The set of understanding and the beliefs that a company need to follow are known as Business ethics (Noddings, 2013). All leading business companies and the institutes follow some ethics. The practices focus mainly on the honesty, trust and the thinking procedure that is considered above the profit lines. Ethical practices sometimes hamper the profit of the company in a short term but in a long term business policy, ethical is practices are considered as a fruitful ones.
This essays analyses the importance of ethical practices, dilemma and the relationship between the ethics, leadership and the decision-making policies of Apples Inc. The business group always has a positive impact on the overall ethics that is implemented by the organization (Carroll & Buchholtz, 2014).
Business ethics always set the specific standard for a particular company that follows the policy by which the business can be conducted. Ethical factors have significant effect on that particular organization or the institutions
An important aspect on ethical business is an ethical investment as the large scale investment focus on the market forces that reflects greatly on the public opinion (Dewey, 2016). The present concept of ethical practices focuses on the social responsibility of the corporate, globalization, sustainability on social enterprise and mutual cooperatives of the employees.
In present days, organizations gets advantages on behaving ethically, based on compassion, humanity with the specific consideration throughout the world (Peters, 2015) (Ford & Richardson, Ethical decision making: A review of the empirical literature, 2013).Ethics can be linked with the issues that any organization faces while performing the ethics that they itself has listed on their company plans.
One of the major problems that a company fails while performing in the marketing stream is the ethical problems. Every company lists their own marketing transactions that bring out the expectation set based on the status of the relationship on the business that will exist and the conduction of the transactions must be listed. The invasion in the marketing based on the policy and the stereotyping, major problems in market research. However, if performed negligently, the result of the stereotyping can lead to the ethical danger.
Selective marketing discourages the main demand from the unwanted marketing sectors or suppresses them in a complied manner. Another issue that focuses relates to these susceptible audiences in growing markets in the emergent countries, as the public are not aware of the emerging marketing areas and the plots (Dinnie, 2015)
One of the most controversial advertising channels focuses on the unsolicited approaches. For example, TV commercials and the direct mails are the most common examples. Telemarketing and the electronic spam shove the borders of legality and ethics more strongly.
A particular type of marketing that is not specific to a particular target market and anyone can go for public entities. There are several laws that can be presented for the consumers. Humor is one of the method for the completion that acts an escape or provides relief from various kind of human limitation and some adviser takes the benefits by this type of unrepresentatively disclosing the products that can properly alleviate the advantage towards the limitations through humorous ways.
A policy used for designing a product with a very limited useful material in life is known to be planned obsolescence. It becomes quiet unfashionable or obsolete after a certain period of time and forcefully put the customer in pressure to purchase a particular item again. The practice for selling any particular product or services at a very low price, planned to drive out of other competitors from the market or creating barriers for the new competitors.
The important frightening issue damages their image that is associated with the press announcement of unethical practices. Few marketers focus on the consumer’s taste as advantages to the marketing ethics. The effective and ethically efforts are necessary to meet up the good marketing strategies.
Fortune magazine awarded Apple as the World’s Most Admired Companies. The headquarters is located in California. Apple is earning the first position for the last four years. According to, many millions Apple symbolizes the quality, innovation and prestige (Apple, 2017) Many companies came into consideration for copying its product but nothing could stand and fight with it. The reason behind the Apple for being its uniqueness is still unknown. People believe the success of Apple comes from the combination of the leadership skills by Steve Jobs and the workplace culture where innovation mixes up with the enthusiasm. These combining qualities made Apple as a revolutionary project of the technology (Apple, 2017)
In the Apple’s history, the first product launched was Apple I, was very different from today’s products. Steve Wozniak, co-founder of Apple, constructed the first handmade computer kit. The products, Mac I and the Newton were not successful. Steve Jobs returned to the company as CEO and tried hard to save the company by struggling hard to survive (Apple, 2017). The comeback of Jobs, introduced a new phase for Apple and started changing the corporate condition. His returned to the company and introduced a policy, called ‘closed door’ policy (Apple, 2017). Apple belonged to one of the attentive and protecting technology by ensuring its security issues.
