Introduction: In this paper I will discuss the six key elements of an organization’s structure as well as identify and diagram 1 organizational structure that can be applied to Apple. I will also, analyze 1 strategy that seems to be working well for Apple and 1 that needs improvement. Additionally, I will discuss how the organizational structure will help reinforce what is working well and what needs to be improved. The six key elements of an organization’s structure are:
Work Specialization, Departmentalization, Chain of Command, Span of Control, Centralization and Decentralization, and Formalization. Work Specialization is dividing work activities into separate job task. Individual employees “specialize” in doing part of an activity rather than the entire activity in order to increase work output. Departmentalization is how jobs are grouped together so work gets done in a coordinated and integrated way.
Chain of Command is the line of authority extending from upper organizational levels to lower levels, which clarifies who reports to whom. Span of Control is the number of employees a manager can efficiently and effectively manage. Centralization and Decentralization Centralization is the degree to which decision-making takes place at upper levels of the organization Decentralization the ability of lower level employees to provide input or actually make decisions
Formalization is how standardized an organization’s jobs are and the extent to which employee behavior is guided by rules and procedures. Apple’s Organizational structure begins with the Board of Directors who oversees the Chief Executive Officer and other senior management in the competent and ethical operation of Apple on a day-to-day basis and assures that the long-term interests of shareholders are being served. The upper management of Apple essentially dictates how the rest of the company will be run and operated from its employees to the jobs that they perform.
Apple’s upper management consist of Tim Cook (CEO), Scott Forstall (Senior Vice President iOS Software), Jonathan Ive (Senior Vice President Industrial Design), Ron Johnson (Senior Vice President Retail) Bob Mansfield (Senior Vice President Mac Hardware Engineering), Peter Oppenheimer (Senior Vice President and Chief Financial Officer), Philip W. Schiller (Senior Vice President Worldwide Product Marketing), Bruce Sewell (Senior Vice President and General Counsel), and Jeff Williams (Senior Vice President Operations). Schroeder, 2011) Apple’s corporate culture is one that is not easily obtainable, Apple purposely keeps its inner workings such as how a company with more than 50,000 employees and with annual revenues approaching $100 billion grow 60% a year or how it keeps making hit after hit a secret because according to Tim Cook CEO when asked by an Wall Street analyst about Apple’s long-term business plan he stated “that is part of the magic of Apple”, and he doesn’t want anyone to know or to copy their magic (Poletti, 2011).
Apple’s previous structure under the late Steve Jobs was on the levels of formalization where strict rules and standardization were set in place for everyone to follow but now with the change in management comes a change in the structure and the new CEO, Tim Cook seems to be a little more down to earth and I believe the new direction for the company will be more on the level of chain of command and work specialization.
Tim likes to communicate with his employees and get a feel for how they feel about the direction of the company while at the same time standing firm in what he sets out to accomplish. Work specialization focuses on meeting a daily output goal and all the employees are specialist in the area they work within. Given the size of Apple and the amount of employees they have as well as their ability to produce so many products and majority of those products are successful it would take a organizational structure like work specialization to have a good outcome.
Being a leader in technology in an era such as this where almost everything we do involves some form of technology it is very important that Apple stays on top of things by constantly looking for creative ways to upgrade the products and services they already offer, along with creating new products and services that quench the desire of those who are techie as well as those who just like to have new gadgets.
One of the strategies Apple has used to help make them a success lately has been using the media and relying on them to announce Apples new products and their reviews of how well and efficient their products work to do the majority of the marketing for them. Along with using the media Apple also relies a lot on product placement. Allowing their products to be showcased by stars and in movies and television shows. On the other hand there is one area that can use some improving and that is with their mobile devices.
Since Apple just stepped into the mobile arena they have to spend a lot of time and money on research in order to stay ahead of the competition. With all the resources they exhaust developing their mobile devices they cannot afford for them not to do well once they are put on the market. With the new structure of Apple I believe that the company will continue to do well and flourish. Tim Cook’s background is extensive and he is very secure in his new position as CEO and he is very confident in his ability to carry out Steve Jobs Vision for the company at the same time incorporating his own ideas.
Tim Cook is doing things a little different than Steve Jobs and both the company and its employees agree that the change is well needed. Tim is spending more time in meetings that other CEO probably would not waste their time attending and he is spending time with his employees, eating lunch in the employee cafeteria and talking with them one on one, listening to their needs and desires they have of Apple.
All these things matter in a company no matter how big or small a company is, it should make efforts to know the staff it has working for them. I also believe that if Apple were utilize an organizational structure such as work specialization they may be able to reduce initial cost of creating their mobile device because they would in turn hire people experienced with mobile devices and who specialize in that area of technology to help them create new ideas and images for their mobile device.
Edwards, J. (2012,August 5). Apple’s Biggest Marketing Secret was Revealed In Federal Court Business Insider
Retrieved from http://www.businessinsider.com/apples-biggest-marketing-secret-just-got-revealed-in-federal-court-2012-8
Lashinsky, A. (2012, May 24). How Tim Cook is changing Apple CNN Money
Retrieved From http://tech.fortune.cnn.com/2012/05/24/apple-tim-cook-ceo/
Lashinsky, A. (2011, August 25). How Apple works: Inside the world’s biggest startup CNN Money
Retrieved From http://tech.fortune.cnn.com/2011/08/25/how-apple-works-inside-the-worlds-biggest-startup/
Poletti, T. (2011, January 18). Wall Street blows chance to question Apple Market Watch
Retrieved From http://articles.marketwatch.com/2011-01-18/commentary/30733312_1_gene-munster-major-strategic-decisions-apple
Schroeder, S. (2011,August 25). Apple’s Post Jobs Org Chart
Retrieved From http://mashable.com/2011/08/25/apple-executive-profile/