Sample Management Coursework Paper on Zhong

Zhong

            The issue of employee exploitation has been around for decades, with the recent culprit being Apple Inc. It is reported that conditions in overseas Apple’s factories are so bad that some workers commit suicide. The workers earn low wages such that it would take them more than two months’ salary to purchase the cheapest iPad (Cooper). Moreover, others are required to work for 24 hours per shift, which they spend mostly standing. The issue comes at a time when demand for the firm’s products is soaring.

Utilitarianism is geared towards maximizing the good for all the parties involved (Anderson). In the case of the Apple factories, the utility (good) of the shareholders and customers is maximized at the expense of the plant workers’ as evinced by the poor working conditions and low wages. Shareholder wealth is maximized by charging high prices for products and maintaining costs at a minimum. The shareholders may, however, forego some part of their wealth with these funds being used to improve the wage rate and improve workplace conditions.

            Keeping the employees happy will have a spillover effect on product quality. When they work overtime for up to 24 hour a day, their productivity reduces and this has an impact on quality. Productivity is directly related to employee happiness and motivation. It is thus expected that by improving working conditions and increasing wages, employees will be motivated, and churn out higher quality products for the customers. This will consequently occasion a higher demand for the products, leading to increased profits for the shareholders. As Bentham pointed out, the summation of the units of pain and pleasure for everyone affected by an action can measure the overall good of an action. In Apple’s case, channeling some funds towards improving worker conditions produces happiness for everyone.

Works Cited

Anderson, Kerby. “Utilitarianism: The Greatest Good for the Greatest Number.” n.d. tripod.com. Document. 11 June 2015. <http://jeromekahn123.tripod.com/utilitarianismtheethicaltheoryforalltimes/id15.html>.

Cooper, Rob. “Inside Apple’s Chinese ‘sweatshop’ factory where workers are paid just £1.12 per hour to produce iPhones and iPads for the West.” 25 January 2013. dailymail.co.uk. Electronic. 11 June 2015. <http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2103798/Revealed-Inside-Apples-Chinese-sweatshop-factory-workers-paid-just-1-12-hour.html>.