Jobs also created a different organizational structure by not by layering the managers to manage the employees, instead he addressed them directly. An expansion took place from phones to the Ipod- music player, that is portable which changed the music industry forever (Apple, 2017). They also introduce iTunes, a type of software, which allows the uploading of music from CDs into the Mac devices for organizing and personalizing the song libraries in the year 2001. After two years, they introduced ITunes store, from where numerous music can be downloaded.
In the year 2007, Jobs introduced an Apple counter and named as Apple Inc. This signifies Apple as a source for consumer electronic drivers, like Apple TV, iPad, iPhone, iTunes and iPods from shifting away from the Mac computers (Apple, 2017).
Apple has become a source for reinventing computers. On introducing tablet computers, it gained top major competition in the electronic industry and hopefully it will grow with a very high rate (Apple, 2017).
Though Apple has soared high to reach the zenith, it suffers from several ethical dilemmas hindering its integrity in the business interactions. The leading-edge brand observes some certain principles in order to maintain a proper business conduct. The principles being honesty, compliance, confidentiality and respect form a rock solid foundation for corporate governance. However, despite having secured the topmost most position as World’s Most Admired Company there have been certain ethical issues that are attempting to unsettle its towering reputation (Clarke & Boersma, 2015). The causes behind apple’s pitfall are as follows:
Product Quality: Behind Apple’s exceptional adoration and popularity among the consumers lies the premium quality features provides in the handsets. The iPhone series is highly acclaimed only for its unique and new-fashioned features that one can hardly find in any other competitors of it. Naturally, the iPhones are priced at an much-inflated level, which would do justice only if the customers are ensured of its quality. Unfortunately, Apple failed setting this standard to their customers after introducing iPhone4 in the market(Chan, Pun, & Selden, 2013). Consumers faced problems with reception of network because of antenna interference when the phone was held in a certain way. As a result of this, Consumer Reports denied any further endorsement of this product and it seemed to pale the repute of the organization (Page, 2013). Therefore, Apple had to provide its customers with cases and free bumpers for a certain period of time.
Privacy: In 2011, Apple was again troubled for a location privacy issue, which according to Google and Apple was likely to disclose and track the users’ locations through some apps. Though Google had announced to make the consumers feel certain that the users can easily identify those apps and thereby deactivate them it was seen as an infringement on privacy(De Montjoye, Hidalgo, Verleysen, & Blondel, 2013). However, this was not entirely applicable to the iPhone sets as they still continue to gather location information without any prior knowledge.
Sustainability: Apple’s products and their operations are responsible for releasing 9.6 million metric tons of metric gases as admitted by Apple authorities. Therefore, Apple has taken a step forward for a greener production and attempts to make its products with materials recyclable. It has promised to remove cathode-ray tubes in its goods and reduce toxic materials while manufacturing.
Intellectual Property: To safeguard its intellectual property Apple can go to any extent and it actually has been seen policing them quite aggressively. This has involved Apple in several lawsuits against leading organizations like Microsoft. However, the lawsuits claiming a domain name from Ben Cohen and with Cisco Systems(2007) involved major ethical issues on the part of Apple. In the lawsuit against Ben Cohen, Apple won with the judgment that Ben Cohen had enjoyed some biased advantage of Apple and that he had violated the registration rights(Berger, 2013). However, this victory is seen as the triumph of a giant in front at the expense of a minor. IN another lawsuit with Cisco Apple was accused of copyright violation infringing its iPhone trademark.
Employee Abuse: Due to lesser labor and production, cost Apple has shifted its manufacturing sectors in South-East Asia and Africa. It has expanded its production vastly especially in the countries like India and China for the considerably low production cost and availability of the labors in abundance. This has given rise to employee abuse and ill-treatment where they are considered no longer humans(Lee, Lau, & Cheng, 2013).
Business leaders are entrusted with the social responsibility to maintain a business approach, which is ethically appropriate. Nonetheless, in the business world of rapid growth and rivalry it is not always possible to respond to the ethical dilemmas and therefore, the person in the authority choose to undertake what seems to be right for his company. Here, we are going to discuss two theories of managerial ethics and how in context of these two, Apple has suffered from serious issues of ethical dilemma.
