Foxconn Suicides

Apple Inc. the designer and maker of electronic products found itself in the middle of a scandal that was formed within its organizational ecosystem (Daft, 2012, p. 71). Starting in January 2010 employees at Foxconn an electronics manufacturer in China began to take their own lives in an attempt to bring attention to the poor working conditions, overcrowding, and long work hours (Daft, 2012, p. 108). These events are an example of actions or events that can originate within the international dimension of the external environment (Daft, 2012, p. 7). This event not only challenges the global mindset of the management within Apple, it forced the management to decide how the company wanted the public to continue to view it (Daft, 2012, p. 106). How will Apple’s management deal with the unethical practices at Foxconn? Apple’s management will benefit by applying the normative strategy in solving this ethical dilemma. By applying, the normative strategy Apple’s management can begin the process of solving this ethical dilemma by asking themselves the following questions.

What’s in it for me? What decision would lead to the greatest good for the greatest number? What rules, policies, or social norms apply? What are my obligations to others? What will be the long-term impact for myself and important stakeholders (Daft, 2012, p. 147)? In addition to the normative strategy, Apple’s managers can use a technique called stakeholder mapping, which would consider everyone’s needs, expectations, and importance (Daft, 2012, p. 151).

Next, add in the model for evaluating Foxconn’s social performance by use of the following criteria’s: economic, legal, ethical, and discretionary, and finally the use of Apple’s written code of ethics will give Apple’s managers a starting point in which to evaluate and determine which course of action they will take to solve this ethical decision caused at Foxconn (Daft, 2012). Apple’s ethics problem with their contract manufacturer Foxconn forced the management into a non-programmed decision (Daft, 2012, p. 71). There are three types of decision models that Apple had at their disposal, the three models are classical, administrative, and political. The political model is used to make non-programmed decisions (Daft, 2012, p. 279).

This decision model still required the Apple’s management team to use the six steps in managerial decision making which are: recognition decision requirement, diagnosis and analysis of the causes, development of alternatives, selection of desired alternatives, and mplementation of chosen the alternative (Daft, 2012, p. 282). The outcomes from these decision models and tools resulted in a supplier code of conduct. This document details the expectations that Apple expects from their suppliers. Within this document list: working conditions, safety concerns, and labor issues (Duhigg ; Barboza 2012). Foxconn improved working conditions, installed nets, placed latches on the windows, and added jump prevention wire (Fallows, 2012).

In addition to these life-saving steps, Foxconn agreed to hire thousands of additional workers in an effort to reduce overtime work hours, and they also improved housing and safety protocols (Reuters, 2012). Although improvements have been made at Foxconn, Apple must continue to apply pressure on Foxconn to resolve all of their unethical practices. Apple will have to pay close attention to who they use as contractors so that their public image do not suffer.

Events in China during the year 2010 embarrassed the electronics maker Apple, Inc. These events forced Apple’s managers to make managerial decisions about ethical practices employed by an outside vendor. The managers at Apple Inc used a number of decision-making models and tools to resolve the ethical issues at Foxconn. In result of these decisions, working conditions, safety protocols, living conditions, and working hours improved.

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