Apple Company Organizational Structure

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Organizational Design and Structure:
Apple’s Structure
Ciara Smith
MGM 255, Colorado Technical University


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...
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