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Ethics, Leadership, and Decision-making – A case study of Apple INC
The discussion is based on the situations which the Apple Inc. is facing. The firm is experiencing the ethical issue mainly which are employee relations. The company is unable to manage the employee relations which are discussed in this report (Cooren et.al, 2011). Important concepts which the company must follow are discussed such as the concept of wrong and concept of faith. The theories which are discussed in this are a theory of rights and theory of utilitarianism. Theory of utilitarianism is based on doing ethically and morally corrects actions and theory of rights are based on equal treatment of employees. The company Apple has been applied the ethical concept and the dilemma which is observed in the company is employee relations (Abbas et.al, 2012). The employee relations of the company are not focused much which has provided a loss to a company. The companies must consider the ethical issues and must operate ethically and morally. The ethical and moral understanding must be developed among the employees and must be considered by the company for better working. The company should consider the equal treatment in an organization and also provide them the rights recognition to its employees (Fevre, et.al, 2013).
According to Chaudhri (2010), Apple Inc. is world’s largest organization with its headquarters in Cupertino, California, dealing in IT and communications. The company manufactures Smartphones, computers, laptops, and many other related products. It provides an exclusive range of features in their phones and laptops to increase its brand image. The company is providing best and innovative technology to the world which has a competitive advantage for the company.
Apple Inc. has a vision of creating the best computers for students, educators, professionals, and consumers in the world by innovative hardware and software. Its mission is to design innovative mac products to launch innovative and creative features of phones. These features include reinvented iphone, imobile, and app store. The company has distinct products which provide the company with a competitive advantage (Johnson et.al, 2012).
Apple Inc. is under fire for being reported as a company which does not provide healthy working conditions to its employees and treats them in an unfair manner. The employees are treated badly, put to extensive and long working hours. In hostile work, conditions result in negatively impacting its productivity and satisfaction of the employees.
According to Cooren et al (2011), the problems faced by the employees cannot be properly communicated to the top management due to poor employment relations. Therefore, chances of errors rise. The information which must reach the top management for taking actions regarding recommendations reaches after getting distorted due to which the exact scenario of the employees cannot be known by the top management. This problem can also result in decisions which could be biased or pre- judged due to lack of clarity. It further leads to an ability to retain employees.
The employees do not have a sense of belongingness for the company as employees are not allowed to participate in decision-making process and their suggestions are not solicited for consideration by Apple.
Mistrust among its employees develops which also leads to jealousy and criticism. The employees are reported to be stressed due to workload and long working hours of 60 hours per week which leads to deterioration of health.
According to Wanrooy (2013), Employment relations refer to the relationship shared by the employer and the employee.
In the opinion of Griffin (2013), the theoretical concepts are the theories of different people who have studied the concepts of management and added them as the concepts of managerial ethics. Theories of management are the various techniques which help the management in resolving many problems to management. The Theories clears the concepts of the organization and the work culture. The managerial ethics has the different theoretical concepts which help to understand the managerial ethics and apply them in an organization for examining the dilemma and difficult circumstances. The theoretical concepts from managerial ethics include various points related to management. These theoretical concepts are:
The concept of Wrong- Abbas et.al (2012), said that the doing the wrong concept says that the people of organization or management are expected to minimize the wrong things from their lives and do good to consider the benefit. The wrong action brings the wrong result which takes the company to the major aspects of understanding the wrong and right in an organization (Abbas et.al, 2012). The ethical concept of wrong supports the management and guide the manager to provide the balance situations to the organization and to avoid conflicts in an organization.
The concept of Faith-Concept of faith provides the company a concept of having trust on the people the company is working with. Abbas et.al (2012) also provides the information that the faith is the important thing that the company should consider and create among the employees of an organization. The company trust employees and expects the same trust from employees. The concept of faith explains that the company and the manager of the company should be obligatory to their responsibilities. The company needs to consider the faith as the important concept of an organization to achieve the common goals and objectives of an organization (Abbas et.al, 2012).
The theoretical concepts of managerial ethics are-
Theory of Utilitarianism- In the words of Bratton & Gold (2012) this theory explains that actions in the organization must be morally correct. According to this theory, the action of the company must be correct in the context of workers and working conditions, customers and for the benefit of stakeholders. The company must focus on this theory to enhance the moral actions and provide benefits to the people associated with the company. This theory further explains that the right of the action is based on its results. The unethical actions such as lying can be considered ethical if it produces more of good than bad to others.
Application of this theory to such a big organization like Apple INC
The main moral and ethical issue which the Apple Inc. is considering includes one negative and positive issue which are tax avoidance and commitment of excellence. The tax avoidance is the major immoral action of the company which affected it. The ethically correct action which the company focused on is a commitment to excellence. The commitment to excellence is the company major focused area as Apple is providing the best quality of its products to the customers (Bratton & Gold, 2012). The theory of utilitarianism which the company is focusing is based on doing well and which the company is working on.
