The Vision and Mission of Apple Inc
The vision and mission of a firm refer to the basic elements that are utilized in strategic management. Tanke (2000) observed that the main difference between a vision and a mission is that the vision focuses on what the firm plans to achieve in future while the mission statement is concerned with what the firm is doing currently in order to achieve its objectives. The vision of a firm is important in establishing the path that the firm would take to realize its goals.
Apple’s vision statement clearly demonstrates the ambitions of the firm in the competitive electronics market. The vision statement of Apple came from a statement made by its founder and former chief executive, Steve Jobs. He argued that man is the creator of change in the world. As such, human beings should be above structures and systems meaning that they should not be subordinate to physical structures (Panagariya, 2008).
This vision has seen the firm become very competitive. This has been its driving force in innovations and creativity. Based on this, the firm has ensured that it remains relevant in the market by introducing new products with advanced features.
The mission statement of Apple may not be a standard mission avowal. This is because the mission statement entails a list of products that the firm produces, as well as what it does in ensuring that it remains competitive. However, in the same statement, another statement explains its commitment to students, educators, professionals, and general consumers in providing them with desirable products that are able to meet their desires.
Assessment of Apple’s Strategic Goals
It is very important for a firm to understand its strategies clearly. Apple has been keen on aligning its strategies to its vision and mission statements. The management of the firm has been keen on enhancing creativity and innovation in the market. This is in line with the vision of the firm, which maintains that human beings should be creative. The strategic goal is also closely related to the mission statement.
The firm has been keen on meeting the needs of professionals, such as students, teachers, doctors, and security agents. The firm has broadened its product offer in the market to include various tools and appliances used by various professionals in their respective fields. The firm has been very innovative in these fields in a bid to ensure that it comes up with products, which would meet the expectations of the market.
Company’s Financial Performance
Apple has been performing very well financially in recent years. In the year 2010, it was rated the most profitable firm in the world. This is because the firm has managed to merge its strategic goals with the strategy that it uses to run its operations. The firm has been keen on ensuring that it ties its mission and vision statements with the daily operational tasks when charting the way forward.
The management has ensured that all employees have an understanding of the organizational strategic goals, as well as how these strategies can help achieve desired goals. In order to determine the financial performance of the firm over the years, the three financial statements below would be important.
The income statement shows a steady increase in the income of the firm over the three financial years. The cash flow statement also demonstrates the financial growth of the firm over years. The balance sheet confirms the fact that the firm has experienced a massive growth in its assets. Within the last three years, the asset base of the firm has almost tripled. This is a positive indicator that the performance of the firm has been successful.
Strengths and Weaknesses of the Company
Apple Inc has some special abilities that can be considered its main strength in the market. The ability of the firm to diversify its production of electronics in the market is a special ability that makes it stand out in the world as one of the few firms with an ability to diversify its products in the market. Apple Inc. manufactures a wide variety of electronics that cover different classes.
The firm targets the middle class, with the majority of its products based on pricing. This was a strategic move because this is the largest customer group for the firm. The strategy to target the middle class has also helped the firm in entering developing countries, especially in Africa and some parts of Asia. The management developed strong marketing strategies in acquiring markets in both developed and developing countries.
The ability of Apple Inc. to enter the Chinese and Indian markets successfully was seen as a sign of strength. Penetrating the market in China was challenging. This was due to government policies that favored locally manufactured electronic products. To help it succeed in the electronics industry, this firm has come up with a quality control unit in all its subsidiaries in order to ensure that it delivers quality products to the customer.
The ability to deliver quality services to the customer has made it develop a special niche in the market, making its products popular across the world. The firm is also one of the first firms that embraced value chain management (Shachaf, 2008). Through this, the firm has been able to continue satisfying its customers at a cheaper cost.
The ability of the firm to adopt the emerging technologies has been considered strength by other firms. IPhone 5 is one of its recent products that demonstrates its capacity to deliver special satisfaction to its customers by bringing products that are a little beyond the expectations of the market.
Despite the above strengths, the firm has some weaknesses that have impeded its growth to a given degree. One of the main concerns that the firm has not addressed properly is the issue of environmental management (Panagariya, 2008). The waste products of are known to be very dangerous to the environment. The manufacturing plant of this firm also poses a serious challenge to the environment.
The firm has been criticized, alongside other firms, as far as pollution of the environment is concerned. The firm is yet to come up with a clear structure on how it can manage environmental pollution caused by its wastes around the globe (Kurtz, & Boone, 2010). The firm has claimed that it has been engaged in corporate social responsibility. However, this has not been enough to make the public believe its commitment to a cleaner environment.
Using the Niche Strategy in Maximizing the Returns to Shareholders
Apple must always remain responsible to its shareholders. The shareholders of the firm expect to get maximum returns on their investment. In order for the firm to maximize its returns in order to satisfy the shareholders, it should consider developing a unique niche in the market that can enable it edge out market competition. The current state of market competition is very dangerous.
