Apple: Power, Control and Conflict

Topics: Critical theory, Sociology, Organizational studies Pages: 11 (3076 words) Published: February 25, 2013

According to Fortune magazine, Apple has been named the most admired company in the US in 2008, expanding its reputation throughout the world from 2008-2012. However, the popular giant organisation has being critsized widely for it’s contractor labour practices, business practices as well as Apple’s own environmental approach. This essay will analyze Apple in two different perspective theories which will help us understand the practices in a better context; these two perspective will be the modernist and the Critical theory.

The modernist organization theorist thinks that having a grasp over knowledge over how well they understand how and why organizations work the way they do and how their functionality is affected by the ever-changing environmental conditions. Organizational problems are identified so as to come up with more efficient and effective ways for the organization to improve its profitability and have a competitive advantage. In addition, the modernist theorist thinks that successful organizations are able to cope with pressures internally and externally, develop basic competencies, increase productivity and being adaptable to change.

The Critical Theory perspective is actually a somewhat opposite approach of the modernist theory. It is introduced to critique the unfavourable working conditions for the workers in an organisation. Although critical theorists claim it is important to observe and interact with the world, they also believe one must be able to examine and approach problems in order to come up with solutions (Rucker, 2012) Critical theorist also feel that the modernist way consider labour power is a commodity because they use people to to generate financial gains. The critical theory also states that there are unequal power in the workplace where there is control and domination by the managers with authoritative power.

Power,Control, conflict
There are three different theories to power, control and conflict in an organisation. According to (Weber, 2001), he thinks that legitimate power is hidden within hierarchy. For control, it is usually exercised by the organisation and it is assumed that the decision maker agree about organisational goals. Finally, for conflict, organizational decision makers are usually faced with competition, scarce resources, interdependence. This usually leads to the conflicts as the one holding powerful positions would tend to make their own decisions for their own benefits to safeguard their position. This becomes a political behavior by individuals. However, self awareness of the individual would usually lead them to align their interests with that of the company’s that will in turn benefit the organization objectives at the same time.

Modernist theorists hold the concept of control using bureaucratic theories. It makes use of authority to set certain regulations, rules, standard procedures to obtain a certain kind of control over its employees. It also usually engage in differentiation and departmentalization. The modernist theorist strives to improve efficiency and effectiveness at all times by having control on information, surveillance, rewarding of employees and a contract to protect the interests of both sides. Clan control theories approaches are also used to influence employees through group behavior and to establish culture within groups. Finally, they also hold the belief that conflict in organization is counter-productive and should be managed by those in power to maximize performance.

A critical theorist believes in the social, economic and political structures and ideologies play a part in affecting the organisation. It also challenges the owner’s right to profit-favours democracy. It also criticizes the system showing signs of exploitation, domination, resistance and miscommunication. It tries to frees dominated groups and develop more democratic and humanistic forms. It believes that employees of an...

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 Michael T
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