Running head: MANAGEMENT THEORY AND PRACTICE Management Theory and PracticeNam e of the Student:Name of the University:Author Note:
1MANAGEMENT THEORY AND PRACTICEIntroduction: The essay aims an identification of ethical dilemma of Apple that has kept it the newsfor the past few years. Ethical dilemma also termed as moral dilemmas refers to situationswhere a choice is made between two options where neither possesses the power in resolvingthe situation to find acceptance ethically. In February 2016, the chief executive of Apple TimCook took stand for a matter that called for massive public debate (Lee, 2016). However, thedebate around the flagship product of Apple that is the iPhone, swayed in either side of fence.On one hand, the Apple along with its digital rights groups ensures advocating protection ofdigital privacy of the customers while on the other hand the Federal Bureau ofInvestigation(FBI) and US government seeks support from the company in ensuringprotection to national security. Specifically the FBI and US government demanded andsought help from Apple in unlocking the iPhone of terrorist who was involved in a terrorattack in San Bernardino, California. The investigation department recovered the phone froma slain terrorist and its unlocking would provide visual insights not only into the motives ofattack but ensure crucial evidences regarding terrorist activities and networks. The FBI askedApple for building a backdoor for decoding the iPhone thereby implying a newer version ofoperation system software of iPhone. This meant to help the agents of FBI in getting accessto information and unlocking the phone. The CEO of Apple however refused, as it questionedthe company’s policy in protecting digital security and privacy. The essay also highlightsmanagerial ethics and its influences on the managerial practice of Apple. Discussion: In the year, 2015 on December 2, there was a terror attack that took place at InlandRegional Centre in San Bernardino, California that killed that injured 22 and killed 14 people(Nagourey, Lovett & Perezpena, 2015). The FBI had evidence of the fact that attack was aresult of extensive planning and considered it as an act of terrorism. The primary focus of the
2MANAGEMENT THEORY AND PRACTICEinvestigation centred on checking the terrorist travel, phone, computer and other records forascertaining the motive of the attack but all went in vain, as most of the evidences weredestroyed. However, the only evidence that the FBI agents could find was an iPhone. Theinvestigators feared that an attempt in unlocking the phone would completely erase storeddata. This is when FBI sought the assistance of Apple for advice on the best availableinvestigative option without destroying the evidence. In addition, the investigative agencyalso wanted the company to move a step further in helping them unlock the encrypted iPhoneused by the slain terrorist. In other words, FBI wanted the company to build a backdoor to theiPhone. The government’s stance also supported FBI and passed an order that directed Applefor providing technical assistance that was reasonable. Apple however refused as theyconsidered it as moral dilemma and against the policies of the company (Cushman,Sheketoff, Wharton & Carey, 2013).Policies related to customer privacy of Apple driven by chief executive officer TimCook who joined the company in the year 1998 and evolved as one of the most outspokenexecutives of the recent times (Kane, 2015). Under his leadership, the working conditions ofthe factory workers and the suppliers improved that also signified the prevalence of newculture of openness in the company. Apple also undertook certain environmental initiativescriticized by the investors. Tim Cook also stressed on the importance of cultural fit that madehim fire a senior team member who was not a suitable fit for the culture of the company. Thecompany under Cook became more transparent and open. Although he was not able to createthe magic of Steve Jobs, but Apple undertook continuous innovation. Apple howeverresponded to the order of the federal court and FBI as it portrayed a breach of privacy thatundermined the liberty and freedom that the government seeks to protect (Sircar, 2017). Apple considered the decision of a backdoor to iPhone as something that was toodangerous for creation (Peregrina, 2016). The CEO also stressed on the fact that the software
3MANAGEMENT THEORY AND PRACTICEthat FBI asked it to create would possess the potential for unlocking any iPhone under thepossession of anyone. Apple also mentioned that there was no guarantee provided on limitingthe usage of backdoor to a particular case. Apple feared that once created the application ofthe technique could be for unlocking innumerable devices. Moreover, the company alsobelieved that the creation of backdoor would defeat the very purpose of company inencryption. They believed that once the information for encrypting data got revealed it couldbe adopted by anyone. Tim Cook also added that the company has worked harder in keepingaway customer data even from the company’s reach as a part of their policy. However, theethical dilemma company faces lies in the fact that the government asked the company tohack its users that undermined security advancements that company followed in protecting itscustomers from cybercriminals and sophisticated hackers. The same engineers responsible forbuilding stronger encryption in iPhone for user protection ordered to weaken them and makethe iPhone less safe to the users (Mylan, 2017). The management team of Apple and Cook characterized the dilemma as the problemof dirty hands that referred to the condition of making harder moral choices that involveddilemmas of right versus right faced by the management. The moral dilemmas of themanagement represent the clashes amongst the conflicting and different moralities amongstthe different spheres of responsibilities (Bay, 2017). Ethics refers to code of principles and moral values that ensures governing thebehaviour of person or group with respect to what is wrong and right (Goetsch & Davis,2014). Ethics helps in setting the standard in determining what is correct or wrong in theprocess of decision-making and conduct. Ethics refers to the internal values that are part ofcorporate culture and decisions and concerned with social responsibility in terms of theexternal environment. Thus, presence of ethical issue is evident in situations when the actionsof the organization or person are responsible for benefiting or harming others. Though the
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