Principles of Business -...

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Fast Company recently named Apple #1 in its ranking of the world’s most innovative companies. But when it comes to corporate social  responsibility, Apple falls short of its innovative reputation.  (Full disclosure: I own an iPhone and also have iPad 2 envy.) Yet despite  Apple’s lack of a corporate level sustainability report (they do offer environmental information on selected products), transparency of  social actions, despite their non-reported charitable contributions – nothing available on their website or reported to The Chronicle of  Philanthropy– and despite their below average corporate social responsibility (CSR) rating, millions of us keep buying their products. When one thinks about product companies that consistently delight their customers, certainly Apple comes to mind. Assuming many  Apple customers care about sustainability, is it realistic to think that they (we) could influence the company by demanding greater  corporate responsibility beyond the economic benefits to Apple and other companies in their ecosystem? Of course they have an  obligation to be continually financially successful, but do they also have an obligation to improve their CSR performance and be more  open about their progress?  How might customers exert influence?  This is an open question that I will leave to the marketplace. However, there is another potential source of powerful influence – Apple’s thousands of employees. It is hard to know as an outside  observer how employees value sustainability at Apple and whether they could or would influence policy. For the appeal and pressure to continue development, globalization, increasing fame and taking responsibility from outside, the  international community promotes the overseas investment criterion for business to take Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR)  universally and it has become the determinant to be an excellent MNC or not. The main subjects of CSR includes: environmental protection, worker and human rights, community participation, public welfare, supply  chain management (SCM), and so on.             The practice of CSR develops according to the times. In the initial stage of industrialization, CSR is interested in gaining profits  for stockholders. On account of the economical development, businesses start to support and participate in social activities or national  construction as well as setting the foundation to join community welfare movements voluntarily under the influence of ethics, conscience,  self-realization, even religion. Today, in spite of this, there are several contrary opinions that business should be socially responsible or 
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This note was uploaded on 02/18/2012 for the course HISTORY hs101 taught by Professor Lynch during the Spring '12 term at Dublin City University.

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Principles of Business -...

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