Organizational Structure of Apple, Inc.

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Organizational Structure Paper
MGT230
6/19/2012
Sylvestor Taylor

Organizational Structure Paper
The organizational structure of the company can determine how successful the business is run. Organizational structure refers to the inner workings of the company such as decisions being made. This can be determined either by hierarchy or departmentalization. Apple is a company that has a successful organizational structure determined by Steve Jobs who passed in October of 2011. Apple’s organizational structure is a combination of both vertical and horizontal. Apple’s infrastructure has been molded and molded again to fit the needs of the huge multi-billion dollar company.

Apple began as a small business in 1976 with Steve Jobs and his partner Steve Wozniak by building computers in the garage of Job’s home. After successfully selling the Apple I, Jobs knew that he wanted to create a huge corporation. Through the years job perfected his ideas of how the company should be ran as leading CEO. Jobs was a part of every decision ever being made up until his passing. The type of organization structure that Jobs has created within Apple is the vertical structure with characteristics of a horizontal structure. The vertical structure consists of hierarchy with decisions being made from the top. “He's a corporate dictator who makes every critical decision -- and oodles of seemingly noncritical calls too, from the design of the shuttle buses that ferry employees to and from San Francisco to what food will be served in the cafeteria” (Lashinsky, 2011). No decision being made is without the CEO’s approval and input.

Apple has a very consistent way of doing things which has made them very successful. Before Steve Jobs passed they had a system. The system required that all upper level management positions were required to go through Steve Jobs for approval of any and all decisions. The top management positions include; COO, CFO, legal, design, hardware, iOS software, operations, retail, software engineering, product marketing, and global communications. Each of these high management positions is in charge of different departments where the employees of these departments report back to them. The different departments broken down yet again include but not limited to; global communications from different parts of the world with each different country having their own department reporting back to the global communications manager, iPhone and Ipad marketing and internet services reporting back to the product marketing manager, and other different departments that report back to various other department managers (Clark, 2009).

According to Management: Leading & collaborating in a competitive world by Bateman and Snell, Apple’s internal structure clearly depicts key fundamentals of an organizational structure with differentiation, integration, specialization, and division of labor being the key ingredients in the way Apple’s organizational structure is run (Bateman, Snell, 2011). Although these are the key ingredients to any organizational structure with the way all decisions being made come from the top and each different manager reporting back to Jobs’ hierarchy is clearly in place here. Apple’s organizational structure is centralized. A centralized organization is “An organization in which high-level executives make most decisions and pass them down to lower levels for implementation” (Bateman and Snell, 2011, p.285). Steve Jobs and even now with the newly appointed CEO Tim Cooke make all the decisions are a part of every aspect of Apple from the creative process to customer service.

Apple’s organization structure is that very similar to other companies. Two such companies that have similar structures would be Microsoft and Dell. Microsoft’s organizational structure is broken down like that of Apple’s with a board of directors, than senior management which is broken down into different functions with each having its own...
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