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Bridging Computer Ethics And Business Ethics

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Question:

Discuss about the Bridging Computer Ethics and Business Ethics.
 
 

Answer:

Introduction:

Apple Inc. is a U.S. based organization that deals with computers and consumer electronics. The concerned organization have offer free product workshops for the public and programs like Apple Camps and field trips (Apple, 2017).  On the other hand, Samsung Electronics Co., Ltd is the world's second largest information technology company following Apple Inc (Samsung India, 2017).  However, these two companies dealt with same business but the way of communication in the annual report is different from one another.

Apple Inc. operates in 20 countries and has more than 500 retail stores; on the other hand, Samsung Electronics has assembly plants in more than 80 countries (Apple, 2017 and Samsung India, 2017). The electronic device that this company makes is automated music players and offer propelled substances. Apple is liable for offering their premium products like iPhone, iPad, Macintosh, iPod, Apple watch, App store, iTunes, iCloud and customised operating system for their users (Apple, 2017). The major problem in recent times that is considered by Apple is Climate change, due to which they have initiated to use power sources like solar, hydro and wind power. On the other hand, Samsung is focusing more on the recycling of the products and in the year 2010, they are number one company, whose products meet Global Ecolabel standards (Samsung India, 2017). Samsung formulates LCD, PDP, CRT and LED televisions, mobile phones, smartphones, cameras, washing machines and application processors (Samsung India, 2017). Samsung have 12,000 engineers and 45,000 employees working for their organization and in India there are only two manufacturing units.

 

The data that is presented in this report are only taken for the sustainable and social report published by Apple Australia and Samsung India. Thus, other details that are not published in the report that they have adopted erroneously or that results in poor business outcomes and thus these details are not included in the report. Moreover, deceiving hones are appeared that is suggested by commonwealth bank and only these points are included in the part of the report.

The sustainability report, annual report and CSR report are taken into consideration for preparing this business report for both Apple Australia and Samsung India. The sales, profit earned, CSR activities, vison and mission are also compared to present difference between these two affiliations. Their eke information are uses to draft this report which provides an unlimited information as per as the requirement of this assessment report.

Differences between two companies

Issues

Apple Australia

Samsung India

Depth

Only description of the concept is given and exact initiative taken is absent

They detailed about the climate change and carbon emission and  footprint 

Overview of the sustainability management framework that represent their social and economic values along with the details of sustainability management approach and philosophy of the management ideology

Apple have avoided over 1 million metric tons of carbon emissions in the past five years. It is also found that among 38,400,000 metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions, product usage causes 17% of the emission, 77% is occurred due to Manufacturing. The remaining 4%, 1% and 1%are due to transportation, facilities and recycling products.

Samsung on the other hand, initiated Carbon Disclosure Project (CDP) and reduce the use of carbon monoxide that is used to formulate Galaxy J2, Galaxy Z3, Banyan (SM-B350E), and Galaxy O5.

Past and current statistics is given but the approaches undertaken is not described

Climate change is the major concern

HR development for the betterment of the future is the major concern

Apple is liable for releasing 38,400,000 metric tons of greenhouse gas emissions in which their manufacturing department emits the 60% of the total footprint. Thus they have taken initiatives for renewing their raw materials production and electricity used for reducing the amount of carbon emission (Apple Environmental Responsibility Report 2016, 2017).

In context of Samsung India, they have published integrated management process of work environment, which includes Labor & Human Rights systems, Health & Safety programs for stakeholders and offer education programs for supplier responsibility in which total of 854 employees. Moreover, they also present a three layer preparing framework and job posting programs in order to cultivate centre ability (Samsung Sustainability Report, 2017). 

Absence of detailed past and present information

Removing toxins from the products

Following several legislation by Samsung

Apple have initiated full material disclosure program in which they have disclosed the composition of every product. Some of the toxins that is used by Apple are Beryllium, Arsenic, Mercury, Lead, Brominated Flame Retardants (BFRs) and PVC- and- Phthalates in connectors, glass, display glass, mercury-based fluorescent lamps in display, circuit boards and power-cords- and- headphone cables respectively (Apple Environmental Responsibility Report 2016, 2017).

