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Apple is a multinational technology corporation based in California that is headquartered in the United States. Its primary business is the design, development, and sale of consumer computer applications, hardware devices, and digital services. The corporation is worried about the environment and understands that technologies must be sustainable for people to create and use, which is why it questions itself by challenging what it can do about climate change in any area of its industry. The management of the company believes that the company can power a global business with renewable energy and this is why the total electricity used by the company to power its data centers is generated from energy source such as wind power, hydro and solar energy (Apple.com, 2017).
Upon its inception in 1970s, Apple Inc. diverged from the traditional corporate structure that most companies practiced and went ahead differently and uniquely. It operated on the basis of informal corporate culture concept in the industry of technology where it preferred a seemingly flat organizational extemporized structure against the tall structure, a structure that aligns with the current requirement for success.
The main electronics include Ipads, Iphones, Apple televisions, mac and tablets, which have been doing very well in the market since their creation. In addition, Apple has designed digital music players and software associated with personal computers that are distinct in nature. In terms of innovation and creativity, Apple has done well as its products are awesome and amazing, which has made them beat the rival companies competitively (Chen, 2015).
The users of Apple products have a unique experience. For example, Apple’s IPhone has an iOS that is basically an in-house operating system of Apple’s smartphones, and these are the only smartphones that utilize this kind of an operating system. Moreover, Mac operating system is used by personal computers designed by Apple as an in-house unique operating system.
Two (2) Key Factors in the Apple’s External Environment That Can Affect Its Success
Firstly, political factors can affect the success of Apple Company. Therefore, the market and product launching regulations are very significant aspects that Apple should always consider. Asia is mainly known to be the major supplier of Apple. In addition, notable sales by Apple are made in other countries, which mean that in case of any political instability in these other countries Apple’s performance can be negatively affected. It is worth noting that taxes, government regulations, competitive regulations, policies for employment and political stability for gaining access to a country are associated environmental factors that can affect the success of Apple. For instance, when entering a new country, Apple should know its regulations on products that are imported as well as tax regulations. The company’s sales and channels of distribution can be affected by political instability as well as the country’s trade barriers. Although Apple is a U.S, based company that has advantages in terms of trade agreements with many different countries, external political pressures from within the U.S. can also adversely affect the success of the company (Chittithaworn, Islam, Keawchana & Yusuf, 2011).
Secondly, economic factors are external environmental factors with a potential of affecting the success of Apple negatively. Mostly, taxation policies, rate of exchange, inflation, economic development of a nation, standards of living and average income have a great impact on the success of Apple. Therefore, any form of adverse economic affect can affect Apple’s operation. For instance, international recession has previously shown a very unconstructive influence on the company, which made it have insubstantial sales since there was insufficient income at the consumer’s disposal, thereby limiting purchasing. Given the fact that Apple sells its products in varying nations, fluctuating rates of exchange can potentially affect the company’s performance. Moreover, taxation changes can influence the company by making it increase the prices of its products, thereby discouraging consumption (Chittithaworn, Islam, Keawchana & Yusuf, 2011).
Five (5) Ways in Which the Primary Stakeholders Can Influence Apple’s Financial Performance
The major Apple’s stakeholders are the investors, the consumers, the employees, the general community and the suppliers. The collaboration between Apple’s investors can influence the financial performance of the company as it is significant in logistics and distribution that the company focuses on to trim costs, enhance the environmental preservation, and establish and maintain meaningful relationship with important group of trusted partners in business.
Apple adheres to social responsibility requirements and makes community citizenship its priority, thereby making the interests of its employees a focus of its operations. Therefore, the company has ensured that the employees are treated as the most valued asset by creating a work environment that is not discriminatory and has actively involved them in significant decisions. In turn, if employees are satisfied with their job, they become very productive and increase the financial performance of the company.
Customers influence on companies cannot be underestimated. Apple recognizes that customers that are satisfied as well as maintaining long-term relationships with them are very important in building sustainable profits and success over time. It is for this reason that the company uses customer relationship management to gather data on customers for targeted and efficient marketing as well as sales efforts.
Apple’s ability to meet the needs of the community in general is key to its financial success. The community contains the customers that provide the company with revenue and cash flow needed by the company to operate and earn profits. The company has a duty to understand the wants and need of the community and be at a position to meet them on an ongoing basis because the community activists and leaders hold the company accountable to behave with environmental and social responsibility. What this means is that if Apple fails to participate in community activities and assist charities, then it may face unconstructive public backlash and sentiments that may negatively impact on its financial performance (Vasi & King, 2012).
Investors’ main role is to provide a company with capital required to expand. As such, investors take an active role in setting the strategic direction of a venture, which makes them affect the financial performance of the company. Lastly, the suppliers impact and affect financial performance because they determine the company’s corporate social responsibility.
Controversial Corporate Social Responsibility Concern Associated With Apple
One of the renowned Apple’s corporate responsibility concerns involves Foxconn, which has been the company’s supplier known to violate human rights by providing impoverished working conditions to its employees as well as safety precautions that are limited. Four people were killed in 2010 following an explosion in the facilities of Foxconn, while several other employees were injured in the iPad case room. According to the workers in Foxconn, they worked with no compensation for long hours, while others complained of long hours of standing that impacted their walking capabilities. Moreover, the company was accused of forcing the workers to use dangerous chemicals to clean the screens of iPads (Guglielmo, 2013).
Apple.com. (2017). Environment. Retrieved online on 23rd April, 2017 from https://www.apple.com/environment/
Chen, L. (2015). The World's Largest Tech Companies: Apple Beats Samsung, Microsoft, Google. Retrieved online on 23rd April, 2017 from https://www.forbes.com/sites/liyanchen/2015/05/11/the-worlds-largest-tech-companies-apple-beats-samsung-microsoft-google/#56cfee76a17f
Chittithaworn, C., Islam, M. A., Keawchana, T., & Yusuf, D. H. M. (2011). Factors affecting business success of small & medium enterprises (SMEs) in Thailand. Asian Social Science, 7(5), 180.
Guglielmo, C. (2013). Apple's Supplier Labor Practices In China Scrutinized After Foxconn, Pegatron Reviews. Retrieved online on 23rd April, 2017 from https://www.forbes.com/sites/connieguglielmo/2013/12/12/apples-labor-practices-in-china-scrutinized-after-foxconn-pegatron-reviewed/#2ea87442ba75
Vasi, I. B., & King, B. G. (2012). Social movements, risk perceptions, and economic outcomes: The effect of primary and secondary stakeholder activism on firms’ perceived environmental risk and financial performance. American Sociological Review, 77(4), 573-596.
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