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Analysis

Discuss about the Managerial Ethics Augment productivity.

Management theories are mostly put into practice in order to augment productivity of an organization as well as quality of service. However, most of the managers do not make the use of a single theory or notion while implementing strategies in the place of work. Depending on several theories, managers make the use of a combination of several theories. The management theories that are commonly used mostly include contingency theory, chaos theory and systems theory (Tsai & Pai, 2014). Contingency theory is defined as an organizational theory that asserts that there is no best way to organize a corporation. Chaos theory is mostly focused on the behavior of dynamical systems that are largely sensitive to initial circumstance. Systems theory on the other hand, is the trans-disciplinary study of the theoretical organization of phenomena. On the other hand, managerial ethics illustrates the moral guidance that a supervisor provides his workers. Managerial ethics mostly addresses two diverse areas that deal with principles and policies (Bums, 2016). The conflict of ethics mostly gives rise to the need to reference managerial ethics. It also helps to guide decision-making as well as regulate external and internal behavior.  

The essay provides an overview about ethical dilemma that is faced by Apple. Ethical dilemma mostly refers to a complicated circumstance that mostly involves an apparent mental divergence between moral imperatives. Ethical dilemmas are sometimes referred to as ethical paradoxes in the context of moral philosophy. The essay also provides an overview related to two hypothetical concepts from managerial ethics that scrutinize this dilemma decisively. The relationship between ethics, leadership and decision-making is also evaluated critically.

The essay provides a brief introduction about the multinational conglomerate Apple and the ethical dilemmas that are faced by the Company. It shows the ethical dilemmas that are mostly faced by the workers of Apple in China. It also gives a brief overview about the lawsuit and the ethical dilemmas that are recognized between Apple and its competitors. The essay also illustrates about the relationship between ethics, leadership and decision-making. It also critically reflects on how leaders may ensure organizational decisions are made ethically.

The organization that has in the news during the past two years is Apple. This American multinational conglomerate is headquartered in Cupertino, California. The hardware products of Apple include the iPad tablet computer, iPhone Smartphone, iPod portable media player as well as Apple smart watch. Steve Jobs, Steve Woznaik and Ronald Wayne founded the company in the year 1976. It was incorporated as Apple Computer Inc. in the year 1977 and was renamed as Apple Inc. in the year 2007 in order to reflect its modified focus towards consumer electronics. It is considered as the principal information technology in the world by proceeds (Balles, et al., 2015) However, the company started facing ethical dilemma during the period when the headship of Apple was picked up from Steve Jobs. Initially Steve Jobs was working with Atari, however in the year 1976 they formed the Company jointly. They together produced several innovative products jointly that in turn led to augment in sale that surpassed the proceeds by $1 million.

With every passing year, the Company had to contract out services and assigning some of its produce from overseas countries. Ethical issues are mostly comprehensive as they engross the ethics of the Company that is extremely different. The ethical breach is likely to affect the reputation of the company that in turn affects the company economically and also has massive impact on the workforce. The ethical dilemma that is related with the Company mostly deals with the poor treatment of employees in Chinese factories. Initially the Company promised to protect the employees who were habitually broken. The employees were mostly treated inhumanly like machines. According to (Clarke & Boersma, 2015), a research that was carried out by a NGO exposed the distributing accusation of excessive working hours as well as draconian workplace rules at two key plants in Southern plants. Exhausted employees were filmed falling asleep during their 12 hours shifts at Pegatron factories on the outer edge of Sanghai.

According to (Slade & Prinsloo, 2013), despite several request for a day off, the employees were made to work for 18 days in the factory, in a row. One of the employees stated that they were allowed to eat even if they were hungry and they were also not able to sleep due to stress. On the other hand, Apple stated that it was very common practice for the workers to fall asleep during breaks. The ethical problem also deals with the infringement of its ethics by suppliers and subcontractors in order to exchange for less costly and cost-efficient production. This in turn puts the conglomerates in an extraordinarily sensitive position to make sure that these divergences in expectation do not affect productivity. Ethics are sometimes avoided when the culture of an organization is not strong enough from the top down.