Samsung have taken initiatives for implementing Labor & Human Rights by Prohibition on Child Labor & Preventive Measures and monitors the recruitment process of suppliers twice a year for detecting any breaches. Moreover, they also formulate guidelines for Indian NGO Partners in Change (PIC) and Apprenticeship Training in relationship with Business for Social Responsibility (BSR). These guidelines illustrate Working Hour Compliance, Wages and Benefits, Emergency preparedness program, Safety Control of Dangerous Equipment and others (Samsung Sustainability Report., 2017).

The process for product packaging and protecting environment  is absent

Reduces use of paper consumption  by recycling it

Taking initiatives for protecting environment 

In 2015, all the product packaging are done by recycled paper. Apple also uses wood fiber to minimize the impact paper usage. In the year 2015, the organization was liable for 133,000 metric tons of fiber footprint, which is a reduced amount, compared to previous year. In recent times, their packages also reduced to 20% (Apple Environmental Responsibility Report 2016, 2017).

Samsung also recover and recycle electronic wastes through their "Samsung Recycling Direct" program. The risk of chemical leakage is also overcome by MSDS (Material Safety Data Sheet) (Samsung Sustainability Report., 2017).

Past and present initiatives for conserving water and corporate citizen are not compared

More concern on water conservation

More concern on being corporate citizen 

Apple takes step for minimizing the water usage by monitoring cooling, landscaping and sanitation processes. This cooling system enables the data centers to reuse water up to 35 times. They have also initiated Supplier Clean Water Program and Supplier Clean Water Program (Apple Environmental Responsibility Report 2016, 2017).

Samsung establish global code of conduct that comprises of 17 standards, and 59 activity guides. They have also started offering educational support and training to reinforce the IT competencies, medical support through installing ultrasonic equipment along with initiative for local community development that is to fostering technical manpower and relieving unemployment (Samsung Sustainability Report., 2017).

 

Strengths and weaknesses of approaches to social reporting

The strength of the Apple’s approach in formulating the social report is that they present all the statistical data for the given facts mentioned in the report. Samsung’s report contains a detailed outline of the framework that they have developed to maintain their business ethics.

The weakness that the Apple’s report is facing is the lack of presentation and details about their future initiatives. On the other hand, Samsungs report does not contain details of the unethical business practices that they are following.

Apple only targets premium users, while, Samsung have their electronic products from low to high ranges so that a huge target market can be obtained. Apple focuses on the reducing their water conservation, carbon and fibre footprints, on the other hand, Samsung majorly focuses on the development of employees and community.

The water consumption is lowered every year from 2012and it is reduces to 7161 gallon to 544 gallon. The water is also saved by converting 120,000 square feet of drought-tolerant landscape from grass lawns that leads to the saving of 6 million gallons per year (Apple Environmental Responsibility Report 2016, 2017). Moreover, in global perspective, over 566 million gallons of water is saved due to using 93% renewable energy (Apple Environmental Responsibility Report 2016, 2017).

Samsung runs a hotline reporting system for identify the violations of work environment regulations and human rights abuses. Compared to 2014, in the year 2015, Samsung has followed 100% business ethics and take initiative regarding other important aspects like- Emergency preparedness, Occupational injury and illness, Working-hour management, Prohibition of child labor employment, Machine safeguarding, Hazardous substances management, Air emissions and Wastewater/Solid waste management (Samsung Sustainability Report., 2017).

Difference in technology

The water is also saved by using non–water-intensive cooling technology that also recycled water and is developed by Apple. This cooling system is liable for reuses water 35 times that further results in 20% water consumption for Australia (Apple Environmental Responsibility Report 2016, 2017).

Apart from social activities, Samsung in India have developed technology like “ring radiator” technology in TV for high-quality sound and wireless 360? audio system, IoT technology in Hub Refrigerator, image engines and low-dose radiation in HS70A Diagnostic Ultrasound System (Samsung Sustainability Report., 2017). Recently they have initiated 4G LTE communications technology for mobile phones and this enables Indians to use jio sim in their mobile phones (Samsung Sustainability Report., 2017).

 

Difference in terms of CSR activity

Apple also follows labour and human rights and investigates causes of foreign workers. Apple also took initiatives for employee health and safety and launched “Apple Supplier EHS Academy” for improving the health if Apple’s employees (Apple Environmental Responsibility Report 2016, 2017). They also created job for efficient candidates and created 75 jobs. Apple also improve their gender equality and minorities by employed 32% female, 9% black people and 12% Hispanic employees (Apple Environmental Responsibility Report 2016, 2017).