Ethics of Compassion: Achieving success in a purely business sector while retaining compassion ethics is challenging for financial gains. Theories of managerial ethics have been condemned by some intellectuals for not attributing that much of importance to this humane side. As discussed above, in order to reduce labor charge and production cost, Apple has set up production units indiscriminately in the developing countries. In this context, apple was under indictment in 2011 where a grave and unfortunate issue of treating their employees inhumanly came up. Approximately, 500,000 employees were hired to start manufacturing of Apple’s products in Southern China. However, in a few plants like Shenzhen and Chengdu there were complaints about the grim and inappropriate working atmosphere. As investigation proceeded, some shocking revelations emerged against Apple authority, which was quite contrary to their reputation. Apple was found to force its employees to sign an anti-suicide indenture that read, an employee was not allowed to commit under any circumstance (PUN, et al., 2016). Besides, there were severe charges against Apple making their people work for excessive hours, almost 98 hours a month to be precise.
Consequence Ethics: Under the consequence ethics, it is stated that business people must not approve of any decisions that might conflict with the interest of society and environment. However, Apple has often found to breach the norms of protecting environment, which could have been led to long-term consequence. In fact, Apple itself has admitted to be emitting 9.6 million metric tons of metric gases, which has caused much damage to the environment. Despite being such a flagship organization in the industry and known to be one of its kind, Apple failed to rank in the top 100 greenest companies of America, according to Newsweek’s annual list until 2010 (Wehrenberg). It has also proved itself a slowpoke in terms of its much-promoted recycling programmes, which annoyed some of its responsible investors like Interfaith Center on Corporate Responsibility and As you Sow. The only ray of hope being Apple’s changed stance pledging a greener production and operation of its goods. It has excluded cathode-ray tubes and reduced usage of toxic chemicals as well. Another significant step of them is to introduce light-emitting diodes instead of fluorescent lamps containing mercury. Apple is also accentuating its recycling program where users can avail 10 percent of discount in exchange with their old Apple goods such as iPods, iPhones and Macs.
Leadership is an ultimate determiner of the current situation, the demands and the personality of the organization’s employees and the work culture of the institution. Leadership is the building block of a specific organization and a leader’s goal is to forge the desired future for the particular company with which he is dealing. A leader should evolve congenial relationship and involvement with the strategic directions of the organization. Leadership practices performed with efficacy could enable the leaders to enrich their performance during their competition in unpredictable and turbulent environment along with exploring the multidimensional factors and the gaps between them involving the company’s future. Now shifting towards the concept of organizational ethics it can be stated that acc to many business professionals the best way to resolve ethical dilemma is to obtain an objective principle, acquire a predetermined role and reformulate the principles as a corporate policy (Ferrell & Fraedrich, 2015). Drucker has illustrated ethical behavior as a process of reflection and an exercise of communalism, which is implicated towards the moralistic behaviors of an individual based on expressed and established standard of values. It is an absolute requisite for all corporate leaders to prosper exceedingly. To add to that we have another indispensable element ignoring which one can never reach the apex of success in the field of adept organizational management. Thinking is eventually the supreme human resource, which is always invited while indulging in a proper decision making process. It does not occur accidentally but is the outcome of sincere and intense efforts, inventive directions and dynamic execution beginning with a consecutive strategic and purposeful thinking process.
Effective leadership and ethical values demonstrates a cause and effect relationship. Without ethical behavior, a dynamic leadership is like an improbable dream. It is an ultimate promoter of all the features crucial for efficient leadership. The employees rely on leaders who are trustworthy and trust is the glue of effective leadership, which endorses success in the long-run. A credible past and present outlook is very much realistic with ethics and morals (Ford & Richardson, Ford, R. C., & Richardson, W. D. (2013). Ethical decision maIn Citation classics from the Journal of Business Ethics, 2013). An ideal ethical template of decision-making undertaken by the firm entices a leader to take the best decisions in critical circumstances. With the aid of this template, a leader pursues with consistent and reliable decisions.
