Tuesday 17 June 2014

photo: http://www.kindletechno.com
If an business ethics question comes up tomorrow (in either section of the BUSS4 paper) please remember that Apple/Foxconn is a good example. A helpful theory to bring in when discussing this example is Charles Handy's shamrock organisation. If you were to view Apple as a shamrock organisation its core workers would be its R&D and marketing people in Silicion Valley, California. Apple's contractual fringe are the people who manufacture the iphones, ipads etc; work which has been outsourced inc. major operations in China. There is a mismatch between the soft HR and good working conditions experienced by core workers and treatment of the contractual fringe in Foxconn's factory in Shenzhen, China. There the workers 6 days a week, with some of them living in cramped dormitories and protected from committing suicide by suicide nets around the factory. There have been scandals re: use of student labour. You can read about the issue in the BBC article below and form you own views. To be fair to Apple they are not alone in facing accusations of potential double standards in tolerating poor working conditions (by western standards) in their supply chain.

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