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Apple’s Organizational Context, Case Study Example

Pages: 7

Words: 1888

Case Study

Introduction

In the simplest terms, context is understood as the environment or background in which an organization is based and operates in. The setting or background, in this case, means the organizational culture of the organization, ranging from the structure to the way of doing things in the internal and external environment. Initially, organizational context is established by leaders through a declaration of vision, mission, purpose, standards, and values. They also create a shared understanding and commitment to these aspects.

An organizational context encompasses several aspects that all aim at impacting change and success in an organization. Organizational change is regarded as a building milestone for organizational efficiency and survival. Organizations can efficiently respond to opportunities, develop, and compete if they utilize and implement creative concepts from their employees and other stakeholders. Therefore, it is not surprising that most organizations are based on contexts that entail innovation and creativity as ways of promoting success and accomplishment of the set organizational goals. This paper will look into the organizational context of Apple Inc. analyzing the fundamental aspects that characterize its context and a proposal of a new setting that it can apply to improve its operations and enhance success.

Apple’s Current Context

The context of Apple Inc. is based on organizational culture for creative innovation. The cultural aspects of the company concentrate on maintaining a significant degree of innovation that encompasses creativity and a mindset that is challenging to the standards and conventions. The organization is reliant on cultural coherence and support, which determine the level of competition and leadership in the industry, especially in dealing with fast and vast technological inventions and development of products. The aspects below are the main attributes of the corporate context of Apple.

Prime Excellence

The culture of Apple encompasses a culture of recruiting only the most qualified employees in the industry’s labor sector. Steve Jobs is well recognized for his tendency to fire staff members who failed to meet the company’s expectations, a tradition that still went during the leadership of Tim Cook. This culture promotes an organizational setting that appreciates, enhances, and calls for top-notch excellence from the members of staff (Gonin, Palazzo, and Hoffrage, 2012, p.35). This aspect tends to be institutional in Apple’s company such that the firm has designed specific programs to reward and recognize the degree of excellence among employees. Excellence, in this case, is seen as a significant factor in business success, precisely in the development and design of products, which is a common strategy of growth.

Creativity

This cultural aspect encompasses new ideas that assist in improving the organization and its products. The management team at Apple advocates for creativity among the workers’ skills, knowledge, and abilities (Krapfl, and Kruja, 2015, p.30). This attribute of the organizational context helps the form to ensure enough creativity, mainly among the members of staff involves in the design and development of product procedures. This kind of creativity is evident in the company’s model of Macs, iPhone, iPads, and other products in the company’s marketing mix that comprises of the 4Ps. In reference to this, the context of the organization enables it to maintain its ability to satisfy the preferences and expectations of customers.

Innovation

The organizational context of apple advocates for rapid innovation. The firm is regularly recognized to be among the most innovative firms globally. With this aspect, the organization motivates and educates its staff members to be innovative in their execution of roles and contributions to the procedures of product development (Backer, 2013, p.808). The organizational setting promotes continuous innovation, which forms the core of the company’s operations. Rapid change helps the firm to continually come up with new and more efficient products that are more attractive and profitable to the market segment or the target consumers.

Secrecy

Apple’s CEO, Steve Jobs, adopts secrecy as part of the organizational context. This aspect continually defines the development of human resources in the company. Confidentiality forms part of the firm’s ways of reducing theft of intellectual property or proprietary theft. It is also used as a strategic approach that helps the organization to increase its leading edge in the face of competition (Biggio and Cortese, 2013, p.19823). Through this aspect, employees are required to keep any type of information about the business within the firm, an element that is reinforced through employment agreements, organizational policies, and rules. Based on this, the firm’s context helps in safeguarding the enterprise from organization espionage and adverse impacts of staff poaching.

Moderate Combativeness

The corporate context of Apple embraces a reasonable degree of combativeness. Steve Jobs was recognized for his tendency to randomly challenge the staff members to make sure that they are competent enough to work for the company and help in meeting its objectives (Friesl, Sackmann, and Kremser, 2011, p.82). Nevertheless, in Tim Cook’s leadership, the firm has been shifting its organizational culture to a less combative and more friendly one. The corporate context of Apple registers a significant combativeness level that leads to issues aimed at promoting the productivity of employees.

New Context Proposal

The corporate context of Apple comes with numerous challenges due to the emphasis on moderate levels of combativeness and secrecy. Secrecy, in this case, appears to hinder rapport among the staff members. Combativeness, on the other hand, tends to lower the motivation and morale of the employees (Chen, Yang, and Lin, 2013, p.1972). These contextual issues are capable of reducing the effectiveness and efficiency of the business and promote a high turnover of the employees. The company can respond to these challenges by modifying its organizational context to lower the combativeness. This approach will be aimed at reducing the demerits of combativeness without doing away with the positive aspects of combativeness om the firm. Moreover, Apple needs to come with a new overall corporate contest that keeps the firm relevant to the emerging trends in information technology, consumer electronics industry field, cloud services, and distribution of digital content. Apple Inc. needs to adopt a new context that will bear the following aspects to enhance its success.

