Example Of Apple Inc.: Organizational Culture And Change Essay
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The effectiveness of an organizational culture is overly salient to the success of any organization. Apple Inc emerges as the most valued company in the world. This colossal success is no attributed to serendipity; rather, the unique organizational culture adopted by Apple Inc. Established in 1976 by Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak, Apple Inc has its headquarters in Cupertino, California. Despite the current success that the company relishes, it has had its fair share of challenges since its establishment. The company started off as a producer of Apple computers and performed well not until 1984 when the company was caught up in financial grimness, as well as power struggles. As a result, Steve Jobs was forced to resign as the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Apple Inc. However, in 1997, Steve Jobs was called back to the company to help salvage the company from its deteriorating situation, although serving as an interim CEO. Subsequently, Jobs made major alterations to the organizational culture and structure, and the declining sales of the company began to ameliorate. What followed is that Jobs was made the CEO in 2000 and immediately introduced the IPOD, a digital music player. This move presented a turning point for Apple Inc and MacBook and iTunes, an online music store, are some of the inventions that are accredited to Jobs (Apple Inc. Website). In fact, the share price of the company was $3.30 in 1997 but by 2011, the share price had gone up to $339.87 (Daniels Fund Ethics Initiative, 2011). In this paper, the organizational culture of Apple Inc., which has been very essential to the success of the company, will be analyzed with a keen interest on how the environmental factors impact the company, as well as the manner in which the company embraces change.
The idea of secrecy is overly salient to the organizational culture of Apple Inc. The company upholds a culture of secrecy both externally and internally. Similar to many companies, Apple Incuses the concept of external secrecy to bar its competitors and the rest of the world from replicating its unique innovations. On the other hand, the internal secrecy culture of Apple Inc. has seen many employees get fired for leaking out novel tidbits to the outside world. What is more is that the company goes to an extent of giving misleading information about new products to its employees with the intent to bar leaking of essential information to outsiders. Secrecy has been central to the corporate culture of Apple such that those employees involved in making top-secret plans are expected to pass through a labyrinth of security doors, swipe their badges from one point to another, before keying in a numeric code that grants them access to their offices. Besides, work areas are always monitored by security cameras in order to ensure that employees only authorized areas and do what is expected of them (Colt, 2014). This level of secrecy is unmatched and has proved beneficial to Apple Inc.
However, the internal secrecy of Apple Inc has received great criticism. Opponents claim that by limiting the amount information that employees of Apple Inc can have access to leads to excessive tension throughout the company. As a result, the employees are not motivated to be dedicated to being productive in their tasks because they feel like the company does not believe in them. The employees focus their attention into attempting to know what the company is hiding from them due to curiosity. Otherwise, this energy would be used in a more beneficial manner. In addition, the company has been engaged in several legal battles in regards to secrecy and many of the cases, Apple Inc has lost and paid large bailouts (Edwards, 2013). In essence, the image of the company becomes dampened.
The evangelism concept is also integrated into the corporate culture of Apple IncOrganizational evangelism involves the Panoptic promotion of the products of a company. In fact, Apple Inc had the head evangelist who was only required to circulate the Apple’s message and earn support for the same. To ensure that the concept of evangelism is effective in the operations of the company, Apple Inc chooses evangelists from its loyal customer base, who in return convince other people to buy Apple products because of the strong believe they have in the company (Daniels Fund Ethics Initiative, 2011). Consequently, the company commands a greater market share as compared to its competitors.
The concept of change comes forth as an integral element of the organizational culture of Apple Inc as well. The corporate culture is made unique by the fact that the company embraces a flat structure. It means that the mundane bureaucratic layers are eliminated in order to effectuate change across the company without having to get approval from many people. The idea is that if employees are given the discretion to make decisions on their own, they will be motivated and responsible for their actions rather when they have a boss who micromanages each action they take (McShane, Travaglione and Olekalns, 2009). The result is that changes are reacted to more promptly, as well as the general growth of the company is enhanced. Besides, the company culture emphasizes that rather than adhering to the normal working schedule, 9.00am to 5.00pm, Apple Inc focuses on doing things the right way by being committed to providing a working environment that is innovative, collaborative and fast-paced (Daniels Fund Ethics Initiative, 2011). Intrinsically, the company intends to provide both challenges and benefits to its employees so that it can draw in those employees who can assimilate into the corporate culture.
