Corporate Responsibility and Marketing Strategies
Contemporary Business; BUS 508
Dr. Laura Jones
April 25, 2014
Corporate Responsibilities and Marketing Strategies
Apple Corporation is well known for employing technological masterminds. The company has undergone extreme successes and failures since its humble beginnings. One such failure was made known to the public in 1996 at the famous “MacWorld” Expo when Apple announced that it was taking a $68 million quarterly loss (Goodell, 1996). Fast forward to 2006, Apple finds itself in the hot seat for violations of worker rights, deaths and even suicides (Chun, 2011). What does all of this mean? ...view middle of the document...
This could have resulted from founder Steve Jobs’ reluctant retirement in 1985. He returned as Apple’s CEO in 1996 ushering in a new attitude and viewpoint by streamlining the product designs to be simple and user friendly (Cusumano, 2011). With this new philosophy, the iPod was launched in 2001 (Cusumano, 2011). At the center of the company’s ever-growing success is the iPhone, iPod and iMac group of devices. Today the corporation stands as the leading technology firm in the world, generating more than $60 billion in annual revenues (Cusumano, 2011).
Apple’s Ethical and Social Responsibilities
Apple’s ethical standpoint is one of accountability internally and externally via its supplier network (Apple Inc, 2014). Apple warrants accountability by implementing a Supplier Code of Conduct that suppliers must adhere to (Apple Inc, 2014). This will ensure that their suppliers follow the same principles and values that the company holds. The company works with subject matter experts in human rights and the environment to conduct widespread in depth audits of the supply chain (Apple Inc, 2014). Suppliers are charged with correcting problems expeditiously.
Although Apple is making considerable progress holding suppliers accountable for unethical behavior, the company still has work to do in this area. They have released Supplier Responsibility Standards and a Code of Conduct. As oversight, they have begun aggressive annual and surprise audits (Apple Inc, 2014).
Reports of recent deaths at supplier facilities raise questions of whether Apple is doing enough to meet its ethical responsibility. A 15 year old boy, who had been employed utilizing a fake ID, died of pneumonia at an Apple supplier factory Pegatron Corp., in Shanghai (Jim, Carsten, & Gupta, 2013). Apple denies the allegation that it was related to working conditions at the facility. It has not been proven otherwise, but considering the dozen suicides in 2010 at another supplier facility, Foxconn (Jim, Carsten, & Gupta, 2013), it is reasonable to wonder if Apple is looking the other way. If Apple is indeed meeting the ethical responsibility that it has set for itself and its suppliers, it does not always show in public opinion.
Socially, Apple wants to “leave the world better than they found it” (Apple Inc, 2014). Apple believes that climate change is a reality that needs to be addressed going forward. The company is attempting to make changes by finding ways to use energy and materials more efficiently and from cleaner sources (Apple Inc, 2014). The products they make are free of mercury, PVC, arsenic, lead, BFR, and phthalate (Apple Inc, 2014). Apple recycles paper for packaging, gift cards and iPhoto products (Apple Inc, 2014). With all this in mind, there is no real strategy for social responsibilities at Apple.
Apple seems to be in the market for a new image, as evidenced by recent charity...