In the point of view of managers, stakeholders, and customers of the company this has been pointed out that the company is doing well in relation to the theory of utilitarianism. According to these people, this theory has affected the company and Apple are using the theory properly which has improved the company performance. The managers and stakeholders are concerned with the company’s profitability and customer satisfaction and are satisfied as the company is following the theory of utilitarianism and customers have a concern about product quality which is maintaining the excellence of quality.
Theory of ethical rights- Fassin et.al, (2011), said that another theoretical concept of the managerial issue is ethical rights. This theory explains that rights are the person’s claims and entitlement. This focuses on the actions of the person and their actions on others. The rights which are considered in theory are legal rights, moral rights. This theory also provides that the respecting the rights of others and treating everyone equal. The theory of ethical rights states that it must be followed in the company and should consider the ethical rights in the company. For this, the company must improve the ethical rights. Ethical rights of the company must be followed to provide a safe and secure environment to the employees of the company.
Application of theory on Apple INC
The observation is that the company is providing improper working conditions and the rights of the employees are not much considered in the company. Treatment of the employees is also the issue in the company as the company is not equally treating the employees. According to this observation, it can be concluded that the company is not ethically right in its working. Apple must provide the equal treatment of its employees and staff.
The stakeholders, managers, and customers have the same opinion regarding Apple that the company is not considering the theory of ethical right. This must include that the company should provide equal treatment to the employees as well as the company must consider rights of its employees as important. The managers and stakeholders opinions that the company is doing a great job and providing customer satisfaction but employees are not as much satisfies as they are not getting equal treatment (Fassin et.al, 2011). The rights of the employees must be considered important so they can feel that they are the part of this organization. Unequal treatment and avoidance can result in less productivity which can damage the company image and provide loss to the company.
The managerial ethics which the company follows affect the working of the company and with this, the company gets affected. The stakeholders are the people who have rights to make decisions and get affected by each working decision of the company. The ethical decision making of the company provides the positive climate to the stakeholders as they get the benefit of the company’s image. With the positive behaviour which has the guidance of managerial ethics the positive environment for the stakeholders is created. This increases the productivity in the work and employee’s morality, as well as company's faith towards the moral aspect, gets increased. The ethical leadership promotes ethical behaviour of the company and ultimately provides a positive environment to the stakeholders. The ethical leadership in an organization plays the important role as the leadership of the company is directed in the right direction takes the other towards it. The organization must consider that the moral behaviour of the employees, as well as the managers, is important and for this, the qualities among them must be developed (Weiss, 2014). The moral behaviour in employees and managers must be improved with some positive qualities in them. The positive impact of ethical working is important for stakeholders as it provides the company a brand recognition which enables the stakeholders to get the security. The increase in the customers of the company provides the company a huge motivation to the stakeholders as they get the positive climate and better returns. The brand image and raised shares of the company increase the stakeholder’s returns as well as the security of being associated with such a big brand having such popularity. Ethical decision making also attracts the customers and their loyalty towards the company. This praise the company and their stakeholders for doing great work in the context of ethics and ethical managerial decisions of the company (McKinney et.al, 2010).
Apple Inc. is working on the autocratic style leadership. Autocratic leadership style states that the leader or the top management is responsible for making decisions and employees are not involved for the purpose of decision making or giving suggestions which eliminate innovations and new ideas. Following autocratic leadership style by Apple Inc. increases employee dissatisfaction as the employees in such style of leadership are not having the rights to make a decision and their decisions are not given importance. They feel that they are not important for the organization and their morale and self-esteem lowers. The problem of conflicts in the organization increases to a great extent as the leader is the only person who takes all the decisions and others are not considered. The leader decides on his own discretion and this might also result in favouritism. This also leads to problems of inability to retain the employees and the employees are dissatisfied. This creates evasion of Theory of Ethical Rights which states that the employees must be given equal treatment and should not be discriminated on the basis of caste, creed, colour or gender. It also states that equal rights must be given to each of the employee and discrimination on the basis of gender or other factors must be eliminated.
The company should consider the democratic style of leadership which states that the employees are given an equal opportunity to give their views and opinions in the organization and their suggestions are valued and they feel respected. This, in turn, generates a feeling of belongingness among them. Democratic leadership style also helps to improve the company working and creates the positive climate in the company. It also helps in the introduction of new and innovative ideas which are resultant from employee participation and employee contribution. Resolution of conflicts becomes easy when the democratic style is followed as issues can be conveyed to the leader and suggestions and opinions from others are also solicited therefore employee relations are enhanced and improved.
The positive climate is not established in Apple Inc. as the leadership style followed is autocratic which states that the top management or the leader undertakes important decisions and employees do not participate in the decision-making process. This proves to be an obstacle in innovative ideas and suggestions and the relations of the employees with the employer are also quite formal and strained as they do not get an opportunity to speak up.
Strategic leadership style
According to Carter & Greer (2013), A strategic leader is the head of the organization. The leader is not limited to the top of the organization. The leader bridges the gap between new possibility and the requirement for practicality. Strategic thinking is involved in this leadership style. It is highly planned and structured.
