Business Ethics and Social Responsibility in Samsung and Apple

Senior (College 4th year) ・Business ・Harvard ・5 Sources

Ethical Accountability in Samsung and Apple

In business, ethics are the moral guidelines of companies for handling enterprises in a way that is perceived as right and fair. Many business owners act in accordance with their conscience and decide on the working process using their own religious and moral backgrounds. Companies are assumed to be ethical and work under the leadership of great staff members. Over the past few years, organizations have produced special guidance, codes of conduct to make sure that managers are making the right decisions.

Social responsibility is the business philosophy that emphasizes the need for organizations to behave as good corporate members of the society. Organizations are not merely meant to obey the law but conduct their products as well as marketing activities in ways that avoid causing environmental pollution as well as exhaustion of finite world resources. Some businesses have resorted to behaving responsibly because the managers are partly interested in such behaviors and the organizations are also partly scared of consumer pressure groups, environmentalists, and media. Regardless of whether organizations are forced to sacrifice short-term sacrifices during social responsibility, the move is expected to pay off in the long-run (Michell, 2010).

Apple and Samsung Companies are among those that have been considered to be ethical and tend to observe social responsibilities. In as much as business ethics and social responsibility promise to pay off in the long run, they are accompanied by strengths, challenges, and limitations which should be carefully treated to gain the better of the behaviors. This paper seeks to discuss the strengths, limitations, and challenges of ethical and socially responsible business practice at Samsung and Apple companies.

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Ethical and social responsibility at Samsung Company

Various ethical and socially responsible business practices are done by Samsung Company. First, the company is committed to improving lives of young children under the umbrella of all global philanthropic efforts. The program has assisted in supporting STEM education programs that are strategically significant in the workforce needs of the company. Additionally, the company uses products from the organization’s portfolio in responsible and relevant ways which meet the expressed needs of the educators (Michell, 2010).

Secondly, Samsung considers a partnership with other players in the welfare of societies to ensure better achievement of objectives. For instance, the organization considers partnering with National PTA as well as National Environmental Education Foundation to achieve its objectives of empowering children. Through the involvement of the organizations, Samsung is convinced that the program achieved real community needs which it had hoped to impact. From the company’s point of view, it is vital to understand the sensitivity of parents and teachers to make the program executable in ways that are best connected with the youth who are the target audience (Dempsey, 2011).

Finally, Samsung involves properly orchestrated participation of various relevant particles such partners and children. Some of the participatory activities include writing essays, online voting, and production of videos. The activities ensure that the Samsung support recipients were willing, prepared and eager to put the prices into immediate action.

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Ethical and Social responsibility at Apple Company

Apple Company focuses on supporting local communities. The organization, under the umbrella of Global Volunteer Program which was launched in the year 2011encourages workers to volunteer as much as possible to the local communities. As such about $78 million has been donated to non-profits and charities across the world. In the year 2015, the program was revised to enable workers to choose particular projects in their local communities to contribute to. Secondly, Apple is committed to educating and empowering employees. The company’s educations, as well as development programs, are offered freely by at least 18 factories with more than 280,000 taking part in the training. As such, the organization improves the ability and quality of delivery by the employees not only to the organization but their communities as well.

Thirdly, Apple Company observes Human and Labor rights. It enforces Supplier Code of Conduct, which is considered to be the toughest in the electronics market. The organization has also realized 95% compliance of suppliers to at most 60-hour workweek. Additionally, the organization investigates instances of abuse of foreign workers (Scherer and Picot, 2008). It requires suppliers to reimburse the foreign contract employees where necessary. Finally, the company is committed to ensuring that the health and safety of employees are observed. It has programs that are aimed at improving the health of its employees. Equally, the organization performs regular training and sensitizations on ways of improving quality of health and safety of workers in the institution. When employee health and safety is observed from within, the behavior is extended to the external environment thus promoting good health in the entire society.

Strengths, Limitations, and Challenges of Ethical and Social Responsibility in the two companies


Business ethics and social responsibility offer a competitive advantage to organizations. From the Ethical and Social responsible behaviors by Samsung and Apple companies, consumers learn to trust the organizations as ethical brands hence making them loyal to the companies even during harsh times. Helping other people in the society gives the organizations good reputation in the particular communities. As such, the organizations can bank on their reputations in the communities to push for additional work hence increasing profitability margin.

Ethical and socially responsible behaviors enhance organizational satisfaction. Employees and other members of Samsung and Apple Companies feel satisfied that they have helped the society to a particular extent through ethical and responsible behaviors. The belief that an organization can make a difference in the community makes the two companies attractive to both potential employees and customers since people would want to associate with organizations that offer personal as well as organizational satisfaction (Trong Tuan, 2012). The organizations also get encouraged to strive to achieve more instead of responding to the demands of other people. Ethical and socially responsible behaviors assist in reducing employee turnover, associated costs and improve the attraction of investors as well as shareholders. As mentioned earlier, people like to associate with organizations that have a good reputation. Staff members would not want to move from Samsung and Apple Companies to other organizations that are not practicing business ethics. Similarly, more investors and shareholders would be attracted to the companies because of the long-term promise of higher returns. Since good reputation implies better attraction of customers to the organizations, sales are likely to increase considerably hence improving the profitability of the organizations (Trong Tuan, 2012). Improved profitability signals better earnings of returns by the shareholders and other investors.

