Free Custom «Foxconn Case Study: A Look at Ethics in the Global Marketplace» Essay Sample
Globalization is an increasing trend in the business world. It has led to significant changes both in the market and production areas. For instance, globalization has enhanced the sourcing of goods and services from different locations around the globe, so that various countries and companies can take advantage of the factors of production. Further, it has led to the expansion and unification of global markets. However, despite the positive changes globalization has brought, there are negative effects of this phenomena as well. Besides, globalization has led to emergence of sweatshops. These are business entities that are characterized by poor working conditions, low wages, overworking, and negative employer-employee relationships. Therefore, based on these characteristics, the sweatshops should be closed down at any economic costs.
Foxconn is a manufacturing company in China that produces and assembles electronic components. Due to its successful performance, Foxconn has managed to secure deals with big companies, such as Apple (Vicente-Flores, 2014). However, the company manages to meet the demands in terms of a satisfactory design capacity, fast volume capabilities, and efficient consumer service due to the implementation of sweatshops. For instance, the demands from Apple that Foxconn should produce the white iPhone without slowing down the production of the normal types created high job-related stress (Vicente-Flores, 2014). The employees were already facing horrible working conditions such as low labor costs and overworking. Consequently, most of the employees who could not endure the working conditions of Foxconn resorted to suicides. Thus, it is evident that the management at Foxconn exercises unethical practices since it is concerned with meeting the demands in the supply chain at the expense of the wellbeing of the employees (Vicente-Flores, 2014). Furthermore, no legal step has been taken regarding the employees who committed suicide while working for the company. Instead of treating the employees as the most valuable resource, Foxconn has ignored their wellbeing (Vicente-Flores, 2014). Therefore, the unwillingness to improve the working conditions and raise wages should be used as the major reasons to close down Foxconn and other sweatshops despite their ability to conduct mass productions and attract foreign investments.
There are many reasons why sweatshops should be closed down at any economic costs. On the one hand, sweatshops such as Foxconn have attracted significant foreign investments. However, sweatshops gain profits due to the exploitation of the workers. Moreover, these entities do little to improve the working conditions at its facilities (Vicente-Flores, 2014). For instance, if Foxconn decides to address the issue of low wages, the company will be forced to make its new contracts with Apple more expensive. Consequently, Apple will have to increase the prices of its products or choose another firm for cooperation. Thus, if Apple chooses another company, the business activities at Foxconn will be affected severely (Vicente-Flores, 2014). Therefore, rather than lose a major source of foreign investment, Foxconn has chosen to exploit its workers to keep its business agreement with Apple. As a result, the wages and working conditions will remain horrible, which could lead to more cases of suicide (Vicente-Flores, 2014). Hence, instead of losing more lives due to exploitative economic terms, it better to close all sweatshops without considering their market position, since the life of a human being is the most valuable asset according to the ethics perspective.
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In conclusion, despite the need to get a source of livelihood, employees should not be forced to work under unbearable conditions that may lead to suicide attempts. The main reasons to close sweatshops are poor working conditions, low wages, overworking, and negative employer-employee relationships. In addition, the government should not encourage malpractices that hurt its citizens simply because the activities of a specific company are contributing significantly to its GDP. In this case, labor laws and regulations will protect the rights of workers. Finally, as globalization continues to expand, international companies should stop caring only about profits and try to eliminate unsafe working environments.
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