Donna Dubinsky Apple Computers

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Social Network and Influence

Donna Dubinsky built an excellent social network with her subordinates. She willingly fought for them and they really appreciated her. It helped her to maintain strong trust and relationship.


But she failed to build good network with higher level management. Dubinsky had lots of confidence and conviction in her belief. She was very direct and not intimidated by upper management. She was not very political. She didn’t go out and sell her idea to upper management. She interacted with top executives through Roy Weaver and Bill Campbell. There was little trust between top executives and her.

On the other side Steve Jobs had extensive influential network. He was chairman of the board that helped him to build strong social network. When he proposed that existing distribution system should be dismantled and replaced by JIT method, it gathered momentum quickly and support throughout of the company. Jobs influenced Scully and Debi to get their support. Jobs also had external network with Fred Smith which enabled him to better understand and quickly propose JIT method.

Steve Jobs proposed new distribution process would transfer many responsibilities away from distribution manager. Dubinsky believed that this process would be practically and financially unworkable. Dubinsky’s poor networking to top executives made the conflict worse. She criticized Coleman’s proposal without here own. Dubinsky relied only on her own judgment and maintained strong connection with Weaver and Campbell but not with other top executives.

Better social network among top executives and middle level managers should have avoided this conflict. Steve jobs and Debi Coleman supported the proposed distribution change. Dubinsky believed that the changes proposed by Jobs were a mistake. There was no direct social link between Donna and top executives such as Steve Jobs and Debi Coleman, Sculley. There was no...
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