Apple and Ethics

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APPLE INC. & ETHICS
Management/521
October 29, 2012
Professor William Beattie

Scenario
“Insider trading is the buying or selling of a security by someone who has access to material, nonpublic information about the security” (Investopedia, 2012). A deal has been made by all major cell phone companies with Apple to provide the IPhone 6. The development of this deal will significantly increase Apple’s market shares and stocks as a cell phone provider. In return, the announcement of the new product launch will affect its stock prices in a positive way. There are key parties’ privy of desiring this knowledge including Apple’s Board of Directors, the Board of Directors from other leading cell phone providers and their acquaintances. The information regarding the launch of the IPhone 6 is confidential and can be used to make some individuals or organizations very wealthy. Some members from Apple plan to make the information about this deal known a week in advance to these outside cell phone companies before the news goes public. During this time there are many situations where legality and ethics come into play. Information pertaining to the new IPhone 6 is going to be used to make trades known before the general public is aware and insider trading is a major concern. What does a company like Apple have to incorporate into its organizational guidelines to prevent insider training from occurring? Ideally, how would we as a team use the outcomes from our ethical values assessments to deal with the unethical decision practices of insider training? Introduction

According to the on-line article Apple Inc.’s Ethical Success and Challenges (2011), “In 1976, Apple Computers was established by Steve Jobs and Steven Wozniak in Cupertino, California…[by] the year 1977, Apple Incorporated went public with its first line of computer devices to fill the desired consumer needs” (Sawayda & Ferrell, 2011). Currently, Apple Incorporated is recognized as one of the largest technology and computer based organizations in the entire world. Based on years of operation, Apple and its affiliated investors have experienced company sales fluctuations based on unpredictable cyclical product demand trends. Foremost, Apple remains resilient through these product and cyclical business trends based on well-constructed Code of Conduct guidelines which have permitted this organization to remain ethically competent and socially responsible. In support of Apple remaining an ethically and socially sound organization, its Code of Conduct guidelines assists in preventing key players’ such as stakeholders, stockholders and employees from the adverse effects of insider trading which is an unethical business practice. Based on the research our team has conducted on Apple, we will substantiate how our ethical decision-making values’ pertaining to the provided scenario above align with Apple’s policies on insider trading. Thus, our team will compare, contrast and validate variables such as Apple’s organizational values, our personal values and ethical decision-making practices. Organizational Values

Apple Inc.’s products and services are known world-wide. A company of this magnitude and respect achieves this through quality products, quality leadership, and organizational values that are superior to all competitors. “Apple has 4 key principles that make up their organizational values…1) Honesty, 2) Respect, 3) Confidentiality, and 4) Compliance” (Apple, 2012). Apple CEO Tim Cook encourages for every employee to demonstrate honesty and high ethical standards by treating everyone within the company with the utmost respect and courtesy. “Protecting Apple’s intellectual property and its affiliated company’s information ensures that all business dealings fully comply with federal laws and regulations” (Apple, 2012). These key principles of Apple’s conduct policies regarding those pertaining to unethical activities such insider trading re-enforce...
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