Understanding Organisations -Apple Inc














Apple Inc. is a multinational company which designs, manufactures and retails in a wide range of consumer electronics, computer hardware and software, online services and mobile devices. Among the company’s online services include cloud computing, App Store, iTunes Store, iWork and iLife. The company is renowned for its innovative smartphones, such as iPhone and tablet computers, such as iPad. Its Mac computers are highly competitive in the market (Mallin & Finkle, 2011, p. 64). The ability of the company to become highly innovative and competitive in the consumer electronics, computing and mobile phone markets is attributed to its effective organizational structure, leadership, and culture and business strategies. This essay presents an analytical discussion of Apple’s organizational goals, structure, design, leadership function and culture with a view of demonstrating how they have allowed the company to remain a business leader in the highly competitive markets.

Apple’s core organizational goal is to design innovative products that will make it the world’s leading producer of personal computers and the associated professional software. In order to achieve this goal, the company conducts regular market research in order to understanding the changing market trends in technology and the emerging tastes and preferences of consumers, including the needs of business organizations. It is through this understanding that the company is able to align its production processes to the needs of the users of its products, which is the prerequisite to customer satisfaction and consumer loyalty (Donaldson & Joffe, 2014, p. 40). Apple also aims at producing and providing revolutionary online services and developing mobile phone devices that meet the divergent needs of consumers within its market segments (Datamonitor, 2011, p. 8).

The effective use of resources to achieve highly efficient operations is another important goal that drives the success of Apple. The company ensures that it develops effective relationships with its suppliers in order to promote the overall efficiency of its supply chain. It is through this that Apple is able to meet the increasing demand for Mac computers, smartphones and consumer electronics in both the local and global markets (Sohmen, 2015, p. 12). Apple’s management understands that its success is attributed to the creativity, innovativeness and commitment of its employees. This is the reason why the company is committed towards the provision of a safe, interesting and rewarding work environment for its employees (Apple Inc. SWOT Analysis, 2012, p. 5). Flexible working conditions, effective reward systems and meaningful relationships are the main goals of the company for its workforce. Such strategies allow the company to build a highly motivated workforce, which promotes productivity, financial performance and reduces employee turnover (Johnstal, 2013, p. 6).

Any successful organization is based on a strong and appropriate organizational structure (Ryan & Currie, 2014, p. 16). It is on the basis of this understanding that Apple operates on a collaborative organizational structure, which enables it to promote collaboration and integration of its operational functions. A collaborative structure is implemented with a view of supporting teamwork and enabling employees to work towards the company’s shared objectives and goals (Johnstal, 2013, p. 7). Through the collaborative structure, the company’s management functions and business activities are aligned with its unique way of doing business, regardless of their location within the global market. The interaction of the company’s business functions within the collaborative structure is aligned with the system theory of organizational structure, which proposes that the various systems of an organization are interrelated units, which must interact and work in harmony or collaboratively with a goal of achieving shared goals (Liu, 2013, p. 2830). Apple’s business functions, such as design, engineering, manufacturing, research and development and marketing interact and collaborate in order to focus on the company vision and mission (Apple Case Study, 2012, p. 8). These functional areas should also interact with the external environment in order to align their activities with the changing technological, cultural, economic and political environments.

Organizational design refers to the guided and formal process of integrating information technology, human resources and management functions to promote operational efficiency (Chungyalpa & Bora, 2015, p. 74). Apple’s organizational design matches its business strategy of innovation, its people, vision and the changing technological environment. It is through effective organizational design that a company is able to focus on the desired outcomes that it must accomplish in order to become successful and competitive. The organizational structure within Apple is designed in a manner that its production, management and service delivery functions are focused at reaching out to more customers and penetrating into new markets (Burrows & Greene, 2010, p. 104). This is the basis of the company’s high profits. The decision making processes are also designed in a manner that they are not limited by the organizational structure. This is depicted by the company’s implementation of a consensus approach to decision making, which facilitates the process of making decisions and solving problems in the efficiency that allows it to survive the changing and challenging economic and technological environments.

Apple’s corporate or organizational culture and leadership play critical roles in defining its success within its markets (Mallin & Finkle, 2011, p. 67). The company’s organizational culture is guided by the value for simplicity, innovation and quality. These values define the company’s working culture in the design, production and delivery of its products and services to the market. The company values quality because of its role in providing its consumers with value and allowing them to achieve a high level of satisfaction. Innovation allows the company to manufacture its products in a cost effective and environmentally sustainable manner, while achieving the desired quality and the preferences or changing needs of its consumers (Apple Inc. SWOT Analysis, 2012, p. 6). Employees within the company are allowed to make risks in implementing personal projects, which contributes positively to the company’s overall innovativeness and creativity in the delivery of highly competitive information technology products and consumer electronics.

The transformational and transactional leadership theories can be used to define the leadership approaches and styles within Apple. The transformational leadership style of the company’s founder Steve Jobs still resonates and influences the leadership style that is currently implemented within Apple (Apple Case Study, 2012, p. 4). Through transformational leadership, a company’s executives and management team are able to communicate its vision with effectiveness and influence the workforce to commit their efforts towards the achievement of this vision and strategic objectives or goals (Shafie, Siti-Nabiha & Cheng Ling, 2014, p. 32). A combination of transformational and transactional leadership approaches within Apple allows its management team to achieve a high level of motivation among its employees. This is depicted by the good working relationships that characterize Apple, attractive compensation packages, teamwork and collaboration in the adoption and implementation of projects.

The important role of effective leadership, appropriate organizational design and structure, rewarding working culture and management strategies for the success of a company is evident from the Apple Inc case study. A company should ensure that its business culture is motivational to its employees in order to ensure that high levels of productivity and financial performance are achieved. Collaboration and integration of an organization’s operational units is another important factor for business success in a competitive market. More importantly, a company should understand the changing economic, social-cultural, political and legal environments. This is important because it allows a company to align its business activities to suit the changing external environment and ensure that it survives and retains its business leadership. Effective leadership styles and models and adherence to corporate social responsibility obligations are other important considerations for business success.





















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