Sample Research Paper On Apple Code Of Conduct
Apple produces arguably some of the most beautiful and neatly produced technological devices in the world. Because of this, it is among the leaders, especially in the US, in the manufacture of mobile entertainment and communication devices. It is able to attain its leadership because of its very high and strict standards in the design and in the manufacture of products Recently, the company has suffered a lot of bad press. It has been accused of bad labor practices, especially with regard to its outsourcing suppliers. The problem arose because of weaknesses in the company codes of conduct to begin with .
In 2010, some factory workers committed suicide at Foxconn, Apple’s supplier for the touch screens of its mobile devices. The workers committed suicide because of the intense work pressure at the factory. The incidence of suicides at the factory were not statistically higher than the national average in China. However, they were significant enough to trigger an investigation of the company that included Apple and Hewlett-Packard as clients.
The perception of wrong-doing got worse when an explosion killing three persons occurred at one plant of Foxconn right after Apple launched its new generation of iPads. The incident was a real accident. In addition, suicides continued to be reported.
The Fair Labor Association (FLA) conducted an investigation and found no unsafe conditions in those factories. However, it uncovered violations that Foxconn committed against China’s laws regarding work hours. Workers were logging in longer overtime or work hours than allowed by law. FLA also found two other Apple suppliers—Pingzhou Electronics and Pegatron Corp.—committing similar and even worse (hiring of minors) violations . Apple had to bear the brunt of all the bad publicity resulting from these discoveries and news reports.
Apple had not violated its code of conduct because it really had none. The company has a code of business conduct , a statement of environmental responsibility , and a supplier code . It does not have in these codes any statement regarding corporate governance or even corporate social responsibility. Its business code is very reactive and not at all proactive. It does not stipulate how the company and its employees should behave or work so it would contribute to having a better society. The codes provide punishments for unethical actions or wrong-doing. These are measures taken after problems occur. They do not prevent bad things from happening.
Its code for supplier’s responsibility is largely a guide to protect the company against wrong-doing by suppliers or its employees. It does not stipulate anything about protecting its workers or suppliers.
With regard to its statement of environmental responsibility , it is nothing more than a repetition of what various laws in different countries. The company is not offering anything new or encouraging any further commitment from its officers or employees to do anything more .
As Steve Jobs had pointed out in his biography, Apple is deeply committed to two stakeholders: consumers and investors. This commitment has yielded very good results for the company, its consumers and its investors. It has also led the company to produce products .
All of the problems Apple had had is a result of a serious lack of social purpose in its codes. Everything is focused on how to improve performance so it could deliver on profits for the company and its investors.
Apple’s problems could have been somewhat averted should some social purpose or corporate social responsibility somewhere in its codes. Having such, everyone in the company would be clearly guided on how to be act on certain situations taking into consideration also its communities and other stakeholders aside from profits.
Customers and financial analysts have already indicated to Apple what it should do: Address or clarify its labor issues . However, responding to demands (not all of which are right) would only be short-term solutions. The company should attempt something that would help them in the long term—that is, to stipulate a commitment to corporate governance and corporate social responsibility (CSR). Specifically, it should state a commitment to protect its employees and those of its suppliers. The company encourages total commitment to work that borders on abuse and exploitation which the company seems to be proud of . Research has shown companies committed to CSR are becoming preferred by investors and customers and eventually perform better .
Apple Inc. (2014). Business conduct: The way we do business worldwide. Apple Inc. Retrieved Nov 1, 2014, from http://files.shareholder.com/downloads/AAPL/1635337056x0x443008/5f38b1e6-2f9c-4518-b691-13a29ac90501/business_conduct_policy.pdf
Apple Inc. (2014). Environmental responsibility. Retrieved Nov 1, 2014, from Apple: http://www.apple.com/environment/
Apple Inc. (2014). Supplier responsibility. Retrieved Nov 1, 2014, from Apple: http://www.apple.com/supplier-responsibility/
Arredy, J. T., & Kane, Y. I. (2011, May 21). Explosion kills 3 at Foxconn plant. Wall Street Journal. Retrieved Nov 1, 2014, from http://online.wsj.com/articles/SB10001424052748704816604576335262591187804
Barboza, D. (2013, May 20). Group Says Deaths Show Problems Remain at Foxconn. The New York Times. Retrieved Nov 1, 2014, from http://www.nytimes.com/2013/05/21/business/global/3-foxconn-employees-are-said-to-have-committed-suicide.html
Dean, J., & Tsai, T.-i. (2010, May 27). Suicides spark inquiries. Wall Street Journal. Retrieved Nov 1, 2014, from http://online.wsj.com/articles/SB10001424052748704026204575267603576594936
Guglielmo, C. (2013, Dec 12). Apple's supplier labor practices in China scrutinized after Foxconn, Pegatron reviews. Forbes. Retrieved Nov 1, 2014, from http://www.forbes.com/sites/connieguglielmo/2013/12/12/apples-labor-practices-in-china-scrutinized-after-foxconn-pegatron-reviewed/
Hu, Y. (2014). Research on the marketing strategies based on corporate social. Advanced Materials Research, 026-930, 3922-3925.
Isaacson, W. (2011). Steve Jobs. New York, NY, USA: Simon and Schuster.
Klein, P. (2011, Aug 12). Where is Apple's social purpose. Forbes. Retrieved Nov 1, 2014
Little, K. (2014, Jan 16). Apple, Amazon downgraded 'on moral and ethical grounds'. CNBC. Retrieved Nov 1, 2014, from http://www.cnbc.com/id/101312871#.
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