Challenges in the Global Business Environment

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Assignment 2: Challenges in the Global Business Environment

Business and Society

Assignment 2: Challenges in the Global Business Environment

Apple Inc. was founded in 1977. To date, this company has continually offered a wide range of products to meet the growing demands of customers all over the world. Apple not only produces and sells computer software and cellphones; they also distribute consumer electronic products around the globe. Increasing the value of shareholder and coming up with new inventive products is a constant process for Apple, and Apple continues to do so with their popularity around the world with about 301 store locations in 10 different countries. Aside from all of the advances Apple has made in their technology systems and products, Apple has become a company that is also a fully functioning business organization that is flourishing in economies around the world. Keeping local customers, as well as those on a global level, satisfied and happy, the company helping to make a unique unmatched precedence in the mind of their customers.

Apple Inc.’s Supplier Code of Conduct has been held under a microscope in recent years. It’s 100 pages of inclusive requirements that focus on 20 important areas, including labor and human rights, health and safety, environment, management systems, and ethics. Often, these standards exceed what local laws require in order to set the bar high, and to keep operations running smoothly. The document addresses every part of the proper behavior practical and expected standards of supplier’s associated with the company. In the past it was a problem that it does not offer enough information. However, Apple has recently upped their game and has now provided a code of conduct that gives clear direction and makes sure the intended message gets across. In the past the code of conduct provided had many holes and let the company out in the open when there was a scandal at one of their facilities. The current company’s code is so undoubtedly written that it leaves no room for misinterpretation or misunderstanding. Company standing affects the way in which several stakeholders behave towards an organizations influence; for example, employee loyalty and quality, customer satisfaction and loyalty. It is no surprise why CEO’s of large companies see corporate character as a valuable insubstantial key for success.

The international business environment can be defined as the environment in different sovereign countries, with factors exogenous to the home environment of the organization, influencing decision-making on resource use and capabilities (Morrison, 2011). Global business environment can created challenges for companies that are found to be linked to unethical business practices. This paper discusses the code of ethical conduct of Apple Inc. and issues faced by the company on a whole when it comes to ethical behavior. Apple is a manufacturing, distributing and selling company. They sell a computer software and technology to stores all over the world. Apple is one of the world’s largest manufacturers and distributors of technology and they operate in around 10 countries.

Apple established its code of ethics to ensure that all suppliers followed the same standard. The company now reviews its system regular to maintain clearness and answerability in their business practices and accomplished international standards. The code of ethics is a part of Apples, Code of Business Conduct and through this the company maintains honesty and integrity in all matters. Apple’s code of ethics states:

“Apple is committed to the highest standards of social and environmental responsibility and ethical conduct. Apple’s suppliers are required to provide safe working conditions, treat workers with dignity and respect, act fairly and ethically, and use environmentally responsible practices wherever they make products or perform services for Apple.

Apple requires its suppliers to operate in accordance with the principles in this Apple

Supplier Code of Conduct (“Code”) and in full compliance with all applicable laws and regulations. This Code goes beyond mere compliance with the law by drawing upon internationally recognized standards to advance social and environmental responsibility. This Code outlines Apple’s expectations for Supplier conduct regarding labor and human rights, health and safety, environmental protection, ethics, and management practices..

We all must follow the law, act with integrity and honesty in all matters, and be accountable for our actions.”

(Apple Inc.)

Question or

The company has controlled the problems related to code of ethical conduct and continues to help Apple on its journey to success. The company faces fierce competition from its competitors in the global market when it comes to ethics, and they must work hard to rise above the rest. It hasn’t always been easy for Apple, as they found themselves at the middle of a heated scandal, however; they seem to handle it very intelligently. The company made it clear that they would not be supporting suppliers whose employee rights and work conditions did not proper match with theirs. After the problems with the facility in China, the question was raised by many of Apples shareholders; Should Apple have done more to be aware of these poor business ethics and practices being made?

Apples main competitor is itself. Their product last quite a long time and many people do not upgrade because of the long life of their products as well as because the price is high. Apple is also facing the issue of ethical code of conduct conflicting with the interest of stakeholders, and building back the truest of the community.

These three problems found within this document related to the ethical code of conduct being broken in the past by facilities under Apple, and what Apple must do to clear its name. In the past, Apples main focus was not to consider the interest of stakeholders, and nor were they focused on the health of extended staff at international facilities during the manufacturing of their product. The company delivers unique products to the markets all around the world, and are faced with unique problems when dealing with their code of conduct.

Apple was lacking in concern for human rights and did not give any real indication of it in their code of ethics. They soon discovered that even though they did not have a direct hand in the human rights available to international workers, they still could be held responsible. Now within the manufacturing facilities being in the public eye and the presence of unjust work conditions for employees working under one of their suppliers, they are now taking the time and steps to make sure their code of ethics includes rules for suppliers so that all facilities are in accordance of government regulations. Apple has made steps to encourage their customers to recycle, Apple has introduced a recycling program in its stores for old iPods, mobile phones, and Macs. Consumers that trade in their old Apple products can receive a ten percent discount on a newer version or gift card. Even with this great recycling program in place, many customers find it easier to just toss out their old products. Waste will continue to be a substantial problem as long as consumers continue to throw away their old electronics. In addition, Apple found that they were using some toxic supplies and products at their facilities which was not good for general health. They made it a point to switch their products to those with natural ingredients, to make it safe to consumers and employees long term.