A leader possessing a meticulous knowledge about ethics, historical background of decision making in an ethical manner and capacity to execute action plan reflects empathy, stability and resolve. All these traits will infuse an optimistic attitude among the employees towards their leaders (Newman, Kiazad, Miao, & Cooper, 2014). Consistent construction of good ethics enforces buoyant characteristics that generate trust. This particular identity blended with ethical behavior promotes optimum success level since higher the trust greater is the chance of deft leadership. After the selection of a definite leader, his leadership partially depends on the relationships developed by the leader with the other corporate members of his organization. A substantial understanding among each other is a vital aspect of building up relationships (Kuntz, Kuntz, Elenkov, & Nabirukhina, 2013). Good ethics strengthens a person’s understanding of personal beliefs, which facilitates a person to identify one’s internal and external self. Ethics compliments these two selves of an individual distinctly (Hassan, Mahsud, Yukl, & Prussia, 2013). Realizing one’s own self permits a leader to form committed relationships with each other and be authentic. Absence of proper ethical components makes a person desultory and true relations refrain from existing. A leader devoid of morals and values is incapable of developing authenticity, integrity and self-identity thereby facing hurdles at every step of his career (DesJardins & McCall, 2014). Trust, the very essence of leadership ceases to exist without ethical values. Ethics being the backbone of persuasive leadership the copious variables determining the leadership skills are all affected by valuable ethics. Ethical negligence can paralyze the organizational leader and the entire organization can turn out to be crippled.
Fast-paced change in recent business environment poses an exasperating ethical challenges o the corporate professionals. Unethical business attitude may not stem from the traditionally conceived trade-off between profit rate and ethics or from an apathetic disregard of other’s welfare or interests. It can also originate from the psychological tendencies that entice unstable decision-making both from the ethical and practical perspective (Weiss, 2014). Figuring out and confronting such tendencies not only enhances ethicality but also executive decision-making process. Professionals nowadays operate in a minefield soaked with moralistic principles. An innocuous decision can backfire and prove adverse not only for the one who is deciding but also for the ones associated with him. One cannot predict the upcoming ethical landscape so they should follow the contemporary psychology related to decision making to help them identify ethically hazardous circumstances and upgrade the quality of their decisions morally.
Psychologists have repeatedly discovered systematic flaws in decision making and processing information among the organizational leaders or the authority in question. To address ethics in decision making one needs to ensure that the key decisions focused towards the future prospects of the organizations are in the desired place. Particularly, any decisions related to business for core values should be synchronized to provide the requisites, which will be utilized to establish and constrain the fundamental criteria applied in the business decision networks. This focused decision can affect the other criteria related to decision making throughout the business decision network, directly regulating ethical decisions and organizational conduct. Extra-related decisions comprises of selecting the perfect business mission and the moral code of conduct, which will induce compliance to decisions across the network (Crane & Matten, 2016). The following are certain criteria that assure apt ethical considerations are a part of organization’s decisions:
Compliance – It checks whether it conforms to the values and ethics of the company and meets the adequate legal requirements.
Promotes favorable and reduces the unfavorable – It examines the various solutions and identifies which one will be favorable for the employees minimizing the risk-factor.
Responsibility – It evaluates which of the alternatives supplies the responsible response and whether those solutions meet the desired duties expected from a sincere corporate citizen.
Preserves rights – It checks whether the alternatives provided pose a negative impact on the organization’s rights.
Promotes trust – It analyzes whether these solutions lead to candid and honest communications and whether there is complete disclosure.
Reputation building – It determines whether a particular headline of the decision taken would generate shame or appreciation and whether it would complement or detract with the image and reputation required to be set up for the organization.
Hence, our target is to address decision-making ethics in the perception of the decision-making model and co-relate the leadership attributes and decision-making process in a way that will draw a consistent application of organizational ethics in both these areas of organizational operation.
Critically evaluating, a leader can ensure ethical organizational decision making through the implementation of an ethical code and consulting it. Considering the effects of the decisions on all the stakeholders, applying industry regulations as a starting point while making decisions, consulting others while incorporating a wide spread decision and reviewing the outcomes of the past business decisions undertaken and learn from the past mistakes can also be effective in promoting organizational ethics and sustaining a healthy competitive corporate environment.
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