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1. The ethical question is whether Apple ought to contract (through suppliers) fifteen-year-olds to work on factory floors. Is the fact that the stock price has been zooming up a pertinent fact, or does it not affect the ethics? Explain

2. Within the context of the Apple situation, what’s the difference between making a decision in terms of the law and in terms of ethics?

3. From the information given and reasonable assumptions about these factories and the living conditions of people working inside them, sketch an ethical argument against Apple enforcing the age workplace rule. What fundamental values underwrite the argument?

4. From the information given and reasonable assumptions about these factories and the living conditions of people working inside them, sketch an argument in favor of Apple enforcing the age workplace rule. What fundamental values underwrite the argument?

Expert Answer

Ans 1: Apple should adhere to the practice of not working with partners who employ underage workers. It does not matter whose workers they are, it surely dents the image of Apple as an ethically run company and reduces its premium brand value. The rising stocks are a result of exceptional product quality acknowledged by the customers,the brand performance in the market and brand value in the minds of customers and market entities. Avoidance of ethical practices may reduce this value and drag the company into controversies, thereby adversely affecting the stock perfromance.

Ans 2: Decisions governed by the laws are binding on the organization, and ought to be complied to. If not done, it may entail legal action. On the other hand, ethical decisions are a matter of perception and general belief. An a ction which is against the popular social norms and beliefs is called unethical. Though not legally enforceable, it may lower the brand value of the organization considerably in the eyes of stakeholders.

Ans 3: The enforcement of age limit in the suppliers’ factories will be an ethical decision, but it will deprive many youngsters who are very close to the eligible age, but can’t get work due to regulation. These youngsters may be prompted to take the wrong path leading to drugs, prostitution, trafficking etc.This will also affect the earnings of families living in grappling poverty and may lead to increase in the crime rate in the society. If we see from the perspectives of the locals, the practice is making things difficult for them, and hampering the productivity of the work ready population.

Ans 4: The enforcement of age limit in the suppliers’ factories will be an ethical decision, and will enable the youngsters to complete their basic education that will help them throughout their lives, on which they can build on other skills leading to career progression. The unscrupulous factory owners will no longer be able to employ youngsters at unfair wages, in inhuman working conditions and expolitative ways due to their vulnerability. It will also reduce the instances of child abuse and the ills that accompany it.

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