Case Synthesis: Apple Inc

Word Count
Assignment 2 – Case Synthesis: Apple Inc.
1. Background
In recent years, many enterprises have incorporated Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR)
into the core strategy to enhance business performance. Nevertheless, as the global leader of
the technology industry, Apple’s negligence of CSR came under intensive public scrutiny,
facing criticisms for environmental pollution and labor right infringement. Recommendations
are made to resolve the crisis and restore Apple’s reputation.
2. Situation Analysis: Key Issues in Apple’s Supply Chain Management
2.1 Infringement of Labor Right due to Overtime Demands
Apple’s CSR image was damaged by a labor right scandal of its supplier, Foxconn, which
was involved in overtime exploitation and deplorable working conditions. Over 75% of
Foxconn employees were required to work for more than 60 hours a week and 11 days
consecutively without any overtime compensation. The excess working hours and unpaid
overtime policy violates the Apple’s Code of Conduct severely. Furthermore, employees
were demanded to work in factories with poor sanitary condition with malfunctioned
ventilation system. Frequent exposure to hazardous chemicals resulted in diseases such as
leukaemia and respiratory failure (China Labor Watch, 2012). The exploitative working
conditions had put employees under immense pressure, triggering 18 suicide attempts. The
violation of labor rights may arouse public attention and cause severe damage to Apple’s
2.2 Environmental Pollution caused by the Disposal of Contaminated Sewage
On top of the labor right scandal, Apple had been heavily criticized for allowing its suppliers
to pollute the environment. The emission of exhaust gas and disposal of contaminated sewage
by the factories have caused detrimental harm to the air quality and the health of the
neighborhood. Over one quarter of the factories exhausted polluted gas with concentrated