Ethical, Legal and Social Issues of Blackberry

Executive Summary

Blackberry Limited operates in diversified communication services where it operates in North America, Asia, Europe, Latin America, the Middle East, and Africa.  Operating in these areas exposes the company to ethical, legal, and social issues. To boost success in such a diversified industry, the company should diversify the systematic risks of ethical, social, and legal aspects. Therefore, the current work will lay insight into Blackberry’s ethical, social, and legal factors explored from the strategic objectives of the company. The marketing performance will also be monitored, and control strategies identified. 

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Blackberry Company has been facing a myriad of challenges in its operations due to inefficiency in leadership and cutthroat competitors from emerging companies like Samsung and Apple Inc. Nonetheless, the company has adequate resources, which will be beneficial to regain its market share and give it a competitive advantage. One strategic objective is formulating a group of competent leaders with knowledge and skills to operate in a highly competitive and dynamic market. The role of the team is to ensure Blackberry produces unique products and services by focusing on core business drivers. For desirable results, the team will focus on QNX and devices business, messaging, and enterprise services with a business model for each unit. 

The second strategic objective is to increase the company’s image. One way to attain this is to diversify its platform to service delivery by collaborating with key players in the mobile market. For example, Blackberry established collaborative measures with its rival Samsung through software like WorkLife and SecuSite. Due to its operation in varying environments, Blackberry is influenced by external factors to which it has no control. The effects of these factors will be assessed by exploring the ethical, social and legal issues of Blackberry.

Ethical Issues

Generally, smartphone companies face challenges in their products with each attempt to lead the market where they face sustainability problems with competitors like Nokia, Motorola, LG, HTC, iPhone, Samsung, and others. According to Clarke (2008), ethical consumerism is the exercise of buying goods and services, which are produced ethically and do not have a harmful effect on society and the environment. Nonetheless, a majority of smartphone companies are not fully ethical. as many of their components are sourced from different regions, which are not ethically considerate. 

Blackberry observes ethics by ensuring that they permit only legitimate businesses. For example, Blackberry prohibits the use of the company’s assets to support outside businesses, charitable, or political interests. Due to the political and legal issues identified by countries like UAE and China on security, Blackberry can monitor the use of its gadgets to ensure they are in line with a Code of Business Standards and Principle (BS&P) (BlackBerry Limited, 2018). Another ethical aspect of Blackberry is that it is committed to maintaining a safe and healthy environment for everyone. 

Legal Issues

Currently, Blackberry faces a friendly political environment in North America, which is conducive for its business operations in the country. North America is a major market for Blackberry due to the increasing use of smartphones, which increases the application of feature phones. Irrespective of the conducive political environment for Blackberry, the company faces various legal suits from PACid, MSTG, Visto, and Motorola due to infringement of patent rights (Sampson, 2011). 

Due to the prospective threats of Blackberry in terms of security, some countries like the UAE and China are banning the company from selling their devices in their country. According to Sampson (2011), Blackberry is secure in nature a feature that makes it hard for the government to monitor calls made by its residents. In terms of legal issues, BlackBerry faces threats since the lawsuits are expensive and demands a lot of money. The resources used would have been beneficial in other areas of the company. Terminating Blackberry services in China and UAE would make the company lose this market. According to Rocha (2014), Blackberry eases communication and accessibility of the internet. 

Social Issues

The market of Blackberry is greatly influenced by social factors. The use of smartphone and related software and systems has increased among the population due to the idea of people networking. Another social influence is the growing culture of people with a desire to apply most secure devices. The demand for secure devices will increase marketability and increase performance as it will uphold the confidentiality of their information. Nonetheless, the anti-social groups may uphold negative attitudes towards Blackberry gadgets. This would result in negativity among the members. In return, the performance of the company would be negatively affected.

The increased use of smartphones is an opportunity for Blackberry to utilize the market. The company can exploit the holiday months like November and December to make the high sales. The opportunity of Blackberry phones and other services are well known in terms of security. This poses the company at an advantage against its competitors. Therefore, the security aspects of Blackberry products and services are a competitive advantage for the company. 

Market Performance

One of the challenges that faced Blackberry is the hardware business as it needed high capital and consumed more cash flow in comparison to the profit margin. Inspiringly, Blackberry has adopted a new market of generating software the ‘Enterprise of Things’ (EoT) with roles to secure, connect, mobilize, and improve productivity. The company has increased its performance from secure productivity through the creation of a more seamless ‘secure workforce productivity’ strategy. This is attained by rebrands from Enterprise Mobility Suite to Unified Endpoint Manager where it operates beyond tablets, laptops, and iPhones, to other intelligent endpoints like connected cars and wearables.  

The company has moved beyond its Enterprise Mobility Suite, by giving licenses to its versions of secured Android to the manufactures where it allows consumers to easily integrate its applications. BlackBerry is widely known in all its operating regions with cybersecurity issues.  According to BlackBerry (2015), the company has attained certifications from FedRAMP and Agency/Component Authority to Operate (ATO) through the consultation services of Cybersecurity Operations Center (CSOC). Rocha (2014) argues that Blackberry has a competitive advantage in terms of security. The success can be based on the fact that BlackBerry has its own personal information, management applications, BlackBerry Messenger (BBM) Enterprise SDK, AtHoc networked crisis communication, instant messaging, its Workspaces file sync and share, and ISV partner application.

Conclusion

Blackberry operates in a highly competitive market in the IoT segment. Nonetheless, the company is highly competitive in formidable leadership teams and securing the strategic objectives is a baseline to increase the market performance of the company. Additionally, Blackberry faces challenges in its global networks as it is unable to afford to drain on resources if it fails to enhance the value of its software assets. All in all, as a multinational company, BlackBerry is positioned in a pendulum where it can either succeed or fail depending on where it sways. 

References

BlackBerry. (2015). BlackBerry unveils cloud-based Internet of Things platform. Retrieved from https://www.blackberry.com/us/en/company/newsroom/press-releases/2015/blackberry-unveils-cloud-based-internet-of-things-platform

Clarke, N. (2008). From ethical consumerism to political consumption. Geography Compass2(6), 1870-1884.

Rocha, E. (2014). BlackBerry to Broaden its Cross-Platform Strategy. Reuters. Retrieved from http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/03/01/us-telecoms-mwc-blackberry-idUSKBN0LX1NY20150301Sampson, N. (2011). Strategic Audit of Research in Motion. State University of New York. Retrieved from http://digitalcommons.brockport.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1027&context=honors

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