Type of paper: Essay

Topic: Steve Jobs, Apple, Company, Workplace, Employee, Strategy, Leadership, Management

Pages: 10

Words: 2750

Published: 2020/11/17

[Student’ Name]

Abstract

In today's challenging world, several organizations are required to focus upon various issues faced within the organization. They need to work upon the issue of strategically positioning the organization in a given market scenario. The HR Department needs to focus upon various issues, and hence, they need to prepare strategies for the same. In this report, it will include the case of Apple Inc. It will then provide recommendations on rewards and performance practices, leadership styles to be followed, solving the issues of workplace conflicts, discussing on the organizational structure and recommending on the same, and finally working upon the issue of organizational culture. Thus, it will help Apple Inc to take care of issues discussed in this report and it can then take steps to improve upon this situations.

Introduction

Strategic management may be defined as the science and art of evaluating and implementing the functional decisions that enable a firm to achieve its goals (Porter & Heppelmann, 2014). Strategic Management is also known as the Strategic Planning. It is all about maintaining and gaining competitive advantage (Porter & Heppelmann, 2014). According to David (2011), strategy is the scope of an organization for a long time period, which will help an organization to achieve its goals in a given changing and competitive environment.
The strategic marketing management analysis of Apple Inc. primarily emphasizes on the portable computer segment with deliberation of the importance of past and future variations. Apple utilizes and implements the models that have a close alliance between the academic researchers and industry practitioners. Apple has been constantly trying to find out the needs of their target audience and are accordingly, implementing various models for their various activities.
This report will provide recommendations on following areas so that Apple Inc can improve itself and can achieve more goals in the future. They can make their strategic position stronger as compared to the other competitors in a given industry and thereby, continue to be the market leader.

Strategic Positioning of Apple Inc

Strategic positioning is the manipulation to create a positive cognizance in the customer’s mind (Mullins, 2010). If a product is well-priced and well-positioned, it will definitely have stronger sales volume. While, on the other hand, poor positioning leads to bad sales and an uncertain status. A various number of marketing tactics within the whole firm are involved in strategic positioning and place their product in the market effectively. The company should think about the positioning the product only after considering the needs of their consumers.
It is due to this reason that, Apple has been focusing on its brand name and developing the brand image through marketing tactics so that people can buy the products only in the name of the brand. The organization has been linking the strategic positioning plans directly with the marketing tactics to spread awareness and make people familiar with the different Apple products.

Rewards and performance practice

Apple Inc. is one of the biggest companies around the world, and fortunately enough it has happy employees. The company offers different reward systems that it has adopted from other big companies and some, which are very unique to Apple only. The company used to be shy about appreciating and rewarding its employee under the management of previous CEO, Steve Jobs. But over the years things have changed at Apple Inc., especially under the leadership of Tim Cook.
Cook believes in flexibility, and appreciating employees, as they deserved to. The company rewards employees when they have performed greatly, and even their efforts should be counted. Rewards are a mixture of discounts, bonuses, raised salaries, promotions, paid vacations, time off at work, etc. All these perks, along with sense of belonging to a big company have generated a pool of happy employees that are vital for Apple’s on going success.
According to the research conducted, it is evident that Apple Inc is a great company, but it requires major improvement to their motivation and reward system. The research indicates that the company working environment is not comfortable and does not satisfy the employee needs. Therefore, this paper recommends that the company provides a relaxing working environment that will ensure employees obtain maximum job satisfaction (Muller, 2014).
Additionally, a more relaxing environment will assist employees to cultivate their creative and innovative ideas to reach the companies goals. Such an environment can be obtained by placing rest rooms that are equipped with massage chairs and have site doctors. The company can also provide private communication facilities that will help employees sought their personal affairs. For example, there are some facilities provided by Google. Apple Inc that creates a relaxing environment to employees by reducing the stress associated with a task accomplishment.
Moreover, the culture at Apple Inc of secrecy discourages employees’ motivation and reduces their work productivity. Therefore, it is vital that Apple Inc should give their employees with an opportunity to explore the whole operational process of the company. For instance, the company should allow its employees to take part in different departments and assess their how they function and operate; this will inspire employees and increase their enthusiasm towards their jobs (Cooper, 2012). It will also offer give them an opportunity to learn skills that relate to their departments.
Lastly, it is evident that Apple Inc is more focused on workers work commitment rather than cultivating a good social relationship among employee. It is a must that the company should improve the social relationship in the workplace through team building and other exercises that can bring employees together such as annual dinners.

