Strategic Marketing Management
May 6, 2013
What specific suggestions could you provide for your firm to follow in order to be more socially responsible?
The issues of social responsibility within a technology field usually fall within two areas: environmental and social, specifically labor. Somewhere there is a balance between product quotas and corporate social responsibility. Public opinion and clever communication often determines the outcome. In 2005 Apple began a supplier code, which stated Apple’s corporate stand on issues like employee workload, child labor, and proper wages. Since many of the local foreign companies who provide the manufacturing labor do not govern these issues, it becomes the responsibility of the company to provide the social restraints. Apple’s self-initiated audits report deficiencies in the supplier and demand reparations to those violations. If they are severe enough, Apple will terminate its involvement with the supplier. Apple announced that it fired one of its suppliers in the 2013 Supplier Responsibility Report when an audit revealed that the supplier had seventy-four underage worker violations (iClarified, 2013). Recently Apple increased its audits of its foreign manufacturing plants, since Apple products are mainly outsourced overseas (Torres, 2012). Now boasting a 92 percent compliance with a maximum sixty-hour workweek, Apple has bent to the public desire for a socially responsible company despite its intrinsic business production pressures (Apple, 2013). In January 2012 the New York Times reported poor working conditions at Chinese suppliers, particularly in regards to a dozen suicides. “The facilities of Foxconn are fine, but the management is poor,” revealed Zhu Guangbing, who organized the investigation (Torres, 2012). Critics of Apple note, though, that half of the suppliers since 2007 have violated the suppliers’...