It is my belief that customers should be informed with what is going on within the organization in terms of their interests, but at times Apple has believed that the public should not always be informed in their personal business matters. Apple has also missed the mark by informing the public too late or sometimes not at all. My ethical perspective on their supplier issues would be to dissociate themselves with suppliers that have been known to mistreat their foreign workers by having them work too many hours and work under horrible conditions.
The Economist spoke about Apple’s brand and the loyalty that currently receive from their customers. The issue is that these same faithful customers might not to readily purchase the new iphone or ipad if they knew that the products were produced in factories where workers performed under abusive conditions. Apple has a corporate conduct standards in place, but the problem is these standards are not being applied within every manufacturing plant oversees. Apple will be in major trouble if their customers and potential customers found out what was going on in these poor countries.
Another interesting article from The Economist spoke about the public pressure Apple is taking on when it said: “The media and public pressure being exerted on Apple is not focused on getting it to stop making phones in China. It's focused on getting it to apply its own corporate code of conduct rigorously at the factories that make its phones in China. That corporate code of conduct is part of Apple's brand ID. It is part of the reason why people desire to buy the phones that make those Chinese richer in the first place. If people think Apple is a sleazy company that employs workers under abusive conditions, they will not want to pay as much for its phones, and then those Chinese workers will be harmed. Getting manufacturing companies in China to allow more open scrutiny of the workplace and to cease any possible violations of their contracts guaranteeing adequate working conditions is good for Apple, good for consumers, good for the companies, and good for the workers. It's just good. There's nothing wrong with it. Nobody is trying to stop globalisation here, or take away Chinese workers' jobs.” (2012)
Personal ethics and responsibilities within an organization are not simply guidelines and standards that the leaders should follow but they are things that everyone within the organization should adhere to. A person’s ethical standards have such a large part to play in what an individual does and doesn’t do within the organization. At times these ethics cannot be separated since this person’s values cannot be accounted for at home without reviewing his at work values. Every employee is responsible for exhibiting correct behavior inside and outside of work. As learned throughout the research gathered, that does not mean that everyone’s standards will be exactly same, but it does mean to hold one’s self to a higher regard to protect the organization’s image. The Apple Inc has experienced a large amount of success through the years. From an ethical standpoint there have been many customers throughout the years that have not been happy with their business practices. Changing some of their strategies and techniques on doing business around the world and in the U.S. will help them gain more trust from those that partner with them for the products and services.
Vanessa Drucker provided a very excellent article in the Fund Strategy when she stated: “Grueling hours among Apple's component suppliers, illegal overtime and child labour have attracted widespread condemnation. Electronic assembly is not normally a high risk activity, but abuses at supplier plants have led to deaths. In 2010, 18 workers leapt to their deaths off the factory roof at Foxconn's plant in Shenzen. The manufacturer responded by installing giant anti-suicide nets outside the sleeping quarters. Seven hundred miles away in Chengdu, another Foxconn factory produced combustible dust while manufacturing iPad2 cases. Ensuing explosions there, and in Shanghai, caused multiple deaths and injuries. It is significant that Apple's manufacturing accidents have extended beyond the highly publicised Foxconn. An entirely different Apple supplier, Wintek, compensated workers after 137 were poisoned from working on iTouch panels. Foxconn produces for most of the other major electronics companies. There is no reason to imagine that working conditions are any better within Foxconn for, say, Dell or Hewlett-Packard; but the spotlight is on Apple, the largest company on earth.” (2012 p.16)
Fieser and Moseley gave an interesting perspective on child labor when they said: “Most countries have prohibitions on child labor, but enforcing these laws can be problematic. India and China, for example, have large rural areas where traditional working patterns involve children from an early age. In India, children can be sold into bonded labor, which is a type of slavery, while parents pay off a debt. Even if the children are attracted to working because of the money, they can end up working in hazardous conditions, such as in coal mines or garbage dumps.” (Fieser, Moseley 2012)
Mark Schwanhausser wrote an article out of Tribune Business News that spoke about the concern that some stockholders had when Apple purposely backdated their options. In the article it stated that they did not disclose this information to investors, regulators or the IRS. Some investors thought this problem could have made Steve Jobs step down as their leader, but he made a statement that he was not aware of exactly what was happening and apologized. The major problem with manipulating these stock options was the fact that it allowed the company to take advantage of lower stock prices and show the company had more profits than they really had.
Schwanhausser said in his article: “Stock options typically give the holder the right to buy company stock at the price on the day they were granted, so they become valuable only if the stock rises. But at least 136 companies nationwide -- including 38 in Silicon Valley -- face federal investigations or internal reviews to examine whether they backdated options to take advantage of lower stock prices and give recipients a head start to paper profits. It appears scores of companies did so without disclosing it to investors, regulators or the Internal Revenue Service. As a result, numerous companies have warned investors that they overstated profits, and many are at risk of being delisted by stock exchanges for failing to file financial reports on time. Many investors feared that the scandal could force Jobs to step down. But an analyst for Glass Lewis, which advises institutional investors on corporate governance issues, said he was relieved to find nothing in the report to fuel that fear. He added that shareholders are not fomenting for Jobs to step down. "
Apple has led so many industries with their technology and ability to lead with marketing strategies. While Apple has experienced a lot of success throughout they years they also have experienced some challenges in terms of their manufactures producing their products in other countries. Apple will continue to experience success and an overwhelming amount of growth; eliminating their ethical issues will help them become even better.