BUS475 – Business and Society
Dr. David Holness, Sr.
January 31, 2015
Specify the nature, structure, and types of products or services of Apple, and identify two (2) key factors in the organization’s external environment that can affect its success. Provide explanation to support the rationale. Apple is an information technology based organization that provides products and services to its stakeholders. Their products include: iPhones, Tablets, Music Players, PC’s, Media Players, and accessories. The services they provide are: repairs, apps, music, and training. The success of its organization falls on many different factors that are outside the realm of day-to-day business activities. Factors that are relevant to their success may include: resources, core capabilities, industry successes, competitive capabilities, and product traits. In order for the company to remain competitive they must become familiar with these success factors in order to maintain market share (Key Success Factors of Apple, 2011). There are many different key factors that can affect the success of an organization. Apple’s success is greatly influenced by their retail and distribution network. To help in the retailing of their product, Apple has developed its own retail store which includes product and technical support. Apple’s distributors include retail stores and on-line purchasing sites. These on-line sites include: Amazon, eBay, and Best Buy among many others. An additional key success factor is the advertising and marketing of Apple products. The goal for any advertisement or marketing campaign is to make your product unforgettable to your stakeholders. Apple has accomplished this by strategically running advertisements during major events such as the Super Bowl, and utilizing musical artists in commercials. Apple’s hard work in advertising paid off when in 2014 Apple was awarded the Outstanding Commercial Emmy Award for the iPhone 5s “Misunderstood” ad (Gurman, 2014).
Suggest five (5) ways in which the primary stakeholders can influence the organization’s financial performance. Provide support for the response. Stakeholders can influence a company’s financial performance by using their stakeholder power. This includes: voting, economic, political, legal, and informational powers. The voting power would allow the stakeholder to cast a vote during an organization’s annual meeting. This may include voting in new board members, mergers, and acquisitions. Economic power generally involves stakeholders such as customers, suppliers, and retailers. As a customer, economic power would involve boycotting a product by refusing to purchase that organizations product or service. Suppliers have the ability to withhold supplies or refusing to fill orders, and retailers have the ability to refuse to sell the organizations products (Lawrence & Weber, 2014). Political power would involve pushing for legislation or regulations on how the organization does day-to-day business. Another form of political power would be voting for a politician that shares the same beliefs and views. Legal power would involve the stakeholder suing the organization for a product or service that caused damage or was harmful. An example of this would be suing a car manufacturer if the airbags failed to deploy or if defective parts caused the malfunction. Informational power would entail the disclosure of confidential information to the public or industry competitors. All of these scenarios could greatly affect the financial outcome of an organization.
Specify one (1) controversial corporate social responsibility concern associated with Apple. Environmental groups in China have accused Apple of using suppliers that have in the past violated China’s anti-pollution laws by taking advantage of loop-holes in the system. Some alleged suppliers for Apple products have been accused of emitting toxic