4-Hour Essay

Question

Organizational Ethical Analysis Paper – 250 points of your grade. For this requirement, pick an organization to analyze, one that you can find/research information regarding its ethical conduct. The sources for this analysis are found in both public documents that define the organization and popular press where current events are discussed. Use the questions on the Self-Assessment found on pp. 322 – 323 and Chapter 10 in our text as a guide for your analysis. Additional guidance is found in the following grading criteria for this paper. The paper is four to six pages in length. 
Grading Criteria for the Organizational Ethical Analysis Paper (250 points of your grade)
10 Points: Overview of the organization selected 
30 Points: Analysis of Core Values 
30 Points: Analysis of Mission/purpose statement
30 Points: Analysis of Code of Ethics 
30 Points: Analysis of the Organizational Structure 
30 Points: Analysis of the Reward and Performance Evaluation Systems
30 Points: Analysis of the Reporting and Communication Systems 
30 Points: Analysis of the Informal Elements
30 Points: Overall impression: APA Style, quality of writing, 4 – 6 pages in length

Answer

Organizational Ethical Analysis

Founded in 1976 by Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, and Ronald Wayne, Apple Inc. is a multinational technology company based in the United States of America with its headquarters in Cupertino, California (Apple Inc., 2015). The company designs products and sells different consumer electronics. Apple Inc. is well known for its products, operating systems, and online services, and its main brands include the iPhone, iOS, Mac, iPod, iTunes Store and iCloud. In May 2015, Apple was named by Forbes as the largest information technology company and the largest technology company in the world by revenue and assets respectively (Apple Inc., 2015). In order to continue achieving such success and productivity 40 years later, the company must have one of the best ethical cultures. This culture encompasses elaborate core values, a mission statement, a code of ethics, a definite organizational structure, reward and performance evaluation systems, one of the best reporting and communication systems in the corporate world and other informal elements. All of these will be analyzed in this paper.

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Core values are the principles that guide employees and employers alike on how to act or react to a situation in any given organization. Core values often support the overall vision of the organization, determine what is right from wrong and shape the culture of the organization (Askarany, 2011). The core value of Apple Inc. is to always make the best products in the market by focusing on a select few products so as to ensure that they can develop and innovate them to the best of their ability. This core value is seen in the way that Apple products have been consistently differentiated from all the other similar technology products available in the market. By focusing on one product at a time, Apple ensures that the products they produce are not mediocre.

Mission statements, also known as purpose statements, are what depicts the reason for the existence of the company or organization. Together with core values, the mission statement forms the core ideology of the company (Babnick et al, 2014). Apple’s mission statement can be divided into several different statements as quoted by Tim Cook, who points out that it was founded to make great products, collaborate, have a central focus at any given time and to choose markets in which to make the most significant contribution. Moreover, Apple believes in simplicity, excellence and in owning and controlling everything primary about its products.

Every successful organization must have a stipulated code of ethics. Governments, schools, and professional associations also have a code of ethics. Similarly, employees, students, and other members of organizations and institutions are expected to demonstrate professional conduct as guided by the code of ethics. It covers aspects of records, funds and assets, outside relationships, employment practices and conflict of interest (Schwartz, 2005). Apple Inc. is no different from any of these organizations, which is why it has a well-established code of ethics. It states that the employer is obliged to provide a safe and secure working environment, respect all workers and treat them with dignity and respect. Moreover, it stipulates that all their suppliers must follow the stipulated Supplier Code of Conduct, be socially and environmentally responsible, follow the law and be accountable for their actions.

When talking about the structure of an organization, reference is normally made to the way tasks are allocated, coordinated, supervised and directed within the organization itself (Subramanian & Venkateswaran, 2013).To ensure that the processes of allocation, coordination, supervision, and direction are effective and efficient, Apple Inc. employs three characteristics, the first of which is the function-based grouping in which Senior Vice Presidents (SVPs) head several functions of the organization and report directly to the Chief Executive Officer (CEO). The second one is a product-based grouping in which everything goes through a chain of command. The third characteristic is the spoke-and-wheel hierarchy where the SVPs collaborate with different teams while still reporting to the CEO. Through the function-based grouping, spoke-and wheel hierarchy, and product-based grouping, every activity within the organization can be monitored rather effectively.

Meanwhile, organizations often create incentives that make the employees motivated to perform better, do better and be more creative in their assigned activities. These incentives fall under reward and performance evaluation systems (Subramanian & Venkateswaran, 2013). To determine the best systems, certain strategies have to be reinforced to ensure that they reinforce ethical behavior. One strategy is to catch people in the action of doing good. By doing this, employers acknowledge moral behavior that would otherwise have gone unappreciated. Additionally, in reviewing the performance of an employee, employers can tell which employees ought to be rewarded and which ones should be punished according to their deeds.

In every organization, there will be cases of ethical misconduct every once in a while no matter how strict the regulations are regarding the same. To ensure that these misconducts are reported the minute they occur, several communication systems are developed to facilitate the information reach to the managers (Drucker, 1954). Apple Inc. has the system in place that uses ethical hotlines like e-mails, telephone or web-based systems. To encourage people to come forward and report the information on ethical misconduct, the company protects whistleblowers by making all the information they receive confidentially. To make these systems more efficient, the managers are encouraged to be actively involved in discussing ethical issues every so often. This way, individuals can be able to put across any ethical issues they may have encountered and how to handle them.

Lastly, the informal elements that play a role in the overall determination of ethical culture at Apple include language, rituals, and norms. Language, in this case, refers to the daily informal conversations within an organization, inclusive of all their jargon. Norms are the standards of behavior that all employees are supposed to comply with, while rituals range from one organization to the next. These rituals are part of the culture of the organization and are just as important as the core values or the organizational structure.

In conclusion, it is clear that all the achievements that Apple Inc. has made over the past 40 years have not come on a silver platter; the multinational technology company has had to work exceedingly hard especially on the realm of ethical culture in order to ensure that it remains relevant in today’s rapidly changing technology world. By coming up with a code of ethics, core value, mission statement, and organizational structure, the company has been able to establish its identity as a reputable global brand. Therefore, just like Apple Inc., any organization can succeed if by stabling a formidable ethical framework for its staff. By identifying emerging ethical problems, an organization can improve the quality of its products and by extension, revenue growth.

References

Apple Inc. (2015). Apple Reports Record Fourth Quarter Results. October 27, 2015. Web.

Askarany, D. (2011). Factors Affecting Organizational Performance. London: Routledge.

Babnik, K., Breznik, K., Dermol, V., & Trunk, N. (2014). The mission statement: Organizational culture perspective. Industrial Management & Data Systems, 114(4), 612-627.

Drucker, P. (1954). The practice of management. New York, NY: Harper & Row.

Schwartz, M. S. (2005). Universal moral values for corporate codes of ethics. Journal of Business Ethics, 59(1-2), 27-44.

Subramanian, A., Venkateswaran, A., & Fu, R. (2013). Project Characteristics, Organizational Structure, and Managerial Incentives. New York, NY: Blackwell Publishing.

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