CHALLENGES IN THE GLOBAL BUSINESS ENVIRONMENT 6
Apple Company has made various variations to its code of conduct inthe past few years. It is essential to state that there have beentechnological modifications, policy alterations and numerousdevelopments in labor and employment laws. Most of these laws arefocusing on human rights and the rights of the employees. AppleCompany, in line with the above modifications, has also madevariations to its social norms which govern the operations of itssuppliers. It is essential for the suppliers to adhere to the setstandards since they represent the company.
Apple’s Efforts in Protecting Job seekers
One of themodifications that Apple has made in its moral ethics concerns theissue of bonded labor. In other words, the Apple Company has includedin its social norms a section that requires suppliers to stop gettingrecruitment fees from the job seekers. It is evident that some of thejob seekers especially from the Asian and African countries migrateto the US and other developed countries in search for jobs, and theyend up paying recruitment fees to brokers before they even get theirfirst salary. According to the new fluctuations in the social rulesand standards, it is now disallowed for suppliers of Apple Company totake such fees from the job seekers. Often, the job seekers have beenswindled their money through corrupt deals. As a consequence, in therecent past, the company has made efforts of obligating the suppliersinvolved in the shady dealings to refund the entire fees tovictimized job seekers (Green, 2015). In that case, the refunds wereto be made regardless of whether the suppliers were beneficiaries ofthe fees paid or not. An appropriate example is that of Rachel Ragas,who grew up in the Philippines but came to look for green pastures inTaiwan, China. She got a job at Mektec, which is a supply firm forApple Company. Ragas got the job through a broker, who charged her anenormous amount of money. However, when senior managers at AppleCompany were informed of the incident, they ordered the supplier toreimburse Ragas the entire amount.
Apple’s Efforts in ensuring peaceful/transparent sources ofminerals
Secondly,the company has changed the moral standards regarding the sourcing ofits minerals such as gold, tin and tantalum. The company has soughtto ensure that the sources or the mines are not used to fund armedgroups or fuel conflict in their countries. It is essential to notethat some countries such as the Republic of Congo have been usinggold mines as a source of income for armed groups, and this hasfueled conflicts in the country. The smelters who supply Apple withthe minerals have been made to participate in conflict audit programsto ensure that their sources of minerals do not lead to conflict(Rothlin & McCann, 2016). It is important to state that thecompany works with various non-governmental and government agenciesto ensure their mineral sources do not fuel conflict. The conflict inthe Republic of Congo explains why suppliers must not source mineralsfrom mines that are suspected of financing armed groups. It isprudent for Apple Company not to be associated with financing and orfunding of the armed groups in such countries.
Apple’s Changes of its Job Seekers’ Medical ScreeningProcedure/Requirements
Apple hasalso made alterations concerning the issue of medical tests that jobseekers undergo. It is crucial to note that previously, Apple Companyhad always been against any form of discrimination regarding age,skin color, country of origin, marital status or sexual orientation.However, in the recent past, the company has noted with great concernthat some suppliers who subject their employees to medical tests andthey end up discriminating them by their health status (Green, 2015).The company holds the view that no job seeker should be denied anopportunity for a job because he or she is suffering from aparticular condition. In this regard, the company has abolished themedical tests that some suppliers across the world have been carryingout. A good example is the medical pregnancy test that the companyhas eliminated. It is abundantly clear that such tests are aimed atdiscriminating pregnant women by their condition. Every employee or ajob seeker must be accorded the equal rights and an equal employmentopportunity.
Apple’s Green Manufacturing Practices
Anotherchange to the social standards that Apple has made in the recent pastis with regards to the environmental impact that the manufacturingprocesses and the waste disposal process might have on theenvironment. Research has indicated that processing of metals mightend up having hazardous emissions and solid waste that has adverseeffects on the environment. Apple requires all its suppliers toensure that they have effective and appropriate waste managementsystems that would ensure that the wastes have the least impact onthe environment. The Apple’s Regulated Substances Specification069-0135 states that the suppliers and any other partners of thecompany have the responsibility of ensuring that they identify anyhazardous materials or wastes and disc accordingly (Lerbinger, 2015).It is also imperative to state that the company has restricted thesuppliers from using materials which are termed as being hazardous.Apple is a company that supports and participates in corporate socialresponsibility. Protection of the environment is one of core elementsof corporate social responsibility. Therefore, the modifications inthe moral operational standards that seek to promote the protectionof the environment enhance the mission of the company of protectingthe environment.
Apple’ssuppliers must understand that the company they are associated withvalues the relationship it has with its employees, as well as itsclients. Most of the clients who purchase Apple products areinfluenced by the sound reputation of the company. As a consequence,it is the duty of the supply to maintain the good reputation of thecompany through adhering to the ethics of the business (Lerbinger,2015). Business firms that have been associated with immoralactivities have suffered immensely regarding attracting talent andreduction of clients across the world. There is a need to maintainhigh moral standards for Apple Company to remain competitive and thepreferred brand for many customers. The high moral standard may be inthe form of respecting human rights, respecting the rights ofemployees and promoting environmental protection.
Thesuppliers depend directly on the company and therefore any failure onthe part of the company will negatively affect the businesses of thesuppliers. The suppliers and all other partners rely on the goodreputation of the company for their survival. Therefore, it isprudent and plausible for the suppliers to work towards supportingthe company. Considering that Apple has recently terminated itsrelationship with various supplies for violating the code ofconducts, it is essential for the remaining suppliers to adhere tothe rules set.
Green, W. (2015). Apple`terminated relationships` with 18 suppliers due to sustainabilitycode violations. Retrieved from:http://www.cips.org/supply- management/news/2015/february/apple-terminated-relationships-with-18-suppliers-due- to-sustainability-code-violations/
Lerbinger, O. (2015). Theglobal manager: Contemporary issues and corporate responses.New York:Palgrave Macmillan.
Rothlin, S., & McCann, D.(2016). International businessethics: Focus on China.Heidelberg: Springer.