The paper "Ethical Issues in Apple’ s Chinese Factory" is a good example of a marketing case study. Ethical issues are currently facing the general business community. 21 st century has provided a complex global business environment and nearly every company face a number of ethical issues. Every business has to develop codes of conduct as well as ethics and put them into action for members of the organization to abide with. In this case, the discussion addresses ethical issues that arise in business on matters related to labour and responsible compliance despite the lack of government regulations.
The outcomes of a company’ s activities depend on how business leaders decide, plan, articulate and monitor the course of actions to be taken in relation to prevailing human rights requirements and ethical considerations. Taking Apple’ s Chinese factory as case, it will address how ineffective company’ s policies, values and procedures have to lead to unethical outcomes in a business setting. Poor company approach to labour laws and failures by directors and other officers can lead to compliance issues. As Edwards (2013), Apple’ s is on the verge of getting a bad reputation due to increased coverage of its excessive or forceful overtime, low wages and long working hours in Chinese factories.
In turn, there are pressures from the general public for it to act ethically and improve its track record. One of the interesting features of pressure is consumer activism online that has followed and scrutinized its operations (Neate 2013). External stakeholders have focused on its ethical practice and labour ethical concerns. Combined direct and indirect actions from these stakeholders can damage Apple’ s reputation and impact in its market segments (Johnson 2011).
General concerns arise from the fact that, despite the acknowledged lack of employees’ protection in China, Apple’ s managers should utilize their moral judgments that define the wrong and right. Its labour decisions have impacted on factories’ culture and the outcomes have seen shortcomings in ethical considerations. Why the Crisis Occurred? The growth of the Chinese economy over the last decade has seen the rise of immigrant workers flow to China in search of employment opportunities. China has recently attracted major world’ s companies with the majority of factories established in its industrial areas.
However, this industry-oriented economy has relied on migrant workers from rural areas in China with approximately 150 million migrant workers (Barboza 2010). However, due to their status, these workers have no access to the state’ s benefits and protection. In turn, they endure poor working conditions due to forced and excessive overtime, failure to secure employment contracts, severe health risks and lack of social security rights. Major companies have offered extremely low wages but the most glaring incidence that has been noted is long working hours, seven days in a week and constant discrimination.
In some case, women are denied maternity leave and have to work for over 70 hours (Johnson 2011). In China, the lack of freedom of association makes it hard to form trade unions or non-governmental organizations to address labour issues. The government does not carry out close regulations, monitoring and regular crackdowns (Neate 2013). In turn, in an anti-union climate, multinational corporations, as well as domestic national factories, have taken advantage of the situations. Worse still, the workers are unaware of their rights and unwillingness by the Chinese government to address such abuses increase abuses of employees rights by major corporations.
According to Barboza (2010), Apple’ s Chinese factory is synonymously referred to as ‘ sweatshop’ due to low wages per hour and long working hours for employees who make iPhones and iPads. The staffs perform monotonous and tedious tasks for ten hours. Eventually, 18 employees have committed suicide and lower wages, forced shifts and long working hours have been attributed to such outcomes (Cooper 2013). At the same time, a lack of enforced laws is not a justification for a company like Apple to exploit employees who are subject to such an environment.
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