According to (Chan, Pun, & Selden, 2013), 150 Chinese employees at Foxconn endangered to commit suicide by jumping from their factory. They mostly threatened to do this in the form of protest regarding their working condition. It was also found that little children dig out tin ore by hand in tremendously dangerous circumstance. The ethical breaches mostly took place due to the difference between economic development, legal system and culture. The Company also found itself in trouble because the human resource department got involved in discrepancy declaration, breach of the company guidelines as well as centralized laws. The Chinese employees were treated miserably and they were a minimum amount of only $5 whereas; they had to work for more than 15 hours.

There are disagreement related to acceptable ethical objectives towards human rights, ecological pollution as well as dishonesty. The heavy pressure to find low-cost provider, induced Apple to globally find for the solution. The business ethics of Apple are ensured by having a set of objectives against suppliers. The ethical issues were also found in the quality of the product. In other words, the brand of Apple mostly hinges on quality and the mistakes in the quality in the year 2013 led to serious ethical dilemma (Pun, Shen, Guo, Lu, Chan, & Selden, 2016). In the fast-paced electronics market, where more than a few new commodities are introduced each year, errors can become hard to detect before the introduction of the commodity. The introduction of iPhone 4 also led to ethical dilemma as the customers started complaining about reception issues. These issues were mostly caused by antenna intrusion that took place when customers held the phone a definite way. Public relation specialists complained about for appearing to reduce the issue rather than reacting rapidly to remedy it (Lyons, Lewis, Mayrsohn, & Rowland, 2014). The Consumer Reports protested against the Company that stopped the sale of its products and as a result, Apple started offering free bumpers in order to solve the problems.


In the year 2015, there was problem of ethical dilemma related to privacy. Both Google and Apple confessed that certain features on the mobile phones that they sell gather data on the location of the phone disclosed it. Most of the individuals and government viewed this as an contravention on user privacy. However, the Company proclaimed that the individuals have the option to hinder these characteristics on their phones but this was not completely true. In other words, some phones sustained to gather information related to location even after the users hindered the features. Although, both Apple and Google defend their mechanism related to data collection, most of the government officials disagree (Crane & Matten, 2016). As a result, the government decided to pass legislation on the privacy of mobile. Apple on the other hand, had taken several steps to become a greener company by diminishing its environmental impact at its bbb nbamenities. However, it acknowledges that the majority of its emission comes from its goods. According to (Arndt & Ewe, 2017), it was stated that Apple contributed more than 9.5 million metric tons of metric gases that was released during the production of iPhone. Out of 9.5 million metric tons, 3 percent came from its facilities whereas; 97 percent came from the lifecycle of its commodities. Apple was also criticized for planned obsolescence that induced many customers to reinstate or advance their technology whenever Apple comes out with a modernized version. Since Apple mostly releases improved products, this is likely to result in older technology being tossed sideways.

Another major ethical dilemma that is associated with Apple is theft related to intellectual property that is pursued by the company assertively. Apple is serious about keeping its proprietary data a secret in order to thwart other companies from stealing its proposal. This in turn had to lead to several grievances between Apple and other technology companies. According to reports, Apple filed a lawsuit against Microsoft after it had licensed technology to Microsoft. Another ethical name dilemma that was found against Apple was that the Company made the use of the domain name iTunes.co.uk. However, Ben Cohen who made the use of the name already registered this domain (Chopik, 2015). The Company had also filed a lawsuit against Samsung, claiming that the Company copied the design and ideas of its iPhone and iPad for its own goods. This case was reopened on 13th January 2017 by the Federal Circuit in which Samsung was indicted of copying the design of iPhone for its Galaxy Series. The court will seek to conclude accurately how much Samsung have a loan from Apple for infringing upon the blueprint of the original iPhone. It also filed a lawsuit against a Taiwanese Smartphone company, HTC that manufactures phone from Android product of Google. HTC was accused by Apple to replicate a range of mobile phone characteristics that were initially protected under the patents of Apple. Although the lawsuit was filed against HTC, it also had an impact on Google in an indirect way. The ethical issue is whether the claims made by Apple were lawful.

Most ethical dilemmas engross a divergence between the requirements of the part and the whole: the individual versus the organization or the organization versus the whole society. The organization that faces with such difficult ethical choices, often benefit from a normative approach to conduct their decision-making. There are four relevant policies that are vital to the organization such as the utilitarian policies, the individualism policies, moral rights policies and justice policies. Under the utilitarian policies, a decision maker is anticipated to consider the impact of each decision unconventional on all parties and choose the one that optimizes the satisfaction for the maximum number of individuals (Rachels & Rachels, 2015). As actual computation can be multifaceted, simplifying them is considered suitable. The utilitarian ethic is cited as the origin for the current trend among companies to regulate worker personal habits such as the consumption of alcohol and tobacco. With the help of this policies, Apple will be able conclude all of the predictable benefits and troubles that would consequence from each course of action for everybody influenced by the action.


