Case Study: Apple's Electronic Message System

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MME 101 CSUBS Sample Assignment 1 – Case Study & Report
By Chris Notsis Unit Co-ordinator, MIBT

The following document was created to act as guide for students. The content is not on the set topic. The aim here is for students look at the logic, structure and layout and understand the principles of report writing and their application. This document is in two parts: an actual Case Study followed by a discussion using a report format. This Case Study is a direct quotation. The corresponding report is entirely this author’s work except where indicated.

Case Study Apple’s Electronic Message System
(Source: Robbins, S.P, Millett, B., Cacioppe, R. and Waters-Marsh, T. 1998, Organisational nd Behaviour: Leading and Managing in Australia and New Zealand, 2 Edition, Prentice-Hall, Australia, p.389).

Electronic mail is a way of life at Apple Computer Inc., the maker of the famous Macintosh computer. Not only do managers use it for saving information, and marketing directors for facilitating product introductions, but e-mail also provides a lifeline for seven groups of Apple employees. These are the so-called affinity groups – gays and lesbians, Latinos, Asians, AfricanAmericans, women, Vietnamese, and devotees of Jewish culture – that use Apple’s Applelink electronic message system to spread the word about meetings, seminars and community events. This is all done with the complete approval and support of Apple’s top management. Apple Computer isn’t the only company to utilize its e-mail system to strengthen ties among affinity groups. Pacific Gas and Electric, Lotus Development, Levi Strauss and Pacific Bell also encourage employees who are members of affinity groups use e-mail as a communication tool. There are no objective statistics on how widespread the use of e-mail by affinity groups is. However, worldwide, e-mail practitioners number at least 45 million. Approximately twothirds of these practitioners have Internet access which enables them to reach beyond their immediate circle of colleagues, thus making e-mail an effective way for people with similar interests to maintain links across companies and national borders. On the plus side, the use of e-mail by affinity groups facilitates communication, strengthens social contacts and promotes workplace diversity. However, it can also build animosity among out-group members. Anti-gay employees at Pacific Gas and Electric, for instance, have used their system to communicate offensive messages to their gay and lesbian colleagues.

This case study is to be used for the hypothetical topic: The Communication Process and the Living Message Please Note: this is NOT the topic for Assignment 1. The report here is also substantially longer than the assignment requires. 1

(Sample title page)

A Report: The Communication Process and the Living Message

Chris Notsis ID: 27424X MME 101 CSUBS Lecturer: Jules Verne MIBT Assignment 1 Due: June 18, 2017


A Report: The Communication Process and the Living Message
By Chris Notsis


The purpose of this report is to explore a range of issues that relate to the Communication Process and the relationship it has to the fact that a message can take on a life of its own, so to speak. As a result, the message can affect the entire communication process in ways that could otherwise not be imagined. This exploration will follow concepts and notions presented in the given case study, titled ‘Apple’s Electronic Message System’ (Robbins et al. 1998, p. 389). These have clear implications that will be considered in the light of various communication theories and models.

This report has found that several significant theories have been longstanding, but a more recent aspect is that of Computer-Mediated Communication. As such, this form will be examined and it will be shown that it has growing importance within the scheme of all communication theories, because it confirms how both the communication process, in...
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