Corporate social responsibility Faced by Apple Corporation
Apple Inc. has been recently scoring poorly in the field of corporate social responsibility. Like the case of most companies, the corporate social responsibility exhibited by the company does not measure up to the standards exhibited by the other companies in the market.
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Several issues have affected the corporate image of the company over the recent past and therefore there is need to try as much as possible to restore the corporate image of the company.1
Among the issues the company is facing is the corruption scandal in the year 2010 where the supply chain manager was arrested for allegedly receiving $ 1m from Asian suppliers as kickbacks for favors given to them. This brought a lot of public outcry about the responsibility of the company to the suppliers.
Another issue that affected the corporate image of the company was the failure of the company to eliminate harmful chemicals such as arsenic, polyvinyl chloride and other harmful substances in 2007. Environmentalists and activists threatened to sue the company for failing to reduce emission of harmful substances in the environment.
Another issue that the company is facing about corporate social responsibility is the series of accidents in 2006. There were 14 fatal accidents in total, which were associated with the failure of the company to act responsibly in its operations and procurement.
The company was faulted for failure to put in place safety precautions in its activities that resulted to the accidents. These accidents resulted to loss of many lives and loss of millions of shillings.
Due to pressure from environmentalists on environmental pollution, the company has incorporated eco-products, which implies the company is now producing environmentally friendly products.
This entails manufacturing of products with fewer pollutants and recycling waste products rather than releasing them to the environment. Despite this action, the company’s corporate responsibility remains at stake. Another corporate responsibility issue is the use of social networks, community works and charity. The company has not been able to use the above to enhance its corporate image.2
Short Term Action Plan for the Company to Improve on the Corporate Social Responsibility Issues
Top down Involvement and Commitment
For a company to be able to attain effectiveness in its corporate social responsibility strategies, it must ensure that there is top down involvement and commitment in the organization. A top down approach means the involvement of both the top management and lower level employees in the implementation of CSR strategies.
The plans for the Apple Inc. in the short run is to adopt the top down approach since both employees and top management have important roles to play in the formulation and implementation of CSR strategies.
The company is planning to have a clear mission, vision, goals and objectives and policy on CSR, which should be communicated to the employees. The top management will act as the leader in implementation of the CSR policies, vision and vision. The company has also come up with a method of measuring the level of attainment of the CSR policies compared to the planned course of action.
The employees will be rewarded adequately and highly motivate in order to motivate them to take part in improving the corporate image of the company. Apple Inc. will continue with its efforts of protecting the rights of workers and minimize hiring of underage workers.3
CSR Position Statements and Reports
The other short-term plan for the company is to have a clear position on CSR. This should be enhanced by having a clear method of evaluation of the CSR attainment at the end of each period.
These reports should be able to measure objectively the outcomes against the planned actions to enhance CSR in order to understand the effects of CSR strategies to the organization. The CSR statements will include a clear code of conducts for employees, management and suppliers of the company.4
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Under the code of conducts, there are labor and human rights, health and safety, environmental impact and ethics. The company wishes to attain fairness in employment, prevention of occupational injury, reduction of waste products and enhancing business integrity.5
The management is committed to ensuring that the company statement on CSR is understood. The managers are encouraged to be responsible in training and communicating with the rest of junior employees.
The reports will show the audit of CSR activities of the company at the end of each year and provide awards to suppliers and other players who will have adhered to the code of conducts.
The reports will also be used to enhance whistle blowing or identification of the areas where the company needs to improve on its CSR. The audits will be a means of identifying where the company needs to put more effort in the implementation of CSR strategies and a review of the CSR strategies.6
Apple Inc. appreciates the fact that employees form an important tool in achieving CSR objectives.7 It is for this reason that the company is initiating training programs for the employees in order to sensitize them on issues pertaining CSR. Training programs have been extended from the final assembly manufacturers to include other employees.8 The company is also trying to cultivate a positive culture amongst the employees.
This is done by adequately rewarding the employees and awarding positive culture. The company is emphasizing on good habits and practices by the employees. The company has also ensured that there is adequate communication to the employees on the benefits of CSR and to the organization. In general, the company wishes to use individual employee responsibility to achieve overall corporate social responsibility.9
Advertising and External Communication
Apple Inc. should make use of the social media such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and others to promote their CSR goals and strategies. The company does not have active accounts in social websites but they should open them since these are important tools in implementation of CSR strategies.
The social media would also help to advertise the products for the company and help promote a positive image o of the company.10 Communication should also be enhanced through expanding the Apple Inc. website to cover the environment as well as CSR activities of the company.
Apple Supplier Responsibility, Progress report, 2011. Retrieved from: https://www.apple.com/supplier-responsibility/
Bueble, Elena. Corporate social responsibility: CSR communication as an instrument to consumer-relationship marketing. Norderstedt: GRIN Verlag, 2009.
Griffin, Andrew. New strategies for reputation management: Gaining control of issues, crises & corporate social responsibility. Philadelphia: Kogan Page Publishers, 2008.
Horrigan, Bryan. Corporate social responsibility in the 21st century: Debates, models and practices across government, law and business. Cheltenham: Edward Elgar Publishing, 2009.
Pohl, Manfred and Tolhurst, Nick. Responsible business: How to manage a CSR strategy successfully. London: John Wiley and Sons, 2009.
Urip, Sri. CSR strategies: Corporate social responsibility for a competitive edge in emerging markets. London: John Wiley and Sons, 2010.
Ward, Halina and Smith, Craig. Corporate social responsibility at a crossroads: futures for CSR in the U.K. to 2015. London: IIED, 2006.
Werther, William and Chandler, David. Strategic corporate social responsibility: stakeholders in a global environment. London: SAGE, 2010.
1 Ward, Halina and Smith, Craig. Corporate social responsibility at a crossroads: futures for CSR in the UK to 2015. (London: IIED, 2006),17
2 Sri, Urip. CSR Strategies: Corporate Social Responsibility for a Competitive Edge in Emerging Markets. (London: John Wiley and Sons, 2010), 14-23.
3 Apple Supplier Responsibility, 2011 Progress report.9
4 Manfred, Pohl and Nick, Tolhurst. Responsible Business: How to Manage a CSR Strategy Successfully. (London: John Wiley and Sons, 2009), 119
5 Apple Supplier Responsibility, 2011 Progress report.
6 Bryan, Horrigan. Corporate social responsibility in the 21st century: debates, models and practices across government, law and business. (Cheltenham: Edward Elgar Publishing, 2009), 106
7 William, Werther and David, Chandler. Strategic Corporate Social Responsibility: Stakeholders in a Global Environment. (London: SAGE, 2010), 185
8 Ibid. 4
9 Elena, Bueble. Corporate Social Responsibility: CSR Communication as an Instrument to Consumer-Relationship Marketing. (Norderstedt: GRIN Verlag, 2009),99-105
10 Andrew, Griffin. New strategies for reputation management: Gaining control of issues, crises & corporate social responsibility. Philadelphia: Kogan Page Publishers, 2008. P. 125