The consequences of this leadership style are that it results in enhanced output and increased productivity. The processes and operations are highly planned and creative ideas are brought into force.
Transformational leadership style
According to Oreg & Berson (2011), this leadership style is about initiating transformations or changes in the organization. They empower followers and they have a number of followers as well. Challenging expectations are set by these leaders in order to achieve high-performance goals. This leadership style talks about initiating change in organization, self or others. This type of leader is highly motivated and empowered.
The consequences of this style of leadership are that it results in new ideas, innovations, and revolutions for the entire organization. It also results in productivity and efficiency enhancement.
Charismatic leadership style
According to Obiwuru (2011), the revolutionary powers of the leader are manifested in this leadership style. The values and beliefs of the followers get transformed.
The consequences of charismatic leadership style are that the followers are able to understand the beliefs and values and change their perspective as per the direction provided by the leader to them.
This leadership style identifies the processes and steps to be undertaken through people. Most of the leaders possess qualities of being a visionary.
The consequences of visionary leadership are that most of the time the goals are transformed into reality.
It creates a vision for the organization as to where it is heading. Its orientation can be identified and analysed. Its success depends majorly on leadership qualities. It deals with working with hearts and minds of the resources.
The consequences of team leadership are that a clear vision of the mission, goals, and objectives of the organization is identified and known to the employees which help timely achieving of the goals and meeting deadlines.
Autocratic leadership style
This leadership style relates with the boss. Responsibilities are held by the leader. The decisions are made by the leaders or the superiors. Employees are not consulted for suggestions or for their opinions.
Apple Inc. follows autocratic leadership style where the decision making is done by the superiors, leaders and the top management. Say of employees is not given any importance.
This leadership style has a negative impact on Apple Inc. as the decision-making power rests with the top management and employees are not asked for their opinions or suggestions. Innovation and creativity are hindered as when employees are considered for their opinions more innovative ideas are generated but this lacks due to no involvement of employees.
Ethical work environment refers to the work environment which is governed by the right practices and code of conduct at the workplace and for the standards as per the profession.
The ethical work environment in which dilemmas do not occur can be created by strictly monitoring the employees by installing CCTV cameras and monitors to ensure that they are carrying out their work for the organization in a loyal manner and are not wasting their time or utilizing the given time for performing their personal tasks.
Apple Inc. has installed CCTV cameras and monitors for monitoring its employees, maintaining a record and keeping an eye on them.
An ethical working environment with no existence of dilemmas is created when credit is given to the employees when they achieve targets or goals. Their performance must be identified and acknowledged and they must be rewarded for the deliverance of quality output. Appreciation among employees creates a room for better performance as they are motivated and encouraged for better performance.
Apple Inc. acknowledges its employees on a regular basis. It gives credit its employees when they achieve the targets assigned to them.
Every individual must be treated equally in the workplace irrespective of their caste, creed, race, religion, gender and nationality. At workplace issues of unequal or discriminatory behaviour can be seen. Employees are ill-treated or mistreated on the basis of their religion or colour. This results in lowering the morale and self-esteem of the employees. They belittle themselves and consider self-responsible for everything.
At Apple Inc., equal treatment is provided to the employees irrespective of their caste, creed, nationality, religion or gender.
Sustainable development contributes to ethical conduct. Sustainable development is the development which is aimed at current development in a way which does not sacrifice the needs of future generations. Sustainable development aims at conserving the environment and natural resources in the environment.
Apple Inc. is working towards sustainable development. It is constantly upgrading its technology which is resulting in the generation of more wastes. The step undertaken by Apple Inc. towards the same is that it is manufacturing products which are recyclable and do not contain hazardous elements or components which lead to degradation of the landfill and harming the health of people.
The company has recommended all its suppliers to conduct its operation while safeguarding the environment. The leader makes decisions while considering the reputation of the company. Apple is among the top companies of the world and its decisions are served as an example to the rest of the world. The company has gained this position by implementing the ethical aspects in its working throughout its life course. Each and every leader who has made its contribution to the company has fulfilled all its ethical and social responsibility. Apple Inc. always has experimented with the existing technology and did not copy with other. This is the decisions that are followed by each and every leader of the company.
This essay argued that ethical and theoretical concepts of ethics must be the part of the organization. Apple Inc. being such a large company must follow the ethics. The ethics which the company has lacked in were tax avoidance and employee relations as the company failed in providing the good working conditions as well as equal treatment to the employees at the workplace. This has affected the company and associates much. The essay has also argued the managerial ethics and the ethical theories. The behaviour positively towards ethics promotes a positive climate to stakeholders. The recommendations for following an ethical code of conduct in Apple Inc. are that the employees must be given equal and unbiased treatment and must be given healthy work environment. Credit must be given to the deserved candidates and credit stealing must be completely prohibited. Employees who deliver commendable performance must be acknowledged and appreciated for enhancing performance. Sustainable development must be made an important aspect which must be considered in order to maintain healthy industry practices and code of conduct.
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