On the other hand, the individualism policy asserts that acts are moral while promoting the long-term interest of the individuals. The self-direction of an individual is supreme and exterior forces that limit self-direction should be severely restricted. Individualism is thought to lead to honesty and integrity as in the long-run it works best. This policies will help Apple to promote innovation however; it will also hinder cooperation (Shapiro & Stefkovich, 2016). Due to these policies, ethical dilemma can take place that will in turn lead to loss of productivity and conflicts. The moral rights policies emphasizes that individuals have fundamental rights as well as independence that cannot be taken away by the decision of an individual. There are mostly six moral rights that require to be carried out while making a decision. The first moral right deals with the right to free approval where the individuals are to be treated as they freely consent to be treated. The second moral right deals with the right to confidentiality where individuals can select to do as they please away from work. The third moral right deals with the right of free speech where individuals have the right to criticize the ethics truthfully. The fourth moral right deals with the right to life and safety under which individuals have the right to live without endangerment. The fifth moral right deals with the right to due procedure where individuals have the right to an unbiased hearing (Weiss, 2014). The sixth moral right deals with the right of freedom of sense of right and wrong where individuals may abstain themselves from carrying out any order. The leader requires to consider these six objectives while making a decision. Lastly, the justice policies deal with the fact that all moral decision are based on standards of fairness as well as impartiality.

The employees of Apple will be facilitated by ethics to feel a connection between their individual values as well as the values of the trade. Ethical principle is mostly required in the work place in order to place an  increased importance on commitment and belief that is specified by all managerial leaders. Ethics is measured as the heart of leadership as they go together. Leaders mostly require a systematic analysis strategy as part of their plan in order to determine how to make good decision related to unethical behavior.  The scope of responsibility of a leader is mostly illustrated by a good decision. The theory of management comprises two ethical assumptions that Rae related to leadership and decision-making. The first ethical assumption is that setting up precedence with an attention on key areas will produce exceptional results (Ford & Richardson, 2013). The second ethical assumption is that creating effectual decisions will optimistically affect the place of work.

A set of six pillars are related to a setting of the business and it is always required to create a connection between a good system of value and the potential of the leaders. Among the set of six pillars, the first pillar deals with reliability that comprises sincerity, loyalty, integrity as well as dependability. The second pillar deals with paying attention to others and accepting individual dissimilarities. The third pillar deals with accountability that comprises responsibility, self-control and the chase of superiority. The fourth pillar is justice that deals with not taking benefit of others. Caring is also the part of the pillar that deals with sympathy, understanding, and self-sacrifice. Lastly, the sixth pillar is citizenship that deals with defense of the environment and operating within the law (Schwartz, 2013). It is imperative for leaders to stick on to the above-mentioned six pillars to take a good decision on a daily basis that requires to be based on ethical point of view. This will in turn lead to the creation of an ethical environment that will be followed by each employee. A decision-maker or a leader requires to take alternative decision between those important values that mostly diverges and leads to ethical dilemmas (Ramanan & Taback, 2016).

It is imperative to preserve a cautious equilibrium to a probable extent to make the most of the values and also to keep them away from immoral decision-making. At present, most businesses make use of deceitful business practices to achieve financial constancy. Apple, for instance made a business deal of $90 billion in cash reserves in order to introduce a global technology juggernaut. On the other hand, regardless of the business deal the workers of Apple attempted suicide that in turn again led to ethical dilemma (Ferrell & Fraedrich, 2015). These dilemmas involve several stakeholders and the outcome is marked by ambiguity. However, providing training related to ethics can reduce such ethical conflicts.

