Ethical breaches in Apple
Scope of the breach
The stakeholder analysis
Ethical Breach – Apple Company
Ethical breaches in Apple
Ethical breaches are developments in a company, which can cause serious problems in the running of a company (Clarkson, Miller, Cross & Clarkson, 2012). During its operation, Apple has been accused of a number of ethical breaches. These ethical breaches include the use of anti-competitive policies embedded in their product development and the pollution of the environment. The other ethical issue, which brought the company to the spotlight, is breach of labor laws in the Apple plant of China. Also, the Apple subsidiaries in Canada have been reported to be among the biggest contributors of greenhouse gases (Potter, 2010).
Scope of the breach
Despite the high prices that are attached to the products of Apple, the company faced a public relations crisis in 2011. Apple was accused of using child labor in its plants, which manufactures iPhones and iPads in China. The crisis was further worsened by the fact that the company was exposing most of the workers in the Chinese plants to unhealthy working conditions. The company does not adhere to environmental safety and the safety of its workers. A number of its workers in the company suffered from the exposure to the chemicals used in manufacturing the iPhones and iPads. The company exploits its workers by paying them low wages while it makes vast sums of money from of these products (Harris, 2012, Moore, 2012). This brought a wrangle between the staffs of the company and the management. The international media carried this case, and even called for the public opinion on the action that could be taken. One of the suggested options was the possibility of boycotting the Apple products in the market.
This case amounted to multiple breaches of ethics. First, there was the employment of under-age workers, which is a breach of the labor labors and the human rights as embedded in the human rights charter. The labor laws and the human rights charter oppose the use of child labor. This was a breach of the laws that govern the labor industry. Another breach of ethics is that the company does not adhere to safety and protection standards (Stephen, 2012). The conditions of work in the plants were exposing the workers to biological complications. This affected tremendously many workers. In addition, Apple denied workers the right to a healthy working environment, which is a breach of human rights and the labor laws. The company gives low wages to the staffs who work in a hazardous environment. It does not attach much value to the workers who bring them a lot of profits. This does not only violate the laws of labor but also the management and economic principles. The work conditions that have been prevailing in the plants have combined to result in many accidents; for instance, fires leading to the release of toxic wastes to the environment. The company was rated amongst the huge distractions of the environmental safety (Moore, 2012).
The stakeholder analysis
This is one of the biggest crises ever faced by the company. It denoted a total breach of business, management, environmental and even human rights ethics. The case attracted a massive attention to the media, exposing all the violation records of the Apple plants in China. The international media called many stakeholders to pay attention to the scenario. These included human rights organizations, the company shareholders and the labor organizations plus the civil society. With the extent of this case, drastic changes by the company were eminent to avert what could be a complete deformation of the company. The management of these firms was to move with speed to initiate and implement drastic change, which could address all the breaches. The first step was to abolish child labor and compensate the victims. The total improvement of the working condition was also on the list. The review of the payments made to staffs, and adherence to environmental conservation standards were other measures to be taken by Apple.
As this is a crisis where the company has been exposed, the company needed to move with speed and affirm the case and make an apology. The apology was to be made to the affected staffs, the customers of the company and all the stakeholders of the company. The managers of these plants would resign. The second thing, which ought to have been done by the Apple management, was to convene an emergency meeting. In this meeting, drastic changes would be announced to imply the response of the company to the ethical breaches (Smith, 2010).
Ethical breaches denote a crisis in organizations when they are exposed. They denote decay in business morals. Therefore, the company management has to respond speedily to salvage its reputation. The response has to be followed by drastic changes to seal the gaps that necessitated the breaches (Smith, 2010).
Many companies have been faced with crisis resulting from breaches of ethics in business activities. However, when the breaches are exposed, the companies have responded with speed and engaged stakeholders in implementing changes. The responses and changes made have helped in saving the image of the companies. An example is the BP oil spill and its response (Smith, 2010).
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