Apple’s Business Examination Paper
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...
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