Business ethics serves a great purpose in ensuring that enterprises engage in legitimate trade activities. More so, business ethics provides for a fair playing ground in a business context. Business leaders have a responsibility in upholding ethics in their business transactions (Johnson, 2014). With ethics, the transactions become free and it provides a chance for business growth. This paper focuses on Steve Jobs as an ethical business leader. The paper will highlight different ethical principles that apply in business and relate them to the business leadership displayed by Steve Jobs.
Brief Overview of Jobs as a Business Leader
Today applications designers envy the business legacy left behind by Steve Jobs. Jobs worked as a designer in the computer and mobile industry. He played the cofounder role in Apple Computers a company that designs and manufactures a range of telecommunications equipment both software and hardware (Hom, 2013). He had a humble father and mother and for this reason; he understood the value of hard work. He started working with computers in his father’s workshop where his father worked with different electronics. At 21 years of age, Jobs and a friend founded the Apple computer company. The company started designing new age computers which had a smaller size and increased functionality. The company became a pioneer in manufacturing the new age affordable computers. Under the business leadership of Jobs, the company has developed to serve a global market with a variety of products. Today the company`s worth stands at
An ethical analysis of Steve Jobs business leadership
A variety of theories exists in business ethics. These theories define how individuals in business leadership should conduct their enterprises ethically. These theories guided Steve Jobs in creating the Apple Business Empire,
This theory directs people to bring much happiness to the community that surrounds them through their actions (Johnson, 2014). The theory states further that an action can only qualify as right or wrong from the effects of the action. This implies that an action can only qualify as wrong if it bears consequences that are more negative on the individuals involved than the positive consequences. In business leadership, Jobs managed to create more positive consequences than the negative. For example, the business enterprise managed to provide jobs for people in America and China (Inc. Apple). Both of these nations have rapidly growing population thus the need for jobs arises. In china, the company employs over 500,000 workers who assemble and pack the company`s products. In addition, the company employs 50,000 people to design new products and test the usability functions in all its products (Inc Apple). Steve Jobs understood the need to create jobs and develop the economy. The company also managed to provide new generation computers at affordable prices. Before Jobs launched the company computers retailed at high prices and people could not purchase personal computers. In addition, the computers occupied large areas due to their bulky nature. However, the company managed to sell new generation personal computers at $666.66 (Hom, 2013). The company initiated the development of smaller computers, which had affordable costs. As a business leader, Jobs managed to offer a product to the global market that has changed the communications industry and made life better.
The Categorical Imperative Principle
This theory evaluates the motivation to commit an action (Mohamoud, 2010). This theory forms an ethical principle, which suggests that morality needs to work along a defined set of rules with no exemptions (Johnson, 2014). According to categorical imperative principle, a business leader should not use other individuals to get to the company`s objectives. In this case, Jobs used his skills to develop the business plans and start the company. Jobs took the leadership position and employed other workers to work with him. He set up a system and company environment that rewarded creative talent. In the designing of apps, Jobs supported the employees who approached him with new designs. Through his leadership, Apple managed to initiate programs to sponsor young designers in education. The company also initiated promotions for the employees who developed new ideas. In his leadership, Jobs ensured that employees in the design department received opportunities to incubate their ideas and received awards for brilliant ideas. This shows that Jobs rewarded the individuals who contributed to the growth of Apple. In addition, the company always remunerates their workers (Hom, 2013). Up to date Apple has not had any accusation of failing to pay the employees. This shows that Jobs developed a legacy to appreciate and reward employees as the morally right thing.
Jobs lived in time when the world’s economy faced many challenges. Other business leaders would have preferred to minimize the number of workers in an aim to reduce the operational costs. However, Jobs increased the available jobs both in America and in China. Through his business leadership period, Jobs treated all workers fairly and ensured that creative employees received recognition. It implies that Jobs understood the essence of incorporating ethics into business activities.
Inc. (n.d.). Apple - Job Creation. Apple - Job Creation. Retrieved April 9, 2014, from http://www.apple.com/about/job-creation/
Hom, E. J. (2013, March 21). Steve Jobs Biography. BusinessNewsDaily.com. Retrieved April 9, 2014, from http://www.businessnewsdaily.com/4195-business-profile-steve-jobs.html
Johnson, C. E. (2014). Organizational ethics: a practical approach (3nd ed.). Thousand Oaks, Calif.: SAGE Publications.
Mohamoud, F. (2010, March 10). Kant - Explain Categorical Imperative. Kant - Explain Categorical Imperative. Retrieved April 9, 2014, from http://www.slideshare.net/guestff6a39/kant-explain-categorical-imperative-3388450