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Values and Ethical Decision-Making at Apple, Inc.

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Values and Ethical Decision-Making Compared with Apple, Inc. The values people choose and the ethical decisions they make in business will be an important part of their business experience. The way in which values and ethical decision-making are practiced compared to that of Apple, Inc. will be the focus of the following information. Furthermore, Team C will compare and contrast the values and ethical decision-making of Malika (a University of Phoenix student) compared to that of the values and ethical structure of Apple, Inc. Evaluating Values

Values are taught throughout an individual’s life by different sources and the environments in which each individual lives. Personal values can “evolve from circumstances with the external world and can change over time” (Selfgrowth, Pg. 1, 2012). Personal values can change and evolve with situations that people face. Apple for example, tries to find the type of values an individual has to offer the company, by interviewing the individual. Individuals with high values tend to make ethical decisions that will benefit the company. An employee who was very ethical and contained high moral values may not depend on those values in the future. When employee’s values change the values can become a detriment to the company. Organizational values are determined by upper management within the company. Apple has a set of core company values that the new chief executive officer has set for the company. One of Apples core organizational values is “We don’t settle for anything less than excellence in every group in the company, and we have the self-honesty to admit when we’re wrong and the courage to change” (devdaily, Pg. 1, 2009). Apple has been set on organizational values from the beginning.

The Apple company handbook also lists other values important to the growth and development of the company. Apple states very clearly that employees will succeed in the company if he or she follows the company’s values. Apple also stresses the importance of a team atmosphere in the workplace. The Apple Employee Handbook encourages employees to share ideas and values with management groups to help improve the company (Apple Employee Handbook, 1993). Ethical decision-making at the Apple Corporation is based on the necessity of the company helping improve the lives of individuals. Apple is based in many countries where labor laws and unethical practices are a daily occurrence. Apple has had difficulty passing on their ethical values on suppliers providing components to the company. In 2010 Apple conducted several audits of companies supplying components to Apple. Apple CEO (Chief Executive Officer) at the time Steve Jobs addressed the problems head-on and notified suppliers to the company that “social responsibility a fundamental part of the way we do business, we insist that our suppliers take Apple’s code as seriously as we do” (Robertson, Pg. 1, 2010) The findings were a result of audits done by the Apple corporation on suppliers used by the company. Inventory Result’s and Apple Alignment

The inventory states that Malika tends to base ethical perspective on an individual’s duty or obligation to do what is morally right, which can also reflect principals that represent what rational persons should morally do (University of Phoenix, 2011). In judging if an individual’s actions are ethical, Malika looks at the intent of the action rather than focusing at the result. The inventory states that from Malika’s perspective, ethical principles are: (a) appropriate under any circumstances, (b) respectful of human dignity, and (c) committed to promoting individual freedom and autonomy. The inventory writes that Malika believes that human beings have intrinsic value. Therefore, one cannot support social traditions and policies aimed at “the best interests of society as a whole” if any individual is denied the opportunities which he or she is entitled to as a human (University of Phoenix, 2011).

What this means for Malika is she views every individual as one person and not as a group of people. Malika’s approach to ethics requires that people should be allowed to make their own choices. Acting in response to impulse, instinct, or rules worked out by others for us to obey does not constitute ethical conduct on our part. Malika’s result’s may not align with Apple’s standards of doing business because what she seems to determine to be the right choice may not appear to be the most beneficial choice for the organization. The inventory writes that cost to benefit analysis is inappropriate for addressing issues with ethical considerations, even though this is the preferred decision-making tool for many organizations. Belief that we have a moral duty or obligation to do what is right leaves little room for compromise when ethical principles are being violated (University of Phoenix, 2011). According to the Williams Institute, following a four-step process provides the key to sound ethical judgment providing the right solution when facing dilemmas: * Step One: Who will be affected by my decision?

