Term Paper: Management Strategy Apple Inc

Pages: 9 (2370 words)  ·  Style: Harvard  ·  Bibliography Sources: 10  ·  Level: College Senior  ·  Topic: Education - Computers  ·  Buy This Paper


[. . .] For example, Foxconn has recently installed nets that are in result to the mass suicides that resulted from employees jumping from the tops of their production facilities (Mick, 2010). These nets are supposed to prevent or deter any further suicides from disgruntled employees. However, the underlying problem of these suicides is undoubtedly the poor conditions that these workers are forced to work in.

Any further negative publicity, such as Foxconn's suicide net prevention strategy, has the potential to significantly damage Apple's image and could result in consumers advocacy groups boycotting Apple products altogether. Not only does Apple have an ethical responsibility to prevent such horrific worker conditions that their suppliers provide their employees, it also has a financial incentive to hold its suppliers accountable for their actions. Consumers have already publically announced that they will hold Apple accountable for their supplier's actions. Recently there was a mass protest at several Apple retail outlets that demanded an ethical iPhone (Segall, 2012).

Given the high margins that Apple receives in the market place currently, it is also reasonable to suspect that they have sufficient funding to produce their products in a more sustainable way. Apple must somehow balance revenues and the additional expenditures to monitor the supply chain with the value lost with the negative publicity and decrease in sales that result. It is reasonable to suspect that greater attention to social and environmental issues will be both ethically and financially beneficial to the company. Apple already has an effective CSR statement in place and has made significant efforts to be environmentally responsible. However, given the structure of its production arrangement it has trouble holding its suppliers accountable for their actions. Furthermore, not considering the negative publicity effects, the suppliers are some of the most efficient in the world and if Apple is too restrictive with its suppliers it could act to hinder their efficiency standards.

Foxconn is a town in China that has a population of over a hundred thousand Chinese citizens that was basically built around a factory that produces many of Apple's goods. Labor regulations in this environment are vastly different than would be found in more developed nations. This represents one of the challenges that Apple faces. The Chinese culture may perceive many of Foxconn's actions as acceptable yet these can be viewed from the outside nations as serious violations. Apple must construct an educational program to address these issues within its suppliers. It must make its vision of being a leader in corporate social responsibility a reality in this arena.

Given all of this, Apple should implement its strategy in a three phased implementation. The first step will to be to revise its contractual agreements with its suppliers. The new agreements must make provisions for greater consequences for human rights and environmental violations. It must also craft a new mission and vision that also outlines its renewed dedication to making its position as the world's most CSR friendly electronics supplier. The next step will be to create an educational program that teacher is suppliers and employers what the Apple Company expects and demands from their suppliers in regards to organizational goals. There should also be provisions for employees to report any suspected violations in a safe and reliable manner.

After Apple lays out the groundwork for its new strategy, it will also be important for the organization to have greater control in regards to monitoring operations. It is advised that Apple place permanent positions within its supplier's facilities so that it can constantly monitor progress. Any comprehensive audit should be conducted without notification so that its suppliers cannot make any last minute alterations to prepare for the inspection. Such measure should work to make the suppliers responsible for the accountability for their treatment of employees and their human rights. If Apple spends two months setting the goals, four months training their suppliers and their employees and another six months monitoring their operations and creating opportunities for whistleblowers, then they should be in prime position to make a zero social or environmental goal attainable within one year's time.

Works Cited

HP, 2012. A Creative Outlet for Mac's Digital Hub. [Online]

Available at: http://h41140.www4.hp.com/mac_connect/pdf/hp_mac_background.pdf

[Accessed 11 February 2012].

Meyer, D., 2011. Can Apple Redeem Itself on Supply Chain Sustainability? Taking a Cue on Accountability from Nike's Playbook. [Online]

Available at: http://valuestream2009.wordpress.com/2011/02/03/can-apple-redeem-itself-on-supply-chain-sustainability-taking-a-cue-on-accountability-from-nike%E2%80%99s-playbook / [Accessed 11 February 2011].

Mick, J., 2010. Foxconn Installs Anti-Suicide Nets at its Facilities. [Online]

Available at: http://www.dailytech.com/Foxconn+Installs+AntiSuicide+Nets+at+Its+Facilities/article18877.htm

[Accessed 11 February 2012].

Moore, M., 2010. Apple admits using child labor. [Online]

Available at: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/technology/apple/7330986/Apple-admits-using-child-labour.html

[Accessed 11 February 2012].

Mortensen, P., 2010. The Dawn of Apple's Dominance: Digital Hub Strategy, Revisited.. [Online]

Available at: http://www.cultofmac.com/27810/the-dawn-of-apples-dominance-digital-hub-strategy-revisited / [Accessed 12 February 2012].

Segall, L., 2012. 'Ethical iPhone' protests hit Apple stores. [Online]

Available at: http://money.cnn.com/2012/02/09/technology/apple_foxconn_petition/

[Accessed 11 February 2012].

Wildstrom, S., 2009. Why Apple Leaves Low-End Computers to the Competition. [Online]

Available at: http://www.businessweek.com/magazine/content/09_47/b4156000345421.htm

[Accessed 11 February 2012].

Wortham, J., 2011. Before Latest Phone Debut, Apple Has Harsher Competition. [Online]

Available at: http://www.nytimes.com/2011/10/04/technology/apple-iPhone-faces-divided-loyalties.html

[Accessed 11 February 2012]. [END OF PREVIEW]

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