social responsibility theory maintains that a business has duties to all of its stakeholders. The corporate social responsibility involves the relationship that is in between business and the social environment in which it exists, it insists on the kind of impact the organization has on a particular society (Lewis, 2009). Apples’ stand on corporate social responsibility is making products that have the highest quality standards. The company advices and is firm on the suppliers to provide; safe working conditions, treating workers with dignity and respect and use environmentally responsible manufacturing processes.

Apple has gone a step ahead to build programs that offers education, training and empowers the workers. This works hand in hand in preserving the environment valuable resources for the sake of the future generations. The company ensures that each year, deep analysis is done so that meaningful changes can be implemented over the areas where there need be across the supply chain. Across the globe the different layers of Apple’s supply chain is committed in ensuring equality, human rights, and respect to the environment.

Apple works day and night to ensure that it meets the required standards that are set since the target bar is high there have to be constant evaluation to ensure that the objectives are met. In terms of labor, health, management, environment and safety the guidelines set are even high than the local laws do require from such companies. In case the suppliers are not following the set guidelines or are have lost track of the expectations, the company works with them hand in hand and makes sure that they are back on track and they maintain in that particular trend.

Prevention is better than cure, hence when Apple is in the process of giving new business; they scrutinize previous audits or at times conduct a new audit. This allows having a clear analysis over the market region concerning issues like; chemical management, labor, human rights and the environment hazards. There is a high probability of increased demand for labor where twice the initial numbers may be required, especially during the launching of new products in the market. This calls for strict scrutiny in hiring since labor and human rights guidelines should be adhered to accordingly. To achieve this without any inconveniency in the process, a training team is dispatched. The team ensures that the suppliers are in line with the expectations and set guidelines. They also engage in training the new employees so that they can be able to understand the company’s policy, be in line with the safety measures, and get first information over the equipments and gadgets that they will be using in the line of duty (Apple, 2015).

Apple has in the recent past condemned cases that were against the ethical and social responsibility that were practiced by the suppliers. Some suppliers were hiring underage labor in their production firms. Apple as a company asked the suppliers as a way of compensation to take the underage back to school that were chosen by their families. For those subjected to involuntary labor they were to be compensated financially. The environmental issues that rose on conflict minerals, apple got down into the matter and gave its own report. They declared that the smelters of tantalum used by their supply chain were not having a conflict (Moren 2014).

The impact that the publication of ethics and social responsibilities violations made by Apple’s suppliers has had on Apple’s status has amplified its sells. Apple has had to deal with disagreement with Foxconn’s relationship after a succession of incidents like worker suicides. Apple has been the world’s mainly precious corporation while Foxconn is China’s main private-sector employer. Foxconn is Apple’s main contractor, being major players in the world of technology, their significance is felt globally. There is an indication of the escalating power of Chinese workers to have higher wages. This has been as a result of hiking prices in China in recent years from food stuff, housing, medical care, and an aging labor force that has led to significance decrease in labor. This has resulted to increased demand for labor in the production firms. In order to retain the labor force the working conditions of the workers have been significantly improved to motivate the workers and ensure that they retain them while they are giving maximum or the best output.

Apple has been used as the learning example by other firms both existing and upcoming ones. The two players merging together in order to fight the weaknesses being highlighted is a major move even to challenge other firms to follow the same suit. Being a model firm to be emulated by others is a huge stepping stone to success in the world of technology where the same impact they will make as leaders will elevate their sales globally. Most firms critic the operations of Apple, claiming that they engage in underage labor employment and they are not considerate to employee’s health and safety precautions that are already set. Despite all the critics the sale of Apples products continue to rise day in day out. Critics are held responsible of looking forward to the fall of Apple as a way of penetrating in the technology world and dominate the market.

The setback trap set to see Apple as a firm fail to perform in its operations did not succeed as the firm stood firm on its objectives and mandate. The advantage of winning the clients was their advantage, as the consumers did not insist on the negativity placed on Apple as a firm. The blame was on a few supply chains which was to be done away with by taking the necessary steps to stop the vice being exercised.

Tim Cook when he visited the Foxconn factory in China, he admitted that globally there are cases of underage labor being experienced. In the case of Apple, there has not been a case where he once met underage individuals carrying out activities in their firms. He then gave an assurance of fighting against underage labor in all sectors and promised that the standards of the workers would be raised. He pointed out that the company has faced lots critic but it has with stand and the clients still recognize the quality of the products since the sales have boosted so far.

Apple has its target market globally; they have set their brand and captured the eye of their targeted clients. Apple has specialized in making quality products that meet global standards and their products are unique in every aspect. From hard ware to software, the products are assembled and produced in the very best and conducive environments rendering them to be efficient, effective, and attractive. Knowing what is in the Apple products consumers on my opinion are willing and ready to pay an extra cost for the sake of ensuring there is no setback that’s bringing Apple down.

The reasoning comes along the line of service delivery that is done by Apple to their esteemed customers. Since Apple is a global company it ensures that it is at a reach point to serve the consumers of their products. Hence, they have supply chains that have a direct link with the consumers, the consumers can acquire gadgets from the supply chain and incase there is a need to have some changes or modifications on the gadget the supply chain do look into the matter. For the consumers of Apple product it is irresistible to change from the firms products and start using other firm’s products. It is like an addiction using the Apples products but this attributed to the high quality of their products and the services that they do offer to their clients.

The following marketing strategy is used by Apple to influence its position globally: One; the Apple firm ignores their critics and focuses on providing the necessary requirements and services to their clients. During the innovative seasons, they were laughed and mocked but they proceeded with their motives. Two; turning the ordinary into something more appealing in order to outdo their competitors. Three; having a standard price and staying firm on your price and at the same time ensure that the products are worth the price. Four; having a common language with your clients or consumers. Five; creating your own brand of customers whom you own and you will be serving purposefully just as Apple does.

The following actions if taken into consideration by Apple they can be able to improve its competitive advantage in the technology world. There has been loads of criticism over the level of employee safety and remuneration across the Apples supply chain. There have been deferent tribunals formed to verify the truth of the said speculations. From the reports given, there are clues that there are at times employees are not given and treated in the right manner. Apples executive should dig deeper into such serious allegations and come up with refined strategies to clear the critics.

Creation of new capabilities would work out in winning the competitive advantage. This includes penetrating further into the regions that they are not well established. For example, traditionally companies have used the system to achieve their objectives by establishing their base in hotspots. Shimano a car-manufacturing firm in Japan used the strategy to tap United States

 

References

Apple, (2015). Supplier Responsibility. Retrieved from https://www.apple.com/supplier-responsibility/accountability/

CNNMoney, (2014). Apple Inc. Company Description. Retrieved from http://money.cnn.com/quote/profile/profile.html?symb=AAPL

Facts and Details. Apple and Foxconn: Work Conditions, Problems and Changes. Retrieved from http://factsanddetails.com/china/cat9/sub61/item2282.html

Klein, P. (2011). Forbes: Where Is Apple’s Purpose? Retrieved from http://www.forbes.com/sites/csr/2011/08/12/where-is-apples-social-purpose/

Lewis, P. S. (2007). Management: Challenges for tomorrow’s leaders. Mason, OH: Thomson/South-Western.

Moren D., (2014). Apple’s 2014 supplier report: Better working conditions, fewer conflict minerals. Retrieved from http://www.macworld.com/article/2097723/apples-2014-supplier-report-better-working-conditions-fewer-conflict-minerals.html