Apple, the leading computer manufacturing company founded by Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak in 1970 does not own an equally innovative, inspiring and a somewhat lofty mission statement as it could have been perceived (About, 2012). The mission statement of Apple is delivered as:
"Apple designs Macs, the best personal computers in the world, along with OS X, iLife, iWork and professional software. Apple leads the digital music revolution with its iPods and iTunes online store. Apple has reinvented the mobile phone with its revolutionary iPhone and App Store, and has recently introduced iPad 2 which is defining the future of mobile media and computing devices" (About, 2012).
Apple’s broader vision is to excel in the market where it can make significant contributions. . It believes in the cross pollination and deep collaboration of groups which enables innovative ideas to pool in the Apple Company. Apple believes in working on fewer projects, meaningfully which are truly important to them, rather than thousands of projects which makes them carry out their ‘few’ projects very successfully.
Apple’s objective is to provide advanced computing facilities to students, creative professionals and technicians and all its consumers throughout the world with its better and innovative software and hardware. The goal is to control the primary technology that is behind all of their products (About, 2012). It aims for continuous innovation and technological advancement, which is yet simpler and not complex. The company’ goal becomes making a complex technology easy to use The primary goal of Apple is to provide excellence in whatever they bring to market for their consumers and keep pace of innovation in ways others cannot. For future years Apple aims to achieve the goals as below:
Expand the number of employees of the company and increasing the number of stores location wide
Increase revenue with new and innovated products
Be environmentally friendly (Bielak, Henriquez, McNeil, Ogozaly, Rubino and Sulli, 2011).
With this, a business goal cannot be neglected; which is to crush competition and maximise profits. While doing so, Apple is seen to have foregone the ‘rights’ or the expectation of its stakeholders. Above all of the negligence comes the denial of the corporate social responsibility. A stakeholder analysis below will give a deep insight into Apple’s engagement with its stakeholders and will conclude if it comes in line with their expectations.
Even though Apple is providing more information than any of its competitor (Amazon, for example), the transparency of the company is still far from being at satisfactory levels for shareholders. Apple does not release a sustainability report. It also does not allow ay third party audit of its working conditions in its supply chain. It has not even disclosed the name of its suppliers. The idea of not sharing information about Green pace with its shareholders gives a clear evidence of the lack of shareholder engagement in Apple Company (Godelnik, 2012).
The issue of Apple’s dominance in digital music is increasingly gaining popularity. The company’s exclusivity between the ipods and itunes prevents consumers from purchasing other digital music available. These formats are not compatible with other systems and prevent Apple consumers from using competitors’ product. This monopoly gives the advantage to Apple and it increases the prices to exploit Apple consumers (Hammer, 2006).
For Apple it has always been addressing social and environmental issues as far as it is not leaving a significant impact upon their income, when maximising profits. The lower level if transparency, as already discussed above demotivates the employees. No third party audit is allowed for the working conditions and Apple does not reply to CDP surveys (Godelnik, 2012). Apple’s tendency to reply to media about its working conditions is low. To a certain level, employee issues are not being addressed by Apple and public is kept in dark too.
It can be seen that the company is not in line with the needs of it major stakeholders. IF the company acts ethically, and for example, releases its format for ipods and itunes, it will not just be benefitting competitors but increasing the number of Apple consumers. Those people hesitant to buy Apple can purchase it knowing that it is compatible with other formats (Godelnik, 2012). Moreover Apple should show a sense of social responsibility when it comes to its employees and shareholders. It is now time for Apple to stop being hush-hush and be more open to the way it does business. It should establish a team devoted to CSR and seriously thinks of ways to serve its stakeholders better to retain profits, success and achieve its set goals and objectives for future.
About, 2012. Apple Inc. Mission Statement Is Not Very Innovative and Barely a Mission At All. About.com, Retail Industry. Available at http://retailindustry.about.com/od/retailbestpractices/ig/Company-Mission-Statements/Apple-Inc--Mission-Statement.htm as accessed on 24/7/2012
Bielak, M., Henriquez, W., McNeil, S., Ogozaly, A., Rubino, E and Sulli, K., 2011. Apple Inc. Available at http://www.boydassociates.net/Stonehill/bus336/BUS336%20grp%20projects/Apple%20-%20India.pdf as accessed on 24/07/2012
Godelnik, R., 2012. 5 Reasons Why Apple’s CSR Strategy Doesn’t Work. GRI Certified in Sustainability Reporting. TriplePundit
Hammer, K., 2006. Apple’s Media Monopoly The Ethics of iTunes and iPods, French Lawmakers Get Involved in the Digital Music Dispute. Available at http://www.usc.edu/org/InsightBusiness/340articles/fall2006/Apple.pdf accessed 24/7/2012