Apple Ethics Case Study

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Is Apple an Ethical Company? Apple Incorporated is one of the largest and most powerful brands on the planet, and are among the technological empires leading the charge in future tech developments. It comes as no surprise that Apple is the most profitable technology company on the planet, with their annual net profit exceeding $50bn in 2015 (Chen, 2015), and that figure continuing to rise with each passing year. Due to this stature, it is surely correct to assume Apple have the responsibility to set a certain precedent when it comes to the obtainment of required materials, creation process of their products, treatment of their workforce, and other similar day-to-day elements of running a multinational company. These create the foundation on…show more content…
Robbins et al. (2016, p.93), describes ethics in business as “a set of rules or principles that defines right and wrong”. Various theories centre around ethics in business, and a company adhering to a certain standard of ethics has the power to decide if they reach their maximum potential. Apple is one of the few exceptions of this concept. Panorama, the BBC’s longest running current affairs programme, dedicated an episode to exposing Apple and their shocking dishonesties covering a variety of areas of their business. The three focal points of Apple’s abandonment of ethics highlighted in the broadcast consist of; the employed workforce and their arduous lives at select factories around the globe, the Foxconn suicides incident, and the process in which Apple acquires their raw materials for their products. When something as simple and expected as respecting basic human rights must be called into question, there is a moral duty to shed light on the company’s exploitation of…show more content…
In 2010, this was far more than simply a risk as there were a reported 18 attempted suicides, 14 resulting in death (Heffernan, 2013). When the working environment is that appalling, and the notion of working daily in Foxconn causes people to take their own lives, it is blatantly obvious that Apple are abusing their global reach and are solely focused on maximising profits by mistreating and exploiting their employees. There is quite simply no debate that Apple are as far as possible from ethically sound in this regard. W.D. Ross’ take on ethical theory revolves around the deontological aspect of duty, and among his prima facie (morally obligatory) duties is keeping promises (Bowie, 1999), and in this respect Apple have well and truly broken far more than their fair share. Regrettably, Apple’s failure to treat their own employees equally and justly resulted in the loss of many lives, and no amount of profit can justify

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