This research provides arguments on the beneficial and damaging effects of planned obsolescence within the wider context of profit creation. Using a case study on the use of the process by Apple within their iPhone allowed for practical evidence of how and why planned obsolescence is used. Combining these findings with academic literature, allowed me to analyse the use of planned obsolescence by Apple using two key frameworks: Carroll’s pyramid of corporate social responsibility and Mackey’s four tenants of conscious capitalism. From there, drawing on literature from key areas of business practise, including ethics, morals, shared value and value perception in order to arrive at some conclusions. Firstly, planned obsolescence is arguably a damaging business practice, as the use of it inhibits the ability to uphold good corporate citizenship and practice conscious capitalism. Secondly, the reduction of profit maximization and increase of shared value and stakeholder integration could benefit both business and society, helping to end un-fair business practices like planned obsolescence and allow free market capitalism to provide for more members of society.
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