Leadership style

Different companies have different structure when it comes to their leadership and style. Although when it comes to structure, Apple Inc. has Board of Directors, Presidents, cice Presidents and a CEO. Nonetheless, the company does not believe in too many managerial positions and input; rather has been functioning under the supervision of one leader for many years.
Steve Jobs, former CEO of the company was the main decision maker for many years. He made his demands very clear to members working on each level and department, and did not accept mistakes. After Jobs’ death, Cook has adopted a similar leadership style and currently has the lead role in making decisions for the company.
In order to more competitive, Apple should move from transformational leadership to strategic leadership that will outline the organization path to accomplish its objectives. Strategic leadership will pave way for a strategic decision making process within the company and this will promote a great potential profits for the company.
Through, effective decision making process the leaders will acquire, organize, and build their resource capacities. Additionally, this kind of leadership will ensure that effective problem solving strategies are implemented in the organizational culture so as to resolve conflicts that may arise. Lastly, the strategy will ensure smooth running of operations in different departments and enhance work productivity leading to organizational success (Arnerson, 2011).
It is recommended also that Apple should move to a task culture from a power culture. Task culture offers greater level of the employee flexibility, increased speed in decision making and create a significant room for employee innovation and creativity. Additionally, the new Apple CEO needs to promote the integration of the task culture in determining the organizational culture. Tim cook needs to implement a proactive approach that within the company and communicate its values to employees and stakeholders.
He should also assume the role of a change agent to ensure that task culture is a success in the organization. Nevertheless, it is vital that the creativity and innovativeness of the company should be preserved for future benefits. Therefore, this new leadership style should seek to promote the company’s innovativeness and integrate its principle to the company corporate culture (Katezenbach, 2013).

Work place conflict

Conflict can be defined as a difference of opinion on a given subject matter. People associate conflict with negative emotions, which is true for the most part. Unless and until people can convert conflict into something positive, conflict works to bring out negative in people. Unless people try to resolve the conflict, work actively to find a solution, it can physically, emotionally and intellectually drain people. Apple Inc. has run its business in a unique way for many years. For years and years, Steve Jobs, former CEO of the company was the sole decision maker for the company. Current CEO is not much different than Jobs. Therefore, many state that there was often no room for disagreement with the managers, no opinions were welcomed. Therefore, often employees kept their opinions to themselves.
The research conducted in Apple Inc indicates that the organization lacked a framework to deal with conflicts in the work place. Steve Jobs was a dictator and he had a final say to most decisions that run the company (McShane, 2013). Therefore this report outlines the following conflict management styles to be implemented in the company in regard with the type of conflict at hand.

Avoidance

This is conflict style in which the involved parties or groups pretend everything is fine and they are not interested to find a solution. They may feel that the situation at hand is not a serious problem and it is not their personal obligation to solve it. This style can be used in issues that are not important as it provides a good solution. On the contrary, it is a style that does not solve any conflict and it can finally lead to a bad working relationship between employees.

Accommodation

This is a conflict management style that is more co-operative, one party accepts that the other party is correct because they do not want to start an argument. It is a good style to manage conflicts, but, the submissive party could lose their ideas and not be able to express their concern.

Compromise

Compromise is a middle level solution in which persons involved in a conflict agree to come up with a solution. It involves two people bargaining and it is a very effective method that does not produce negative outcome.
The style allows people to compete in order to persuade other parties to follow their ideas. It is a strategy that can create bad relationships between people if one person is trying to achieve their goals at the expense of others. Moreover, it is an effective approach of one party has moral objections to the alternatives they strongly oppose (Stimson, 2011).

Leadership and organizational structure

Leadership is diverse and controversial topic that has many different styles. Steve Jobs was the turning point for Apples success. His leadership styles influenced how the company was run and how ideas were implemented. Steve Jobs was thought to have a transformational leader style, combined with his charisma and top –down approach to decision making to get Apple to where it is today. The leadership style of Steve Jobs had its advantages and disadvantages. The organization structure implemented in Apple is a collaborative structure that allows for innovation and idea gathering among the different team members at Apple.
Indeed, the Apple corporate culture has dysfunctional areas that need to change so that the company can remain competitive and sustainable in this modern generation and plagued economy. Therefore, it is recommended that company should replace the individualistic work approach and make it a team approach.
It is also evident that Apple Inc corporate culture is not sustainable as it imposes long working hours for its employees. Therefore, the company should enact more flexible hours to its employees that will improve their work productivity and give them a good work and life balance, a good work-life balance reduces employee stress, it raises their morale and increases their job performance (Salleh, 2013).
Lastly, it is considerable that the company makes succession plans that will align with the job health conditions. The company should groom other executives to lead the company and bring fresh new ideas. A succession plan can build a strong confidence to the management as it can still function when Tim leaves and the company will still perform in a credible manner. Thus, the management would be able to shape their employees behaviour and determine the best strategies that will implement a successful business strategy and model (Salleh, 2013).

Organizational culture and 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 Inc uses 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.
However, there are major draw backs in the company corporate culture because it utilizes a unique and very challenging corporate culture. The culture major advantage is that it creates the capacity of creating high standard products that attract talented people in their business. On the other hand, the culture main disadvantage is that there is no transparency of information and it has long working hours compared to other companies. Therefore, the following recommendations should be put in place:

The company should provide more transparent information to investors and stakeholders.