* Step Two: What would be the impact of my decision?
* Step Three: What ethical perspective is reflected by my decision? * (Character, Obligation, Results, Equity)
* Step Four: Can I justify my decision on ethical grounds? Based on the outcome from the Ethics Awareness Inventory, Malika displays the Character perspective when facing ethical dilemmas or what is good to be rather than what is good to do (The Williams Institute, 2012). When Malika is faced with the complex ethical issue of hiring an entire team for an Apple sales store, she will look beyond the resume and look for people who demonstrate good intent over people who merely show good results. With such close ties to the community it is likely that the pool of applicants for the new Apple store contains colleagues, friends, and family that she knows well. The dilemma originates when time to hire, is she going to look for making the community happy and hiring close acquaintances, or sticking to company standards and hiring the most qualified for the job? Malika’s series of questions for each of the four steps would likely appear as: * Step One: Who are the people most immediately affected by this decision?

* Other potential employees, community, friends, family or colleagues * Step Two: What have all those who may be affected had to say about the impact to them? * Step Three: Has pressure from above, peers or interest groups affected decision-making? * How does meeting standards for fairness with the corporation translate to our reputation in the community? * Step Four: Is the decision fair to all? If the tables were turned, would both parties feel fairly treated? The most likely decision-making process Malika would make based on her values would revolve around interviewing and investigating candidates who have demonstrated an ability to act with honesty, wisdom, and integrity instead of simply following the rules (The Williams Institute, 2012). She will judge if the candidates are trustworthy, genuine, transparent, compassionate, and honorable. Equal opportunity is important to Malika, because good conscience and fairness are in the forefront of her decisions. The candidates will have to prove moral excellence, sincerity, and strong personal values conforming to principles of right and wrong.

She will be looking for evidence that an individual is a good person and will live out his or her values past the outcome of a decision. Malika reasons with the objective that all should take pride in the decision and the company’s reputation in the community is more valuable than anything else they do. The most likely decision- making process Apple Inc. would go through based on its values when hiring a team to work in a retail store would come from an orientation to the Results profile. They are concerned with provable results, how they follow the rules and deciding for the greatest good for the greater number of people. Apple Inc. would show the following in the four-step process for making ethical decisions: * Step One: Who is strongly supporting a specific outcome? Why? * Step Two: What evidence exists to support my conclusions regarding the impact on stakeholders?

* Step Three: Not having limited information or convenience is affecting the hiring decision? * Step Four: Does the decision fit the company’s ethical perspective and style? Apple Inc. in a corporate hiring role is mainly concerned that the information presented in resumes is accurate to generate automatically a list of possible candidates. A recruiter or hiring manager is able to contact an applicant regarding the information presented on the resume and subsequently set up an interview (Apple, 2012). Any personal knowledge of the applicant is not known until the minimum qualifications are met by each applicant. Decisions made from the Results orientation do what is right for the wellbeing of the greater number of persons. In the end, Team C has concluded that the values and ethical decision-making standards of Malika are in line with the organizational value and ethical goals of Apple, Inc. Malika expect more from the individual, as Apple wants the individual to add to the team performance. If each individual were to do his or her part, the values and ethical decision-making standards will remain high at Apple, Inc.


Apple Employee Handbook. (1993). Retrieved from
http://www.seanet.com/~jonpugh/applevalues.htmlple Computer, Inc. Apple, Inc. (2012). Careers.
Retrieved from http://www.apple.com/jobs/us/retail.html
devdaily.com (2009). Retrieved from http://www.devdaily.com/blog/post/mac-os-x/apple-
Robertson, J. (2010). Huffington Post. Retrieved from
http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2010/02/28/apple-child-labor-confess_n_479871.html Selfgrowth. (2012). Retrieved from http://www.selfgrowth.com/articles/Definition_Personal_Values.html The Williams Institute. (2012). Williams Institute ethics awareness inventory assessment. Retrieved from https://ecampus.phoenix.edu/secure/aapd/Vendors/TWI/EAI/ University of Phoenix. (2011). Williams Institute Ethics Awarnes Inventory [Multimedia]. Retrieved from University of Phoenix, MGT/541 website.

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