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At which point, workers are either fired or arrested by the police. The subcontractor will then, hire other people to work in the place of employees that are creating problems. Over the course of time, this can cause feelings of animosity inside the community. Moreover, there are no social responsibility practices for these regions. This means that no one is focusing on understanding the social, economic and environmental impact of the company's activities on different areas. Once this occurs, is when there is the possibility that there will be some kind of backlash from these issues. This information is showing how Apple and its third party suppliers are walking a thin line when it comes to their practices in regions such as China. Therefore, this source is supporting the hypothesis that was presented earlier. (Stonebreaker, 2009, pp. 161 -- 177)
The different sources that were examined are showing how Apple is has a mixed track record when it comes to their supply chain issues and possible violations. As there are two kinds that are being utilized by the firm, to include: maximizing productivity and increasing their profit margins. What is happening is the company has a physical supply chain that will produce the end product that is utilized by consumers (i.e. computers, I Pods and I Phones). At the same time, they will market digital products online. This promotion requires very little costs and support. Instead, users can visit the I Tunes store to find the services they are looking for. This has resulted in the company receiving favorable distinctions for these activities. To support these views Blanchard (2010) and Monck (2008) found that the firm did receive awards for this process in 2008 as well as 2009. This was in response to the challenges that were experienced during the late 1990s (when the firm was on the verge of bankruptcy). To redefine itself, Apple focused on streamlining the process, reducing costs and dropping the total number of products they were selling. This helped the company to specialize in specific segments that would make them more competitive. As a result, the use of the supply chain transformed Apple into an organization that can quickly respond to the demands of customers. During this process, is when many of the traditional labor, safety and environmental issues have become more challenging for the firm. The reason why is because the company is outsourcing jobs to locations such as China (in an effort to reduce costs). According to New (2011), Epstein (2011), Yuan (2012) and Enderle (2011) these goals are being achieved through hiring subcontractors. They have the responsibility for producing the final product that is in line with the firm's specification. This is when many of Apple's policies and procedures are violated by these organizations. This is problematic, because it has caused Apple to receive negative publicity from these issues. In many cases, there are adverse effects on communities and other parts of the world. In some situations, this can mean indirectly supporting parties that will provide raw materials to subcontractors and then use the funds they receive to support armed groups in the Congo. At the same time, issues such as: employee suicides, work place related injuries and pollution (in the location of manufacturing facilities) has increased. This is leading to tension between Apple, subcontractors and local communities. The results are that a number of facilities have experienced protests, work stoppages and negative publicity from these events. According to Stonebreaker (2009), this could lead to sudden shutdowns of critical facilities from a lack of socially responsible policies in place. In the future, this will more than likely create incidents where everyone will demand more (which could reduce the cost benefits that are realized by the firm). As a result, the information is showing how the hypothesis is correct based the practices that the Apple is using in manufacturing the final products that are sold to consumers (i.e. computers, I Pod and I Phones). Yet, it is also refuting select areas of the hypothesis with the use of the digital supply chain for specific services (i.e. I Tunes). Therefore, depending upon which aspect of supply chain is examined, the results will be vastly different (which will support or refute the theory that was presented earlier).
Blanchard, D. (2010). Supply Chain Management. Hoboken, NJ: Wiley.
Enderle, G. (2011). Discerning Ethical Challenges. Asian Journal of Business Ethics, 22,…[continue]
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