Apple’s Business Examination Paper Becky Wilson LDR/531 October 3, 2012 Dr. David E. Ferguson Every Organization or business has to have organizational structure in order to succeed because it prioritizes the hierarchy, identifies the guidelines, policies and procedures needed for a company achieve goals and objectives. The Organizational structure also depicts levels of management from the top down. The organization that I would like to work for is Apple Inc. In this essay, I will give a brief overview of the company’s history, define it organizational structure and effects it have on the success of the organization, distinguish between leadership and management, describe the culture and the core capabilities which lead to Apple becoming the most powerful company in the nation.
Company History Apple Computers Inc.
, was established by Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak in 1976 with the release of the Apple computer. In 1977 Apple Computer Inc. became incorporated and successful until 1984 when things took a turn for the worst because of financial hardship and power struggle between leadership which lead to Steve Jobs resignation; however, he remained the Chairman of Apple Computers Inc. In 1997 Jobs and Wayne reunited, and Jobs became the interim Chief Executive Officer (CEO), and quickly made changes to the organizational structure, which reversed its declining sales. In 2000, Jobs became the CEO of Apple Inc. and introduced the IPOD, a digital music player which sold 100 million units, which was the turning point for the company. Mr. Jobs was the brain of Apple, known for creating the Ipod touch, Ipad, Mac Book and an online store called Itunes. Organizational Structure Prior to the return of Steve Jobs, Apple Inc, was almost non-existent due to the lack of leadership and management, declining sales and poor strategic planning, which lead to financial hardships and layoffs. The same “top-down” ideology that helped Apple grow also opened the door for some serious financial losses.
With employees at different levels making decisions, it became difficult for the corporate office to keep track of spending and purchasing (Offermann & Spiros, 2001, pp 376-92). Upon returning to the company, Steve realized immediately that there were serious issues within the organizational structure and things needed to be changed. He decided to departmentalize the company, creating three main divisions; engineering, retail and hardware. Each department was designed based on their product and functions.
By departmentalizing the company, each manager would be held accountable for their own department, productivity and employees. Departmentalizing the organization consisted of combining various structures which allowed for consistency and unification. This model proves to be an efficient and effective way for Apple to operate because it enabled of Steve’s to transform the organizational structure, which resulted in Apple becoming the front runner of innovation and the most powerful company in the nation. This is a model that other large companies would love to emulate.
Leadership and Management Leadership is a term that has many definitions; however, when defining leadership within Apple Inc. , two definitions caught my attention; Gary Yukl defines leadership as “the process of influencing others to understand and agree about what needs to be done and how to do it, and the process of facilitating individual and collective efforts to accomplish shared objectives” and leadership is about “articulating visions, embodying values, and creating an environment in which things can be accomplished. ” (Richard & Engle, 1986, pg 206).
Steve Jobs definitely defines leadership, because he was directly responsible for every aspect of the operation, products and services. He is also known as an enthusiast because he was able to motivate, incorporate his values and beliefs, and excite his team about technology and to share in his vision which would move the company forward. He created an environment where all employees felt as if they had a sense of belonging and added value to the company. Mr. Jobs was known for influencing all every employee in the organization to work cohesively to achieve a common goal.
Today, Tim Cook is the CEO and has assumed the duties and responsibilities previously held by Steve Jobs. The managers are responsible for managing the day to day operation; assigning tasks and making sure tasks are done correctly, efficiently and in a timely manner. Mangers are directly involved in the decision making process, which contributes to the success of the organization. Managers has to define goals and designing a strategic plan to obtain goals, directing, motivating and encouraging team to achieve personal and professional goals, and monitoring the performance of the organization.
Henry Fayol wrote that all managers perform five management functions: planning, organizing, leading, controlling and coordinating, however today all are relevant except coordinating. Management’s ability to perform the five functions of management is one of the main ingredients to the success of Apple. Organizational Behaviors According to Henry Mintzberg, there are five P’s of strategy (plan, ploy, pattern, position and perspective), and each “P” stands for a different approach to strategy and by understanding each “P”, a company can develop a robust business strategy and take advantage of the company’s strengths and capabilities.
The main strategies of Apple are to concentrate on the company’s strengths to create positive performance in order to achieve objectives and goals. Mr. Jobs has strategies are built on upon the following core capabilities; focusing on customer service, managing human capital, taking advantage of and capturing every opportunity, financial assets and the competition. These core capabilities create values and cause employees to achieve superior performance. Compared to the competitor, Apple’s technology far exceeds that of the competitors and management is always planning and developing new ideas.
The pattern for Apple is to take old technology and make it better. Apple’s position is to continue training employees to be innovative, create unique products and stay ahead of the competition. The skill set required by leadership is to take advantage of and capture every opportunity is one of the main functions of leadership because they are responsible for understanding how and what external trends and forces may affect the company, then decipher the information to build scenarios and develop strategies.
The culture within the organization is based on self-motivation has also aided in the success of the company because they all share the same values and beliefs. Leadership and employees are self-motivated; understanding, compassionate, committed to delivering good products and ensuring customers are satisfied. Conclusion Steve Jobs was the brain behind Apple Inc. , because of his ability to create a unique organizational structure and willingness to adapt to change has made Apple the most successful organization in the nation.
His leadership style was that of a dictator, yet he was able to encourage his team to work cohesively to achieve goals of the company. Apple’s organizational structure is departmentalized into three categories, engineering, hardware and retail. This unique structure allows managers to be responsible tasks, production and employees within department. Apple is a successful company because Mr. Jobs was able to create a vision, share his vision and influence his team to buy into his vision.
Managers are responsible for directing, motivating and encouraging team to achieve personal and professional goals, and monitoring the performance of the organization. If a manager cannot perform the four functions of management, the company will not be successful. References Apple Inc. , Organizational Structure (2012). Retrieved from http://apple. com/governance Offermann, L. R. & Spiros, R. K. (2001). The Science and practice of Team Development: “Improving the Link. ” Academy of Management Journal, Vol. 44, pp 376-92. Retrieved from http://www. cribd. com/doc/31119712/Organizational-Culture-at-Apple Richards D. ,& Engle S. (1986). After the vision: suggestions to corporate visionaries and vision Champions. Retireved from http://egpa-conference2011. org Robbins, S. P. & Judge, T. A. (2011). Organizational behavior (14th ed. ). Retrieved from https://ecampus. phoenix. edu/content/eBookLibrary2 Yukl, G. A. (2010) Leadership in Organizations (7th ed. ). Retrieved from https://ecampus. phoenix. edu/content/eBookLibrary2 https://ecampus. phoenix. edu/content/eBookLibrary2/content/eReader. aspx
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