Apple Company is among the most well-managed organizations in the U.S. This corporation has supportive administrative and leadership teams that are always ready to teach, guide, and inspire both new and existing employees, a strategy, which has contributed hugely to its remarkable organizational culture and performance. According to Haslam et al., Apple’s financial success is associated with its outstanding management that has helped to tap the available resources, including human capital, with a view to creating value while at the same time strengthening its connections with service providers and customers (268). As it will be revealed in this paper, this company’s management strategies, such as solidarity, transparency, and leadership by example facilitated by its experienced and committed administrative team, have positioned it ahead of competitors such as Samsung, Dell, Sony, and Amazon among others.
Why Apple is Well Managed
Responding to the claim that Apple Company is well managed requires one to explore various traits, which are associated with successful managers. According to a study by Mihola et al., companies that wish to remain competitive in their lines of business cannot disregard the issue of innovation (42). This process involves developing products and services that match the ever-changing customers’ needs and preferences. Apple Company, which operates in the technology sector, has invested massively in a strategic management team that has been resourceful in developing innovative items, including iPhones, Apple Watches, iPods, and even the Apple Pay, among others, all of which have effectively met its clients’ requirements. The book by Kinicki and Williams provides practical examples of companies such as Airbnb that have been successful in their respective lines of operations, including the hotel industry, thanks to their investment in exceptional managerial staff (11).
Apple’s current CEO, Tim Cook, leads by example by adopting an effective management style that emphasizes the need for teamwork and transparency (Mejia). As opposed to his predecessor, Steve Jobs, who insisted on perfection and excellence while disregarding the impact of his stern policies on employees’ commitment and output, Cook has demonstrated to workers that he is approachable and capable of appropriately managing any conflicts in a manner that does not interfere with their performance. For example, he initiated the open-door strategy that has been productive in terms of encouraging his workforce to remain dedicated to the company’s core objective of developing competitive technological products such as Macs and PCs, among others (Mejia). In addition, as learned in class, he has established a strong culture whereby employees consult one another, including the CEO, with a view to ensuring that all prescribed tasks are accomplished as planned while at the same time meeting the highest standards possible.
Apple Company’s administrators are professional and satisfying to deal with. Instead of punishing workers for making mistakes, they encourage them to be free to err. Such a situation is viewed as part of their learning process, which transforms them into experts in this technology-based organization. Such a strategy is in line with the experience I had in my previous workplace. The company’s head and managers had a philosophy that barred any form of inappropriate handling of employees who made mistakes in the course of executing their tasks. Instead, they were guided on the steps to follow to achieve better results. Nonetheless, it is crucial to examine the extent to which the proper management of resources has contributed to Apple Company’s financial success.
Apple’s Financial Success
Tim Cook’s outstanding management styles are demonstrated through his employees’ commitment to delivering value to the company through innovative products. He has contributed significantly to his organization’s noteworthy financial success. According to an article by Murphy, the company recorded profits amounting to approximately 53 billion USD in 2017. This figure was more by 12% when compared to the level of financial performance realized in the previous year (Murphy). During the financial period of 2017, this company also realized a 3% rise in its stock value, which stood at roughly 174 USD (Murphy). This outstanding performance could not be realized without the input of Apple’s management team that has vowed to create an environment that motivates its experienced workforce to continue designing innovative products, which meet clients’ demands and specifications.
In their book, Kinicki and Williams acknowledge the role of innovation in enhancing a company’s financial performance (324). These authors agree that the proper management of workers by encouraging strategies such as teamwork, diversity, conflict management, and communication leads to improved commitment, productivity, and, consequently, better financial results (Kinicki and Williams 434). Efforts by Apple Company’s administration to ensure employees’ work-life balance have helped to boost their concentration levels, especially when developing features that position its products ahead of those of competitors such as Samsung. This strategy is in line with Maslow’s hierarchy of needs theory emphasized by Kinicki and Williams, whereby all five levels of employees’ needs have to be fulfilled for them to perform exemplarily (399).
