Business Ethics Related to iPhones
Business ethics, which are also referred to as corporate ethics or professional ethics, are morals or conduct which govern each and every business environment. (Boldrin, M. & Levine, D 45).Applied across the business environment, business ethics govern the behavior of the employees, the employers and even the consumers.
Business ethics can also be defined as how a business behaves and adheres to its day-to-day activities in the world. One can define business ethics in two broad dimensions, which are normative and descriptive. (Boldrin, M. & Levine, D 34).While approaching business ethics in academic terms, one will have to employ a descriptive approach. One of the factors which affect the business ethics is the desire or the need of a company to maximize its profit in the business. Ethics can be said to take control of the areas and details which are beyond the government. (Vogelstein, F. 21).
One of the factors which lead to the establishment of ethics is the emergence of the large companies or corporations which operate without putting the entire communities into consideration. (Vogelstein, F. 34). Without ethics, the employees as well as the consumers can be looked down upon. There are different ways in which each and every business employs or practices ethical behaviors. Some of them do not only apply ethical behavior to the world but also to one-on-one interaction with direct consumers. (Vogelstein, F. 79). Many businesses have acquired bad names in the business world simply because they are only interested in making profit rather than taking care of the consumers as well as the employees’ demands. This is a form of pure capitalism, and it is form in which the entire business at times ignores ethical behaviors. It should be noted that good ethical behavior should be part and parcel of the business. To be specific, in the production of iPhones, there should be ethical behaviors which should be applied across the board.
In the production stage of the iPhones, the products which are being manufactured are considered not to cause harm either to the employees or the consumers. (Boldrin, M. & Levine, D. 145). It is the duty and responsibility of the company, or rather the employers, to ensure that this is done; iPhone is one of the goods that can be produced and consumed without much risk. Therefore, at times it becomes very difficult to define some of the ethical behaviors while dealing with this particular product.
The production of iPhones entailed the use of the very latest technology; therefore the employees need to be trained and given enough time to conform to this type of technology. This falls squarely on the department of human resource management. (Cory, J. 17). First and foremost, employees are recruited in a fair way, and this gives people who are well-conversant with this new technology a good chance of being employed. The production of iPhones requires a lot of skills and therefore, orientation is also very important. There should be performance appraisal, health and health safety in the iPhone companies. The employees are being appreciated in many ways as far as business ethics are concerned. In the production of iPhones, the labor’s dignity is taken care of. Laborers are free to form unions and enter into collective bargaining via their unions in order to realize better pay as well as a good working environment. There is no employee discrimination in any way. (Boldrin, M. & Levine, D 245). The young and the old are employed according to their technical knowledge and skills. People are being recruited regardless of their race, religion, disability or even the attractiveness of that particular individual. In the production of iPhones, affirmative action is given first priority. This has enabled the employees to work in a good environment, hence improving this new technology.
For example, in the Foxconn production plant in China, there have been reported cases of poor working conditions. (Boldrin, M. & Levine, D 245). The workers are complaining about long working hours and discrimination. Discrimination is brought about by the Taiwanese workers against the mainland Chinese. There is also poor employee relations at the Foxconn production firm. (Boldrin, M. & Levine, D 245). The worst form of unethical act by the company was recorded when some employees committed suicide. This occurred after an employee lost a prototype and the other series of suicide was noted in 2010 as a result of low payment. Workers are also being forced to work overtime without compensation. These are very unethical people on the production at this production firm, since employees are being treated like animals.
Some of the very large economic concerns at times are beyond the view of the companies. These include trade policy, immigration, globalization, trade union and trade policies. (Cory, J. 90). These economic issues take a new dimension in the business as far as the ethics are concerned. Some of them are being taken care of by the government. Like in the case of the iPhones, globalization cannot be avoided as well as trade unions. As much as technology is transferable, business ethics should also be observed and this becomes the obligation of the government.
Even in terms of managing the employees, there should be ethical behavior. IPhone does not apply some of the very unethical management strategies such as soft as well as hard approach to management. These two types of employee management aim at exploiting them and are not acceptable when it comes to iPhone. IPhone is under the umbrella of Apple phones. (Cory, J.77). Consequently, Apple at times controls some of the aspects of iPhone. The emergence of iPhone, which can be referred to as a closed device, has contributed to the proprietary nature of the new Microsoft Windows than the earlier versions.
When the consumers use this particular phone, they stand a chance of being affected by many risks. There exist international hackers. There are certain technical people who have come up with very detailed hacking methods. IPhones are internet-enabled and the phones possess very many unique features such as Wi-Fi and Bluetooth. It is very easy to access the information of someone through hacking. (Boldrin, M. & Levine, D 76). If someone loses his or her iPhone, the person who assumes the responsibility can hack the password as well as the phone cord. This has really affected the consumers. The worst part of it comes in when the iPhone companies threaten to withdraw their warranty services. Any product, more so electronic products, requires warranty and this is a blow back to the iPhone users.