Samsung’s education is also for providing technical and innovative study for efficient employees and community. They also build libraries in places like- India, Iraq, Uzbekistan, Bolivia (Samsung Sustainability Report., 2017). These places have neglected schools and community centers and Samsung has taken initiatives for transforming it to libraries that offer eco-generation program and environmental education for children. They also build technical schools for electronic training in science and donate books in school so that people of India can flourish in education (Samsung Sustainability Report., 2017). Samsung also associated with Red Cross association for charity so that every member of community can lead better life. Samsung also sell up-cycling products, purchase products, participate through personal donation and donate products such as garments through Heartist House (Samsung Sustainability Report., 2017).

ZADEC Principles

Apple Australia

Samsung India

Suggestions

Inclusivity

Decentralized management system is followed and all stakeholders are valued equally (Apple Environmental Responsibility Report 2016, 2017).

Stakeholders, partners, customers and managing authorities are concerned with business related issues (Samsung Sustainability Report., 2017).

Exact details  regarding stakeholder betterment initiatives can be presented in the report

Comparability

Generally Accepted Accounting Principles (GAAP) is followed for solving non-budgetary methods. Moreover, estimation of income and COGS on straight line remise is evaluated by FASB (Apple Environmental Responsibility Report 2016, 2017).

Compared to Apple, Samsung is using KPI indicators for considering different business issues (Samsung Sustainability Report., 2017).

Details of Samsung’s KPI indicators and Apple’s regulations for GAAP can be illustrated more for better knowledge of people

Completeness

The reports are fulfilled with accurate details and statistical data (Apple Environmental Responsibility Report 2016, 2017).

The social report is well presented with flow diagrams that make viewers to understand the details effectively (Samsung Sustainability Report., 2017).

Apart from achievement, business failures are the approaches for overcoming the adversity can also be detailed in these reports

Evolution

The evolution is witnessed through their products and technology like reduction fir fiber and carbon footprints in developing their products (Apple Environmental Responsibility Report 2016, 2017). 

Evolution of Samsung is witnessed through their products technology and initiatives for betterment of the employees. The technology is developed by their two production units established in Noida and Gurgaon (Samsung Sustainability Report., 2017)

The concept and information regarding the upcoming products can also be given so that customers can get aware of their innovation and products

Management policies and systems

Environmental policies and GAAP policies are followed by Apple (Apple Environmental Responsibility Report 2016, 2017)

Ecological footprints policies are developed by Samsung in order to obtain control over the business (Samsung Sustainability Report., 2017).

Procedures adopted for maintaining Ecological footprints policies and environmental policies should be given by both affiliations

Disclosure

All the details and their initiatives are disclosed in their annual reports (Apple Environmental Responsibility Report 2016, 2017).

Relevant and accurate details of all the taken initiatives are illustrated in their social report (Samsung Sustainability Report., 2017).

Details are disclosed. No suggestion in this context.

External verification

Details in the annual report are audited by Australian National Audit Office (ANAO) (Apple Environmental Responsibility Report 2016, 2017)

The annual and sustainability report of the Samsung is audited by auditors for checking the relevance of the details (Samsung Sustainability Report., 2017)

Detailed regarding Australian National Audit Office and audit report should also be present in reports

Continuous Improvement

Apple is making continuous development in formulating new products and these products line are free from toxins and also follow all other environment regulations (Apple Environmental Responsibility Report 2016, 2017).

Unethical practices like copying mobile home arts from other company’s details regarding the total amount of carbon footprints and carbon emission are not resent in the social reports (Samsung Sustainability Report., 2017).

Past and present strategies should be compared in details so that their progress and improvement can be witnessed 

Thus, it is found that all the eight factors that is inclusivity, comparability, completeness, evolution, management policies and systems, disclosure, external verification and continuous improvement is followed by Apple but the last principle is not followed by Samsung as they do not present any details regarding their business activities regarding employees and community.

Eextents to which the social reports reflect the values of the companies

The analysis of the social report for both the organization reveals the fact that all the mire concerned towards their brand recognition and hence they follow all the environmental and governing regulations so that their products will be preferred by communal. It is also found that Apple has initiated the concept of new Apple campus that is the most energy-efficient building and is used by recycling the products of the most energy-efficient building (Apple Environmental Responsibility Report 2016, 2017). Water conservation is another major initiatives highlighted in their social report.