For instance, the company’s move to develop iPhones was timely because it was established at a time when customers were longing for gadgets that not only appealed to them in terms of their widescreen LCD Multi-Touch display but also served other crucial functions, including photography using megapixel cameras. As a result, according to Murphy, “Apple saw strong sales of iPhones—which still account for over 50% of its total revenue.” Kinicki and Williams provide examples of companies such as Toyota and Kia Motors, which have recorded huge returns after embracing management tools such as TQM that encourage workers to focus on producing quality products (571). Consequently, it suffices to conclude that Apple’s noteworthy financial success has its roots anchored in the proper management of human and non-human resources. This company continues to remain ahead of its competitors. Hence, it is crucial to investigate the reason behind its leading position.
Why Apple Stands Out from its Competitors
Many organizations record reduced sales, especially when they undergo change or are associated with scandals, as witnessed in the case of Enron and Volkswagen. Lessons learned from these two cases of deceit have helped contemporary businesses to execute policies that encourage change, as opposed to embarking on unethical mechanisms aimed at covering their illegal practices. As Kinicki and Williams reveal, the embracement of appropriate change management strategies is among approaches that make some companies stand out from their rivals (349). As opposed to competitors such as Samsung and Dell, Apple’s management was able to adopt mechanisms that made it perform remarkably at a time when Tim Cook was implementing structural and cultural changes after taking over from Steve Jobs, his predecessor. Cook was able to effectively introduce Apple’s workers to another leadership style and a manner of operations without facing much resistance.
Kinicki and Williams offer realistic strategies for addressing issues related to employees’ resistance to change, including the effective communication of the proposed amendments and the involvement of employees in any decisions that lead to organizational transformations (349). Cook adopted these approaches even when he wanted to introduce new product designs such as the iPhones mentioned earlier. However, Samsung’s move to produce innovative items, for instance, its Galaxy Note 7, was met with huge losses because this design featured poor-quality components that resulted in declined sales and a tainted company’s public image. According to an article by Sullivan, Samsung manufactured items that had battery problems. Specifically, at least 35 instances of batteries blowing up were reported for its Galaxy Note 7 (Sullivan).
Instead of taking immediate action to manage this situation by stopping the production of such faulty designs, Samsung’s CEO, Koh Dong-Jin, could not determine the best time to embrace a design change in consultation with his employees. Its tainted reputation paved the way for Apple to stand out among its competitors. Based on the personal experience I had with my former boss, the company was facing financial challenges that arose because of poor mismanagement of funds. Employees had threatened to quit because of delayed salaries and other benefits. The organization’s head efficiently communicated the issue to workers, including the structural and cultural transformations to be made before the situation worsened. Measures taken were effected in time with minimal resistance from the affected parties. As a result, in addition to saving this company from losing employees or damaging its global standing, the timely implementation of the said changes restored its financial status.
Companies that operate in present-day competitive environments cannot achieve optimal financial performance if they fail to emphasize the need for proper management of the available resources. Although some organizations associate strict leadership with remarkable results, others have realized the benefits of establishing mutual relationships among workers, senior and junior managers, customers, and other stakeholders. This strategy allows the smooth implementation of policies or programs because all interested parties are usually included in decision-making processes. This paper has revealed the way Apple has embraced teamwork, transparency, and leadership by example as part of effective management strategies that have helped it to not only record remarkable financial success but also stand out among its competitors who include Samsung and Dell, among others.
Haslam, Colin, et al. “Apple’s Financial Success: The Precariousness of Power Exercised in Global Value Chains.” Accounting Forum, vol. 37, no. 4, 2013, pp. 268-279.
Kinicki, Angelo, and Brian K. Williams. Management: A Practical Introduction. 8th ed., McGraw Hill Education, 2016.
Mejia, Zameen. “What Tim Cook Says Coming out Cost Him—and Why He Still Has ‘No Regrets.'” Make It, 2018, Web.
Mineola, Jiří, et al. “Is the Most Innovative Firm in the World Really Innovative?” International Advances in Economic Research, vol. 21, no. 1, 2015, pp. 41-54.
Murphy, Mike. “Apple is Obnoxiously Successful.” Quartz. 2017, Web.
Sullivan, Mark. “How Did Samsung Botch the Galaxy Note 7 Crisis? It’s a Failure of Leadership.” Fast Company. 2016, Web.