Conclusion

It can be concluded that value system is mostly reflected by ethical behavior that in turn rises out of a logical worldview on the basis of equity and justice. The leaders require facing the complexity that is involved in the making of ethical choices. The leaders are required to discuss the ethical gray areas and recognize the complexities related to work life. In order to ensure organizational decisions are made ethically, a leader should not separate ethics from daily business. They should make it clear to their workers that ethics is the way an individual operates and not a training program or a reference manual. They should not exempt the workers from meeting ethical probabilities. They should make sure that no one is exempted from meetings where ethical standards are adopted. A leader should discuss about ethics as a continuing learning journey. Ethical leadership helps to bring credibility as well as respect that will help to establish the workers. It also helps to create a good climate within Apple. The leaders should make sure that the code of ethics necessitates to be based on managerial values as well as beliefs of ethics. Codes necessitate the responsibility of the leader of the company as well as other highly developed levels of management. The demand of several electorates and stakeholders also requires to address to make sure that organizational decisions are made ethically.

References

Arndt, H. K., & Ewe, C. (2017). Analysis of Product Lifecycle Data to Determine the Environmental Impact of the Apple iPhone. In Advances and New Trends in Environmental Informatics (pp. 3-13). Springer International Publishing.

Balles, S., Butcher, G., Chaudhri, I., Ive, J. P., Rowe, E., Sabatelli, A. F., et al. (2015). U.S. Patent No. D738,889. Washington, DC: U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.

Bums, J. S. (2016). Chaos theory and leadership studies: Exploring uncharted seas. . Journal of leadership & organizational studies.

Chan, J. (2013). A suicide survivor: The life of a Chinese worker. New Technology, Work and Employment, .

Chan, J., Pun, N., & Selden, M. (2013). The politics of global production: Apple, Foxconn and China's new working class. . New Technology, Work and Employment, .

Chopik, W. J. (2015). Relational attachment and ethical workplace decisions: The mediating role of emotional burnout. Personality and Individual Differences.

Clarke, T., & Boersma, M. (2015). The Governance of Global Value Chains: Unresolved Human Rights, Environmental and Ethical Dilemmas in the Apple Supply Chain. Journal of Business Ethics, , 1-21.

Crane, A., & Matten, D. (2016). Business ethics: Managing corporate citizenship and sustainability in the age of globalization. Oxford University Press.

Ferrell, O. C., & Fraedrich, J. (2015). Business ethics: Ethical decision making & cases. . Nelson Education.

Ford, R. C., & Richardson, W. D. (2013). Ethical decision making: A review of the empirical literature. In Citation classics from the Journal of Business Ethics . . Springer Netherlands. , (pp. 19-44).

Lyons, E. J., Lewis, Z. H., Mayrsohn, B. G., & Rowland, J. L. (2014). Behavior change techniques implemented in electronic lifestyle activity monitors: a systematic content analysis. . Journal of medical Internet research, , 16(8), e192.

Pun, N., Shen, Y., Guo, Y., Lu, H., Chan, J., & Selden, M. (2016). Apple, Foxconn, and Chinese workers’ struggles from a global labor perspective. . Inter-Asia Cultural Studies, .

Rachels, J., & Rachels, S. (2015). The Utilitarian Policies. The elements of moral philosophy. 8th ed. McGraw-Hill Education.

Ramanan, R. R., & Taback, H. H. (2016). Ethics and Corporate Social Responsibility for Spirituality and Sustainability. In Spirituality and Sustainability . Springer International Publishing.

Schwartz, M. S. (2013). Developing and sustaining an ethical corporate culture: The core elements. Business Horizons,.

Shapiro, J. P., & Stefkovich, J. A. (2016). Ethical leadership and decision making in education: Applying theoretical perspectives to complex dilemmas. Routledge.

Slade, S., & Prinsloo, P. (2013). Learning analytics: Ethical issues and dilemmas. American Behavioral Scientist,. 57(10), 1510-1529.

Tsai, H. T., & Pai, P. (2014). Why do newcomers participate in virtual communities? An integration of self-determination and relationship management theories. Decision Support Systems,. 57, .178-187.

Weiss, J. W. (2014). Business ethics: A stakeholder and issues management approach. . Berrett-Koehler Publishers.

Apple 'failing to protect Chinese factory workers' - BBC News. (2017). BBC News. Retrieved 21 January 2017, from https://www.bbc.com/news/business-30532463

Chokkattu, J. (2017). U.S. Court of Appeals officially reopens the Apple vs. Samsung patent case. Digital Trends. Retrieved 21 January 2017, from https://www.digitaltrends.com/mobile/apple-vs-samsung-supreme-court/

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