However, iPhone has developed a good ethical use. This is where some sites cannot be visited since they require a password before access. This can be applied in parent-child relationships. Parents are now allowed to restrict their children from visiting some of the sites. These sites might contain pornographic films or rather bad information which should not be accessed by children.
While distributing this particular phone, marketing ethics are well taken care of. Marketing ethics deals with the ideas as well as the behavior and competition in the market. One of the ethical issues which iPhone companies have adhered to during distribution is being very open with the technology as well as the materials used to make this product. (Cory, J. 13). The risks of using this phone are well explained even though like any other business, in order to maximize profit, they tend to hide or rather not unveil the side effects of their products. This practice is considered very unethical as far as business is concerned. (Vogelstein, F. 71). It is very important to relay to the consumers the ingredients or materials used to make any product to the consumers, and this applies to iPhone.
Marketing or distribution ethics include price fixing. The iPhone company has made sure that consumers are not exploited even though they are the most expensive phones in the market at the moment. (Cory, J. 111). Consumers get the value of their money since this type of phone has very many attractive and satisfying features. While selling these products, there are some legal business actions which are being practiced by iPhone companies. They are also acceptable as far as business ethics are concerned. (Vogelstein, F. 56). These business actions include price discrimination and price skimming. Different countries have got different level of wealth, and it would be very unethical to price this phone in developed countries the same way you price it in the undeveloped or developing countries. The company tries to cover up the prices by employing the use of price discrimination. (Boldrin, M. & Levine, D 99).
There are also fair trade practices while distributing iphones. This means that they have come up with a technology which they can defend locally as well as in the international community. There is also taxation which ensures fair financial issues in this type of business. (Boldrin, M. & Levine, D 99).In the business environment, iPhones have brought about fair competition and the greatest beneficiaries of this are the consumers. Some of the companies have resolved to employ some unethical behaviors against iPhones. This is when they have taken this new technology and without mastering it well, they use it to produce counterfeit phones. This has really interfered with the companies producing this type of phone. (Vogelstein, F. 87).
It is very important to note that how any business carries out itself in the market matters a lot to many consumers and even to the business stakeholders as a whole. (Duska, R. 234). Ethically, companies which produce counterfeit products risk losing their fame in the market. This is justified by the fact that even the governments of some countries employ sanctions to stop selling these products in their respective countries. (Boldrin, M. & Levine, D 199).This is very contrary when it comes to iPhone companies. They ensure that their names are not distorted especially in the international market, and this is one of the very important aspects of business ethics. (Vogelstein, F. 50).
In conclusion, it is very important for businesses both locally and globally to practice business ethics because this affects their business operations at all levels. Many major brands in the business fraternity have been fined huge amounts of money for having broken some of the business ethics. (Duska, R. 234). They have the desire to make a lot of money even if the people concerned are not comfortable. It is true that when a company breaks business ethics, they are fined. But the magnitude of the fine is minimal compared to the profit they make on a daily basis. Therefore, the amount of fine levied in the business ethic laws should be revised. (Vogelstein, F. 88).
As much as any business might be making multibillion profits, business ethics must be adhered to. Business ethics are meant to eliminate consumers from several risks. (Duska, R. 88). Such risks include giving false information to consumers by any company, especially during advertisement. (Boldrin, M. & Levine, D 33). Business ethics can as well protect the employees from being exploited by their employers. Employees can be exploited in terms of poor working environment and even low pay.
At the distribution level, the company suffers from some unethical behaviors by some other close competitors. (Duska, R. 21).When this type of phone was introduced, the phone code was very unique to itself, such that it could just be used by one person. But time has evolved such that there is a SIM unlock system which now exposes the phone to the risk of being cracked. The tracking system of the phone can as well be removed; hence it cannot be traced in case it gets lost. This is a very big blow back to the company. (Boldrin, M. & Levine, D 100). These issues can be resolved but need attention.
Boldrin, M. & Levine, D. Against Intellectual Monopoly. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.2008.Print.
Cory, J. Activist Business Ethics. Boston: Springer.2004.Print.
Machan, T.The Morality of Business: A Profession for Human Wealthcare.Boston: Springer.2007.Print.
Duska, R. Contemporary Reflections on Business Ethics. Boston: Springer.2007.Print.
Vogelstein, F.The Untold Story: How the iPhone Blew Up the Wireless Industry. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.2008.Print.