Apple’s supply chain management has provided the company with flexibility for meeting the fluctuating demand, as ninety percent parts of Apple’s iphone were being manufactured overseas. Offshore outsourcing however, helped in reducing operation costs of Apple, but it decreased the company’s control as well as monitoring over the manufacturing practices and processes. Due to the absence of monitoring, the work procedures of suppliers and employees were very difficult to look after. It also hampered the corporate social responsibilities of the company. With different stakeholders and expectations, it became difficult to manage the consumers’ demands and satisfaction. It also became hard to manage the buyer and supplier relationship which hampered the company’s progress. Moreover, challenges arose when differences in the organization’s procedures, questioned its objectives (Fontaine, 2013).
Apple was responsible for violating human rights. Foxconn was one of the oldest and biggest suppliers of Apple, which came into limelight when a worker committed suicide due to some issues related to the company. Later that incident, more eighteen workers attempted to commit suicide and fourteen died. Poor working conditions and ill labor practices were the main reasons for this. After the Foxconn incident, another supplier of the company, Pegatron also faced crisis when they used juvenile workforce. Moreover, women rights were violated which was assisted by excessive hours of working, poor working conditions and environmental pollution (Josephs, 2012).
It is reasonable for the company to apply various ethical standards in different countries to cut the costs. However, the company must correspond to the countries’ ethical standards rather than doing whatever they like. The ethical standards of different countries vary because of their different legal, political, social and cultural environments. In the developing countries people mostly care about their welfare and to earn money for feeding their family. Therefore, the company needs high ethical norms in developed countries like United States, Japan and others. For example; they must offer higher rates to the employees. However, in developing countries, with lower social norms and ethics, the company should apply lower standards of ethics and meet the lowest levels of the country (Savitz, 2013).
Media plays a key role in shaping Apple’s corporate social responsibility expectations. Moreover, with the advent of social media it has become much easier. The strategies of media and social media have helped in shaping as well as reshaping the company’s CSR expectations. Through transparent and authentic conversations via media and social media, it has become easier to understand the consumers’ behavior and attitude. It has also become easier to influence them by maintaining a good relationship. Media and social media help in promoting the good works of the company, which in turn proves beneficial for the company’s success and growth. Moreover, online networking helps in improving the image of the brand externally. It also boosts the company’s morale (Fontaine, 2013).
Apple took many steps regarding its corporate social responsibility challenges which are face in the company’s supply chain. The company is even working on their issues in order to improve their working conditions and procedures. It is engaging more in monitoring and tracking activities, in order to keep a track on the offshore operations. To regain the control, the company is focusing more on bringing its manufacturing units back to United States. Furthermore, they are trying to stress on robotization and automation in future. They would like to engage in more CSR activities in order to improve their customer base and attain their loyalty (Kesavan, Bernacchi & Mascarenhas, 2013).
Fontaine, M. (2013). Corporate social responsibility and sustainability: the new bottom line?. International Journal of Business and Social Science, 4(4).
Josephs, H. K. (2012). Production Chains and Workplace Law Violations: The Case of Apple and Foxconn. Global Bus. L. Rev., 3, 211.
Kesavan, R., Bernacchi, M. D., & Mascarenhas, O. A. (2013). Word of mouse: CSR communication and the social media. International Management Review, 9(1), 58.
Savitz, A. (2013). The triple bottom line: how today's best-run companies are achieving economic, social and environmental success-and how you can too. John Wiley & Sons.
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