Various firms in the electronic industry are struggling to get their market share. Apple Inc can only give good returns if it is able to increase its market share. For this to be possible, this firm should be able to create a unique niche in the market that would help distinguish its products from others in the market. The strategy would help in turning the competitors’ products into mere substitutes.
When the firm succeeds in doing this, it would be able to stand out as one, which offers a unique satisfaction to customers. By eliminating competitors through this approach, the management will be creating a scenario where customers would have no option, but to buy its products. This will increase its returns, which in turn will increase the returns of the shareholders.
Issues of Mergers and Acquisitions
According to Weiss (2011), many firms have become very successful through mergers and acquisitions. In the electronics industry, a very stiff competition threatens to degenerate into price wars. Firms in the electronic industry are struggling to outsmart one another in their quest to attract as many customers as possible. However, this move is hurting the operations of individual firms, as they struggle to offer higher value at lower prices.
One of the best solutions can be mergers or acquisition. Apple should consider merging with Samsung Company. Samsung has been the archrival of Apple in the market. Merging will give the two companies a larger bargaining power not only in the market, but also with suppliers.
This will increase the profitability of the two organizations. Given the opportunity, Apple can alternatively acquire another competitive electronic firm, such as Lenovo or Nokia. This will give it an upper hand against its competitors.
Strategies of Employee Motivation
According to Warner (2011), the secret behind motivation of employees in a firm understanding their special needs. Human beings by nature want to be appreciated. This way, they feel that their effort is recognized. They feel motivated and this would put them in a position to perform better in the firm. Motivation comes in various forms.
- Promotion in the place of work: People always feel so much appreciated if they given more responsibilities and high packages. However minimal the pay rise might be, the employees would appreciate it and this would make them work harder in order to be given even higher ranks in the firm. They would remain in the firm with the hope that one day they would rise to the highest position in the firm
- Giving employees financial incentives: Although there are many factors that would encourage an individual to get employment, the ultimate goal is to earn good salaries that would enable him or her be in a position to take good care of the family. Financial incentives are some of the best ways through which a firm can ensure that it makes employees feel that their efforts are appreciated. It would motivate them to work harder and will not make them think of leaving the firm.
- Personal appreciation from the management team would be a high motivation to the employee. It would go a long way in ensuring that the employee is motivated.
- Public praises. It is important that when an employee performs exceptionally, the management should praise such employees publicly. Such public praises will make employees attached to the firm.
- High involvement and clear communication: The management should always ensure that employees are involved. They should be made to feel that they are responsible for every task they have to undertake. This way, they would always want to see their departments excel, a fact that may make them stay motivated within the organization.
- Team building seminars: One of the best ways of motivating employees and ensuring that they work as a team is by organizing team-building seminars. Through such seminars, employees would form very strong bonds amongst themselves, which would boost the performance of the firm. As such, they would not think of leaving the firm because the bond would always keep them together.
- The management should also foster trust. Employees should trust the organization. They should be made to feel that the management cares for their needs. The management should always ensure that it keeps trust by honoring promises.
- Challenging experience: Human beings work best when provided with challenging tasks. They feel that they have something to accomplish in the future because they feel current work is not satisfactory. Such an employee would always be thinking of ways to beat the deadlines other than engaging in unconstructive tasks because of lack of motivation.
Ethical Issues at Apple Inc
Apple has been keen to develop a positive relationship with societies in which it operates in order to have wide market coverage. It is after developing a positive relationship with customers that the firm would be in the best position to develop supply chain strategy in the electronic market. Ethics, morality, and law are some of the ingredients of a business set up that a firm cannot assume their importance.
A business unit has responsibilities that it has to fulfill in order to be viewed as a morally responsive firm. McLaughlin and Charantimath (2006) reported on Carroll’s four responsibilities. These include economic, legal, ethical and discretionary measures. The firm has an economic responsibility to its owners.
Apple has been very responsible to its shareholders. The firm has paid regular dividends to the shareholders making them have good value for their investment. Legally, the firm has always respected the laws and regulations that are put in place to protect such assets as patents. It has been keen on ensuring that it adheres to the set laws on patent and copyrights.
Apple is one of the most ethical electronic firms in the world (Barthe, 2010). There has been a clarion call for the world’s major manufacturers to cut down on their emission of greenhouse gases. It is only a few firms, Apple included, that have taken a positive reaction to this call. It recently launched a corporate social responsibility to help clean the environment in selected cities around the world.
It has also sponsored a program aimed at planting trees in various countries around the world, especially in emerging nations in Africa, Asia, and other parts of South America. It has made deliberate attempts to employ the locals in various locations where it operates.
This is to ensure that it is responsible to the locals as much as possible. The firm has also maintained morality and ethics among its employees. It has encouraged ethical behavior among its workforce by defining a specific code of conduct for all its employees. This way, its employees are able to assess themselves and determine if they are on the right path as far as their behavior is concerned.
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