The paper 'Apple’ s Labor Issues ' is a great example of a Management Assignment. Apple is one of the leading smartphone and computer companies in the world today. It was rated among the most valuable brands, defeating other major brands such as Coca-Cola and General Motors in 2013. Recently Apple has been losing its market to major competitors who have discovered a new and better way to appeal to the extensive market of smartphones, tablets, and personal computers. Though it has experienced much growth, it has lost its market share to other competing companies that employ strategies that seem to work better in a highly dynamic and competitive market.
One factor that has emerged as a source of major contention for Apple is the public relations that the company employs regarding employees and working conditions (PR News Report Cards, 2005). The company has been blamed for having high prices that are not accessible for many except those in the high-end markets. Competitors and rivals have taken advantage of this and have come up with cheaper products that solve problems that are common to the market.
Obviously, consumers go for cheaper products that are of high quality. However, Apple remains a huge contender due to its brand recognition and awareness that has seen loyal consumers make repurchases and recommend their products over and over. Apart from losing market to major competitors, Apple has also been faced with a public relations challenge. Critics have argues that the company is only focused on making big sales and is not concerned with the welfare of employees that work to meet their objectives. The public relations miseries have been blamed for part of the challenge that has been facing the company of late. Question 1 The public relations problem at Apple has been caused by reports of neglect of workers and inhumane working conditions that manufacturers have to go through in the production of Apple products.
Labour activists have voiced their concerns about how such a prestigious company would treat their employees. To make the situation even worse, employees at Apple manufacturing has been going on for some time despite the many complaints from different stakeholders.
Consumers all over the world who are frequent shoppers of Apple products such as the iPhone, the iPad, and computers expressed their shock over the issue (Agnello, 2012,). Being a highly valued company, the same was expected to be replicated among employees in the company. Apple outsources cheap manufacturing labor from companies in countries such as China. There have been reports of employee deaths working the company as a result of the inhumane working conditions. Being the highly reputable company that the public considers, the situation was not expected. The image and reputation that any organisation has in the eyes of the public is very crucial in determining its overall performance.
The general public relates to issues about how employees are treated and draw their buying decisions from there (Kent, 2010, P. 750). In a bid to deal with the allegations, Apple conducted a survey in it partner companies that were involved in manufacturing of its product in order to take necessary steps to correct the situation. Having billions of dollars in profits and revenues it is expected that the company should be a prestigious employer as well.
It was discovered that 62% of the companies that Apple was in partnership with did not follow policies as they had been set by Apple (Agnello, 2012,). Apple halted the services of two companies that were found to be repeat violators of the policies. However, this might have come too late as the reputation and image of the entire company was at stake and had already been tarnished. Though Apple showed efforts to alleviate the crisis, the damage had already been done and the consumer had become skeptical over the company many wondered why Apple would let such injustices go on with their knowledge while at the same time they continued to carry out business as usual.
Despite the competitive challenges that saw the market growth of Apple fall, the labor issues also contributed to this. One of the strong points that Apple has is a strong brand of quality and consumer loyalty. This was heavily affected as it was reflected in the performance, especially against major competitors. Further, competitors saw a weak point in their labor strategies and took advantage of it to appeal to the Apple market, hence decreasing their overall performance.
Agnello, A, 2012Investorpalce. Retrieved December 18, 2013, from Apple’s Labor Issues and PR Miseries: http://investorplace.com/2012/02/apples-labor-issues-and-pr-miseries-aapl-msft-dell-mmi/#.UrHt6yfAO58
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