Apple and Foxconn
Apple is one of the world’s leading producers of mobile devices with a strong reputation for product innovation and high customer loyalty. In 2009 it was widely reported that Apple’s Chinese-based suppliers were using child labour in several of their large-scale factories. At the largest factory – Foxconn – a growing problem of employee suicide was also reported which was blamed on unethical management approaches. Apple was heavily criticised for its standards of corporate social responsibility. In response, Apple instigated a comprehensive programme of supply chain audits, the detailed results of which it reports openly on its website. The problems experienced at Foxconn and other suppliers has not stopped Apple from reporting continued significant increases in revenues, profits and a growing share price. Question
With reference to the item above and your own research, to what extent do you agree that the greatest influence on the CSR responsibilities a firm takes on is the fear that bad publicity may damage a firm’s reputation and brand? Key Essay Hooks
“Greatest influence” what other internal/external influences might be more important? Reputation and brand damage – the link with revenues and profit Fear of bad publicity – suggests link between CSR and risk management Key Application Points re Apple & Foxconn
Strength of Apple’s global brand & appeal – able to withstand bad publicity Apple’s customers – more concerned about innovation than CSR? Complex supply chain do to need for mass low-cost manufacturing Apple has been transparent about the problems – pre-empting NGO/media investigation? Arguments For
“It takes 20 years to build a business but just 5 minutes to destroy it” (Buffet) – vital to identify CSR responsibilities that could materially affect business reputation if things go wrong Shareholders are the primary stakeholder group – so anything which potentially damages their value will be a priority for...
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