For the past four years, Apple has earned first place among Fortune magazine’s World’s Most Admired Companies. Of consumers believe the Apple brand symbolizes quality, prestige, and innovation. The brand is valued at more than $153 billion, which makes it the most valuable brand worldwide. Many of Apple’s products are manufactured in countries how have very low labor costs. The possible of misconduct because of the opposing labor standards and less direct oversight. Because of this, Apple makes each of its supplier’s sign its “Supplier Code of Conduct” and performs factory audits to ensure that they comply with the code of conduct. Apple can refuse to continue business with suppliers who refuse to comply with their standards. To express the important of responsible supplier conduct, Apple releases an annual Supplier Responsibility Report that reaffirms its supplier expectations as well as its audit conclusions and corrective actions the company will take against factories who have violated the code.

Apple has not faced many challenges relating to technology, and have remained consistent in the area of embracing technology. However, Apple is having to face a few new challenges in the coming years. The first of these challenges is Tim Cook, the new CEO of Apple Inc. The death of Steve Jobs in October of 2011 create the opportunity for Cook to step in as CEO of Apple Many people are concerned how the company will function without Steve Jobs running the show.

“It can be argued, Gruber maintains, that Steve Jobs’ most important product — the thing he’s spent the better part of his energy building since he returned to Apple — is not the Mac, the iPod, the iPhone or even the iPad. It’s Apple Inc., the company. The pessimistic dig on Apple, says Gruber, is that it’s a supremely well-organized company organized around one irreplaceable guy. The optimistic view is that Jobs has structured it to run like his other company, Pixar, which manages to turn out hit after hit, year after year, without a charismatic celebrity leader.” (Elmer-DeWitt, 2010)

This is a concern that is still carried by many in the industry. Many want to find out if Cook will be able to keep the creativity of the company flowing and moving in the right direction. Manufacturing is the single most important part of most companies. Apple is still in the middle of cleaning up their problems with the facilities in China. The explosion that took place May 2011 at a Foxconn factory in Chengdu, China, was used by Apple to build iPads. This choice in manufacturers caused Apple to have to review working conditions and what policies they had in place to protect workers in the future from incidents like these. Some of Apples customers are still concerned about the integrity of Apple. Apple is working on many areas of their company to gain back the trust of their community. One way they are doing this by working on new waste incentives. They make it a priority to work with as much recyclable items as possible and make it clear that they use only nontoxic products. Apple is taking the initiative to reduce waste in their communities, and this shows customers and stockholders that they care and that they are worthy of their trust.

Lobbying is bringing down pressure on the heads pf policy makers in order to gain a more promising policy outcomes. In order to achieve the goals at hand, interest groups come up with a strategy or plan and accomplish it through explicit tactics. The type of particular strategies established and the precise strategies used can fluctuate widely among political systems, as well as within the system. The company should make use of lobbing strategy within interest groups to effectively accomplishing the company’s goals. In the framework of the lobbying strategy, a nation’s political environment influences strategies accepted by interest groups (Thomas, 2014). At the same time, the company should apply lobbying strategies of interest groups, and should remain focused on interest of all groups or communities. The interest groups of Apple could also add importance to the company’s maintainable development objectives.

The Apple Company has used its resources to benefit not only the local community and their immediate surroundings, but also the global community. Apple works to establish its leadership to such an extreme degree that the Apple name has become one and the same with good corporate behavior and responsibility. According to the 2013 Harris Poll EquiTrend® (EQ) study, Apple continues to hold its spot as a top technology brand across three mainstream categories, Apple took home Brand of the Year in three categories: Computer, Tablet and Mobile Phone.

Apple Inc. is a leading example of a top notch manufacturing company in the USA. All business have areas where they can improve, however that’s what keeps them ahead of the curb. Apple does a magnificent job in keeping their investors and shareholders involved in decision making, so that they can continue providing the best possible product. By involving the important shareholders and customer feedback into meeting and production planning and development, everyone voice is heard. Important matters are put to a vote and everyone has a say in how the business moves forward. There is a reason that Apple has been popular in the world for so many years, and remand as top company in their field.

References

Apple Inc. (n.d.). Accountability. Retrieved March 9, 2015, from https://www.apple.com/supplier-responsibility/

Elmer-DeWitt, P. (2010, February 13). Apple’s 10 biggest problems – update. Retrieved March 9, 2015, from http://fortune.com/2010/02/13/apples-10-biggest-problems-update/

Graziano, D. (2013, July 25). Apple awarded ‘Brand of the Year’ for iPhone, iPad and MacBook. Retrieved March 9, 2015, from http://bgr.com/2013/07/26/apple-brand-of-the-year-award/

Morrison, J. (2011). The global business environment: Meeting the challenges (3rd ed.). Houndmills, Basingstoke, Hampshire: Palgrave Macmillan.

Thomas, C.S. (2014). Lobbying strategies and tactics. Retrieved from: http://www.britannica.com/EBchecked/topic/290136/interest-group/257771/Lobbying-strategies-and-tactics




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