Customers are of primal importance to Apple Inc, and this is the reason the corporate culture is structured in such a way that it portrays the value of customers to the company. Retail employees are chosen for their ability to be compatible with the corporate culture. It is evident in the company’s retail stores where customers are spoken to within the first two minutes of their visit. In addition, customers are offered with Apple products to experiment on before making a decision to make a purchase. The motivation of the retail employees stems from the corporate culture that necessitates extensive training and compensation for the employees relative to stores that are alike. The organization's culture also encourages students to take up internship stints in the company before taking them up as their employees (Daniels Fund Ethics Initiative, 2011). By so doing, the loyalty of customers and employees to the company intensifies.
Apple Inc’s corporate culture considers the environmental implications of its operations and responds accordingly. For instance, the concerns of employees are aggregated with environmental concerns. In a bid to be friendly to the environment, the company offers its employees with a transit incentive for those who prefer to use public transportation. The free employee shuttles commute between the train station and the headquarters in Cupertino. Uniquely, all these shuttles are powered through bio-diesel. Apparently, this incentive trivializes the degree of greenhouse gases emitted to the environment, as well as fuel costs for the employees who are beneficiaries of the program. To boot, Apple Inc organizational culture has the environmental concerns at heart such that it employs renewable energy in all its power centers and all its products surmount the ENERGY STAR guidelines in its bid to reduce cut down on its carbon emissions to the atmosphere (Apple Inc Website). This comes forth as a further reason for customers to be loyal to the products of the company since they consider them to be environmental friendly.
Conclusively, since Apple Inc. was founded, the company has had its fair share of success and scrambles as well. However, the longevity of the successes attributed to the corporation culture adapted through the company. Secrecy emerges as the central element of the company’s culture and has aided in keeping the Apple Inc.’s innovations under wraps. On the flipside, secrecy has worked against the level engagement of employees and thus de-motivating them. Also, the legal battles have been detrimental to the image of Apple Inc. In addition, the concept of evangelism is also very important to the company such that enthusiastic customers and employees spread the word to the products of Apple Inc. and thus brings about new loyal customers. The company also embraces change in its organizational culture by adopting a flat structure and not adhering to the normal work-hour schedule so that changes are made with immediacy. The retail customers receive adequate training and compensation in order to serve the customers better in various retail stores. Of primal importance is that the company tries to achieve a balance between its operations and environmental conservation. In fact, employee shuttles are powered by bio-diesel energy and Apple Inc. emerges as the only company that employs renewable energy in all its operations. Besides, its products surpass the requirement of ENERGY STAR. Indeed, the power of a corporate culture irrefutable as it has been demonstrated in the success of Apple Inc.
Apple Inc. Website. Accessed 9 February 2015 on <https://www.apple.com/au/environment/>
Colt, S. (2014, July 26). Everything You Need To Know About Apple's Culture of Secrecy In
One Paragraph. Business Insider. Retrieved from <http://www.businessinsider.com/secrecy-at-apple-2014-7>
Daniels Fund Ethics Initiative. (2011, June 6). Apple Inc.’s Ethical Success and Challenges.
Albuquerque, New Mexico: University of New Mexico. Edwards, J. (2013, October 9).What Apple Employees Say about the Company's Internal
Corporate Culture. Business Insider. Retrieved form <http://www.businessinsider.com/what-apple-employees-say-about-the-companys-internal-corporate-culture-2013-10?op=1>
McShane, S. L., Travaglione, A., & Olekalns, M. (2009). Organisational behaviour on the
Pacific Rim. North Ryde, N.S.W: McGraw-Hill, pp. 89-290.
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