On the other hand, Samsung only highlights the regulation they have developed and the technology they are considering for creating innovation in the future. However, the details regarding their actions regarding the betterment of the employee is not highlighted in the report. Samsung is accused by Apple for copying their 7 patent. Moreover, they also have pay lesser wage to their employees compared to other Smartphone companies, which is not highlighted in the social report (Peng, 2016). 

 

Reflection on the groups’ discussions of these companies

I have analyzed both the reports and found that the presentation of Samsungs social report is more informative than Apple. However, more relevant details are present in Apple’s social report. I also believe that both the company suffers from some business ethics but Apple took necessary steps to overcome their adversity. Taken for instance, employee complained that labor has slept only two or three hours a night during a three month before the release of Samsung Galaxy tablet. On the other hand, controversy regarding Apple is that the working condition of the factor is not god and use of toxins for rearing the mobile hones reaults in severs heath issue in the employees. However, relevant steps for overcoming these issues are taken by both of the companies. Finally, I want to say that since Apple is more concerned about their brand image I believe that they follow all the environmental legislations for developing their products lines.

Conclusion

Thus, it can be said that Apple Australia is more favourable by customers compared to Samsung India. Apple provides a straightforward perception and information on their ethical business actions while Samsung does not reveal their unethical practices and the damage their unethical proceeding caused in their social report. However, in both the cases, stakeholders and suppliers are valued most while the employees have many objections regarding the business activity.

 

Reference List

Apple Environmental Responsibility Report 2016. (2017). apple.com. Retrieved 2 May 2017, from https://images.apple.com/environment/pdf/Apple_Environmental_Responsibility_Report_2016.

Apple, Samsung and Sony face child labour claims - BBC News. (2017). BBC News. Retrieved 2 May 2017, from https://www.bbc.com/news/technology-35311456

Apple. (2017). Apple (Australia). Retrieved 2 May 2017, from https://www.apple.com/au/

Arbore, A., Soscia, I., & Bagozzi, R. P. (2014). The role of signaling identity in the adoption of personal technologies. Journal of the Association for Information Systems, 15(2), 86.

Fiegerman, S. (2017). Supreme Court sides with Samsung in Apple patent case. CNNMoney. Retrieved 2 May 2017, from https://money.cnn.com/2016/12/06/technology/samsung-apple-supreme-court/

Forbes Welcome. (2017). Forbes.com. Retrieved 2 May 2017, from https://www.forbes.com/sites/bensin/2016/08/22/the-real-cost-of-the-iphone-7-more-foxconn-worker-deaths/#91f924556088

Mohapatra, S. (2013). Case studies in business ethics and Corporate Governance. Pearson Education India.

Morrison, J. (2015). Business ethics: New challenges in a globalised world. Palgrave Macmillan.

Patrignani, N., & Whitehouse, D. (2014, July). Slow Tech: the bridge between computer ethics and business ethics. In IFIP International Conference on Human Choice and Computers (pp. 92-106). Springer Berlin Heidelberg.

Patrignani, N., & Whitehouse, D. (2015). Slow tech: bridging computer ethics and business ethics. Information Technology & People, 28(4), 775-789.

Peng, M. W. (2016). Global business. Cengage learning.

Samsung India. (2017). Samsung in. Retrieved 2 May 2017, from https://www.samsung.com/in/

Samsung Sustainability Report. (2017). amsung.com. Retrieved 2 May 2017, from https://www.samsung.com/us/aboutsamsung/sustainability/sustainabilityreports/download/2016/2016-samsung-sustainability-report-eng.pdf

Stanwick, P., & Stanwick, S. D. (2013). Understanding business ethics. Sage.

Walla, P., & Schweiger, M. (2017). Samsung Versus Apple: Smartphones and Their Conscious and Non-conscious Affective Impact. In Information Systems and Neuroscience (pp. 73-82). Springer International Publishing.

Why Companies Are Blind to Child Labor. (2017). Harvard Business Review. Retrieved 2 May 2017, from https://hbr.org/2016/01/why-companies-are-blind-to-child-labor

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