Transparency of information will improve the quality of product and help cultivate major ideas and suggestions to employees to better their services.

It will also help the company better understand the needs and wants of the customers in the target market.

Secondly, the company should reduce its working hours to a maximum of forty hours so as to help its employees relax their minds and produce great ideas (Anonymous, 2011). Thirdly, the company should have multiple senior executives so as to allow them to effectively monitor the company’s activities as opposed to having one senior executive. Lastly, it is vital that the company should treat all the employees in the same manner to aid in the success of the organization and attract more people (McShane S. L., 2009). Additionally, this will encourage employees to appreciate their job and increase their work productivity.

Impact of changes in the external environment on a marketing strategy

The idea of strategic change gives rise to certain questions about the reason for strategic change in Apple Inc. Hence, the need arises for recognizing the external factors of strategic change that can directly impact their overall strategy. These factors of change could include increasing competition, emergence of new players, rapid growth of the online businesses, change in the demographic profiles of all the customers, and specific market response (Brow, Bessant, & Lamming, 2013). All these factors can directly impact the net sales volume for Apple (DuBrin, 2013). Hence, Apple again needs to focus on their marketing strategies that will prevent the decrease in their sales.

Conducting Internal Analysis

SWOT Analysis
At Apple Inc. the following results were obtained by following the procedure of SWOT analysis as shown in the below figure:

SWOT Analysis

Source: Importance of SWOT Analysis In Your Marketing Plan by Nishadha Silva. Provided in TweakYourBiz.com website:

Strengths

Apple Inc. always aimed for a particular range of customers.

Their market research tactic plays an important role in the marketing campaigns and promotional events.

Apple Inc. is always clear about the quality product that they deliver.

Weakness

Apple’s biggest weakness is the high price tag, due to which it is unable to capture several untapped markets all around the world. Their management approach sometimes seems to be stringent.

Opportunities

Apple Inc. can easily tap the untapped markets of Asia and Europe to a larger extent.

They are way behind in sales volume as compared to their competitive organizations.

Threats
There are certain external factors that should be kept in mind that could lead to increased unemployment and high rates of competition in the market.
Apple has been facing the issues of increasing competition for new players and inappropriate working practices within the organization leading to higher attrition rates (Griffin & Moorhead, 2014).

Conclusion

Apple Inc. has succeeded heavily due to the adaptability as per the customer needs and a high range of marketing techniques implemented through various Internet resources and advertisements (Kouzes & Posner, 2008). Apple Inc. has followed the 7Ps Model and SWOT analysis, because of which they have successfully capitalized on the internal strengths by providing the customers the quality as expected by them. They have been formulating their marketing strategies as per the changing needs and requirements of the end consumers, due to which they are able to provide the necessary response (Gold, Thorpe, & Mumford, 2010).
Having analyzed the case of Apple Inc., it can be concluded that, all the organizations should carefully consider their objectives and then focus upon developing their strategies. Apple Inc needs to work upon the recommendations provided so as to sustain their place of market leader in a given industry. They need to learn the aspects of change management, so that they can adapt as per the changing needs of the environment and their customers. In this report, various recommendations have been provided with a view to improve upon the different challenges and issues. It will help Apple Inc to continue to be the market leader in a given industrial scenario.

References

Arnerson, S. (2011). Bootstrap leadership. Manchester: Springer.
Brow, S., Bessant, J. & Lamming, R. (2013). Strategic Operations Management. New York: Routledge.
Cooper, S. (2012). Make more money by making your employees happy. New York: Springer.
Katezenbach, J. (2013). The Steve Jobs way. New York: Springer.
DuBrin, A.J., 2013. Leadership: Research Findings, Practice, and Skills. Boston, Massachusetts: Cengage Learning.
Gold, J., Thorpe, R., & Mumford, A., 2010. Leadership and Management Development. London, UK: CIPD.
Kouzes, J.M., & Posner, B.Z., 2008. The Leadership Challenge. San Francisco, CA: Jossey-Bass.
McShane, S. &. (2013). Organizational behavior. New York: The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
McShane, S. L. (2009). Organisational behaviour on the Apple. New York: Macmillan.
McShane, S. L., Travaglione, A., & Olekalns, M. (2009). Organizational behavior on the Pacific Rim. North Ryde, N.S.W: McGraw-Hill.
Mullins, L.J. (2010). Management and Organizational Behaviour. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall.
Nolan, G. J. (2004). Top down vs. bottom up. Journal of Performance Management, 56.
Salleh, M. &. (2013). Organizational leadership - the strategic role of the chief exec. Journal of Leadership, Accountability and Ethics, 156.
Stimson, T. (2011). Managing conflict. New York: Springer.

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