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Limitations of Ethical and socially responsible behaviors in the companies

In the current world, there are national and international competitions which are forcing business to act in a particular manner to attain certain goals. Thus, every organisation’s environment is composed of diverse culture; value as well as believes that generate ethical concerns to be a complicated topic. Ethical business concerns are the identifiable concerns, opportunity and situations that need a choice among several actions. It is a given set of goals, norms, values as well as responsibilities that particular members of organisation acknowledge and share. Hence, businesses ethics are founded on the standards of rights as well as wrong which set down what human is supposed to carry on often regarding benefits as well as rights to the society.

In a world of limited resources, uneconomical use of materials is progressively regarded as anti-social behaviour and a matter of diverse geological as well as political constraints. Environmental and civic groups do complain to bring to a stop the demolition of ecological resources. Thus, efficient utilisation of energy gives a lot of advantages to individual business as well as to broader society. Accordingly, a socially responsible organisation will always act in response to public demand for developed efficiency and therefore composed of consumer needs for current and future materials. Organizations are becoming more aware of ethics and having unique selling and advertising proposition in the present business life. Organizations are integrating social responsibility plans into their marketing decisions.

Regardless of having positive impacts on the organizations, the ethical business practices have limitations, particularly in the current business environment. One of the limitations is brought by the costs that the organization incurs in pursuing ethical and socially responsible behaviors (McDonald, 2014). Ethical behaviors and social responsibility are both meant to ensure that the organization recognizes and delivers their responsibilities to the various stakeholders including consumers, suppliers, and communities in which they operate. In as much as proponents argue that there are long-term benefits associated with the ethical behaviors, the initial costs that are incurred by the organizations are too high. Additionally, implementation of ethical and socially responsible behaviors could make the company lose its initial focus on the major objectives that involves making profits. But, since the companies are depending on the customers to make profits, they are obligated to make sure they attract them at all costs (Trong Tuan, 2012). As such, the creation of good reputation through CSR and ethical behaviors still proves to be beneficial.

Ethical business activities by the two companies can minimize their opportunities to increase business profits. The organizations can focus on improving community lives in developing societies rather than setting up operations that increase their abilities to expand. The companies may also consider paying low wages to employees or obtaining low-quality raw materials to create reconciliation between the cost of production and cost of ethical business behaviors. As such products may be of low quality hence making customers to prefer those offered by competitors. When organizations get over-focused on ethical behaviors, they are likely to miss on opportunities that might increase their profitability in the short run.

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Challenges of Ethical and Social responsible behaviors

Identifying that one is supposed to take care of implication of organisation research is a significant step in enforcing social responsibility; however, that is just the first step given that scientists could still challenging ethical questions which regard acting responsibly. One type of ethical challenges connected to social responsibility is coming up proposed research. Accordingly, this is an issue that scientist cannot null given that taking part in study takes at least an inherent approval of its value. Consequently, Non-epistemic values could show or rather have some bearing on the resolution to conduct or not carry out certain types of research.

For instance, the physicist including engineers who participated in Manhattan Project experienced challenging moral questions regarding their participation in nuclear weapon research. And same challenges are experienced by other companies such as Apple Inc. Most of them carried out that research out of a sense of moral responsibility to assist the war exertion. However, they as well were in need of promoting the peaceful application of nuclear energy. Therefore, a social scientist that is considering whether to research the responsibility of race, as well as genetics in intelligence, should address associated implications for racial discrimination. The issue of selection also comes up with value issues for study sponsors as well as institutions. Hence, the government sponsors have to decide whether a research plan merits funding. As observed earlier, government institutions often reflect on not only the scientific design of a given study but also the social implications.

One of the challenges of ethical and socially responsible behaviors by Samsung and Apple Companies is associated with the huge number of stakeholders that are involved. In as much it is the role of the business to take care of its stakeholders, it is not always easy to achieve it. When practices ethical business behaviors, the organization deals with several stakeholders which makes it easy to assess the different activities done by the stakeholders. For instance, the companies may contract suppliers who are using forced labor to produce raw materials that the company buys. Secondly, business ethics lower the ability of a company to maximize its profits (McDonald, 2014). The practices that assist in improving lives of people in the society reduce the ability of the companies to maximize profits.


Ethical practices and social responsibility are good practices that should be encouraged in the business world. Samsung Company and Apple Company are some of the companies that are reputable for practicing ethics and social responsibility. The practices have strengths, limitations, and challenges which influence their utilization in the companies. The paper has described strengths of business ethics about reputation and long-term profitability associated with social responsibility. Again, the limitations and challenges associated with the practices include increased costs, reduced profitability of organizations, and large numbers of stakeholders as well as inability to manage the practices of the stakeholders promptly. The strengths and benefits of ethical and socially responsible behaviors are more than the challenges and limitations that are associated with the same behaviors. More organizations should be encouraged to engage in such practices to improve quality of life in the society.

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Dempsey, P. (2011). News analysis: Life after Steve Jobs: however will Apple manage without him?.Engineering & Technology, 6(9), pp.20-21.

McDonald, S. (2014). Social responsibility clusters arising from social partnerships. Social Responsibility Journal, 10(2), pp.331-347.

Michell, T. (2010).Samsung Electronics and the struggle for leadership of the electronics industry. Singapore: Wiley.

Scherer, A. and Picot, A. (2008). Business Ethics and Corporate Social Responsibility: Challenges for Business Administration (Unternehmensethik und Corporate Social Responsibility: Herausforderungenfuer die Betriebswirtschaftslehre). SSRN Electronic Journal.

Trong Tuan, L. (2012). Corporate social responsibility, ethics, and corporate governance.Social Responsibility Journal, 8(4), pp.547-560.

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