Expansion of Distribution Networks

Apple Inc. is capable of expanding its channels of distribution. Such an opportunity is directly linked to the company’s weakness in a limited distribution network. An extensive network to distribute its products can enable the company to reach more consumers in the world market.  Through these networks, the company can easily employ aggressive marketing to attract significant numbers of consumers for their innovative products (Theeboom, Beersma, and Van, 2014, p.17). This will also enable Apple to identify the needs of consumers and the existing gaps in the industry.

Higher Volume of sales

This aspect comes along with the fact that there is a rising demand for electronics and improved products (Dean, Beggs, and Keane, 2010, p.55). This creates a chance for the company to generate massive profits by employing the right strategies of marketing, identifying the right market segment, and ensuring that employees are motivated to work and take the firm to the next level in the global market.

Development of New Product Lines

The company is in the position of exploring new lines of products. Although innovation has enabled the company to register remarkable success in the industry, Apple can go out of its way to identify other customer needs and design product lines that suit meet their expectations, for instance, the case of Apple watch (Heracleous, 2013, p.95). The development of new lines of products is likely to support the growth of Apple in the global market.

Excellent PR department

Public relations is a significant determinant in the success of a company since it determines how the public perceives the company. If Apple outwardly cares for its consumers, this can never be seen from its department of public relations. Readers rarely do not realize that Apple ignores requests from writers who cover the products and events of the company. The firm gives information to individual friendly writers who republish the firm’s statements. Apple also minimizes access to its new devices and events to people that will not be precisely crucial (Backer, 2013, p.810). In this new context, if Apple still claims to be virtuous, it has to clean up its primary interface with consumers, which is the department of public relations. Rather than utilizing shills and fanboys to distribute information, Apple requires an excellent working public relations department that responds and looks out to a wide variety of people. It also requires a just approach of giving access to new products and events to journalists with different opinions. Having a more transparent and responsive context will result in significant media coverage and fewer lawsuits from frustrated and misguided consumers.

Conclusion

Each organization bears its extraordinary personality, just like people do. This unique personality of a firm often referred to as the context, is an invisible force that impacts the behavior of the firm’s members. Organizational context is shaped by the assumptions and values shared in the firm. These two aspects have a significant influence on the people in that particular firm and determine how they perform their roles in accomplishing the organizational goals. Each firm formulates and keeps a unique context that offers boundaries and guidelines for the conduct of every member of the organization. In Apple Inc., organizational context is one of the success factors that they focus on. It dictates the capabilities to support changes, new ways of approaching the market, and new policies.

Apple Inc. concentrates on maintaining an employee-friendly environment, which can lead to substantial results. If the company has to remain innovative, it needs to ensure that the employees are motivated. The firm needs to adopt the proposed new context whereby it pays attention to the distribution network, Volume of sales, improvement in the PR department, and development of new lines of products. Moreover, Apple needs to do away with the issue of secrecy as it has proved to be detrimental to the progress and success of the firm. Finally, the question of combativeness needs to be dealt with in a way that it will be reduced or eradicated for good.

References

Backer, L.C., 2013. Transnational Corporations’ Outward Expression of Inward Self-Constitution: The Enforcement of Human Rights by Apple, Inc. Indiana Journal of Global Legal Studies20(2), pp.805-879.

Biggio, G., and Cortese, C., 2013. Well-being in the workplace through interaction between individual characteristics and organizational context. International journal of qualitative studies on health and well-being8(1), p.19823.

Chen, Y.M., Yang, D.H., and Lin, F.J., 2013. Does technological diversification matter to firm performance? The moderating role of organizational slack. Journal of Business Research66(10), pp.1970-1975.

Dean, K.L., Beggs, J.M. and Keane, T.P., 2010. Mid-level managers, organizational context, and (un) ethical encounters. Journal of Business Ethics97(1), pp.51-69.

Friesl, M., Sackmann, S.A., and Kremser, S., 2011. Knowledge sharing in new organizational entities: The impact of hierarchy, organizational context, micro-politics, and suspicion. Cross-Cultural Management: An International Journal18(1), pp.71-86.

Gonin, M., Palazzo, G., and Hoffrage, U., 2012. Neither bad apple nor bad barrel: How the societal context impacts unethical behavior in organizations. Business Ethics: A European Review21(1), pp.31-46.

Heracleous, L., 2013. Quantum strategy at apple inc. Organizational Dynamics42(2), pp.92-99.

Krapfl, J.E. and Kruja, B., 2015. Leadership and culture. Journal of Organizational Behavior Management35(1-2), pp.28-43.

Theeboom, T., Beersma, B., and van Vianen, A.E., 2014. Does coaching work? A meta-analysis on the effects of coaching on individual-level outcomes in an organizational context. The Journal of Positive Psychology9(1), pp.1-18.

Zheng, W., Yang, B., and McLean, G.N., 2010. Linking organizational culture, structure, strategy, and organizational effectiveness: Mediating role of knowledge management. Journal of Business Research63(7), pp.763-771.

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