Case Analysis Apple, Inc.

Topics: Steve Jobs, Apple Inc., Timothy D. Cook Pages: 6 (1249 words) Published: December 4, 2014

Case Analysis: Apple, Inc. (Case Study)
Unit 1
Rolf Vonderheide
Kaplan University
GB520 Strategic Human Resource Management
Professor Steven Cates
November 11, 2014

The purpose of this case analysis is to answer the following question as it relates to Apple, Inc. “What is strategic management and why is it crucial to the success of an organization in meeting its goals and mission?” Strategic Management refers to the set of decisions and actions used to formulate and implement strategies that will provide a competitively superior fit between an organization and its environment so as to achieve organizational goals (Daft, 2014). In other words, strategic management is what an organization needs to do to thrive—and not just survive. It also involves taking the long-view in conjunction with the near and present view. As this case study has pointed out, Apple, or more specifically Steve Jobs, was an expert at peering into the future while also providing products that met current consumer wants and needs. Background

Apple was created in 1976 by Steve Jobs and Steve Woziniak. Jobs made it Apple’s mission to bring an easy to use consumer computer to market and in 1978, launched the Apple II. Apple quickly became the industry leader selling 100,000 Apple IIs by the end of 1980 (Yoffie & Slind, 2008). Things changed drastically for them in 1981 when IBM entered the personal computing market. With the introduction of competition from an ever growing number of companies, Apple’s share of the market declined considerably over the next few years. They were able to maintain their premium prices on their high-end models due to a loyal fan base though, but cheaper models meant wide spread availability—and more sales, and the competition was beating them to that punch. As a result, Apple’s gross margin dropped to its lowest point in 10 years in 1993 (Yoffie & Slind, 2008). After muddling around for a few years between the years 1985 and 1997 without Steve Jobs at the helm of Apple, he returned in September of 1997 and was able to reinvent and reinvigorate Apple by shifting away from its primary computing business—yet still maintaining it—and introduced a wide variety of tech savvy products such as the iPhone and the iPod. By 2008, Apple was back on top, enjoying a greater market value than any of the competition. Issue

The issue appears to be, what does Apple need to do to maintain its competitive edge, and how does it maintain the “changing the rules” sort of innovation beyond Steve Jobs? Steve Jobs’ vision has been Apple’s impetus for change and success. Yet he was very secretive and all of the creative ideas where channeled through him causing bottlenecks. According to Fredrick Allen (2011), “Steve Jobs’ structure violated every rule of management. He was not a consensus-builder but a dictator who listened mainly to his own intuition. He was a maniacal micromanager.” Course of Action

It is folly to assume that, given the success of Apple, that there isn’t already a strategy in place. They have found their success as a team, and since 1997, Steve Jobs—and now Tim Cook—have continue to nurture a culture of innovation. With that said, there are some aspects of the process for strategic management that could help them maintain their current goals and mission. These are: 1. Create a mission or purpose statement that is specific, and helps define Apple’s unique goals and ambitions. This statement will help set the course for the organization into the future and define the role that each employee will play in achieving that. 2. Analyze the environment. This is a continuous process and Apple has done a fair job so far at this. They have partnered with companies such as AT&T; they continuously look to buy out smaller companies that may either compete with or enhance their current line of products; and they are not afraid to seek outside help, such as when they hired Angela Ahrendts from Burberry, a...
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