Assignment 1: Corporate Responsibility and Marketing Strategies
Stayer University BUS508
Dr. Brian Grizzell
March 6, 2014
In the corporate world, it is easy to think that the ultimate goal is to make profits. However, it is this type of thinking that can ultimately lead to the failure of an organization. When a company simply thinks of profits, it is likely to find itself in trouble with the government, with stockholders, and with the public. In today’s world, more so than ever, it is important for a company to thinking about its ethical and social responsibilities to its employees, its consumers, its shareholders, and to the general public. By ...view middle of the document...
This is what the Apple official website states, however that is not what has been occurring in all of its suppliers and factories. Early in 2012, new surfaced that Apple factories in China had been relying on child labor and forcing over time round the clock (Hawthorne, 2012). The work conditions were unsafe and the demands of the jobs being performed were not able to be met. Next came the “Mass Suicide” protest at the Foxconn factory in China where workers were deeply upset by the poor working conditions (Moore, 2012). Then, in 2013 there were reports of deaths of workers at the some of the same Chinese factories from fatigue, pneumonia, and other causes (Barboza, 2013).
All of these poor conditions by its suppliers and factories overseas contradict the values that are set forth by Apple in their own ethical guidelines. Early in 2012, Apple announced that it would hire an outside agency to investigate the charges of forced overtime and child labor in its Chinese suppliers and factories, including other poor work conditions. While it appears on the surface that Apple was taking swift action in regards to these charges, it is clear that the abuse has been going on for some time and regular audits performed by Apple, or even routine check-ups on its suppliers would have uncovered at least the deplorable working conditions. Apple even admits that it was lax in its auditing procedures during the times when these issues were occurring, leading inquisitive minds to believe that it the company knew what was going on but only felt the need to address it once it had become public knowledge and began to hurt Apple’s image. According to Apple’s website reports a 51% increase in the number of audits performed since 2012, which covered facilities where 1.5 million workers labor to create Apple products. Apple also released, for the first time, a 100 page comprehensive document that outlines the social and ethical requirements of its suppliers, which includes Apple’s standards (Apple, 2014).
Determine the impact that the publication of ethics and social responsibilities violations made by Apple’s suppliers has had on Apple’s reputation. Support your response with examples of the impact in question.
The fact that ethical and social responsibility violations have been published and have garnered a lot of media attention has made a very large impact on Apple, not only in the way that it is now conducting business, but also on Apple’s reputation. In the past, Apple has been considered a very cutting edge company that is on the cusp of innovation, including environmental responsibility and ethical and social responsibility to its workers. This is most likely because Apple has had many advertising campaigns that portray the company in this way, including the use of Ghandi’s image in its 1997 “Think Different” campaign (Hawthorne, 2012). Not to mention that many Apple users are socially concerned eco activists who believe the company is aligned with them in...