Microsoft and Apple Companies: Career Growth and Development

Introduction

Career planning and development is very challenging, especially in picking the ideal company to work in. I have to establish the ideal company to work in the future to guarantee personal satisfaction and robust career growth. Thus, this research paper attempts to explicitly identify Apple and Microsoft as ideal companies that I might prefer working in as a business administration expert. The report examines the background, vital statistics, human resource, and SWOT of the two companies from secondary data sources. From the findings, I am convinced that working at either of the companies would be ideal for my career development and growth. Specifically, I need to identify the ideal companies that can support my career growth and development to ensure that I am well positioned to reap the benefit of good career preparation.

After thorough research and proactive reasoning, the most promising companies I managed to identify as ideal for my career development and growth are Microsoft and Apple. The two companies have interesting human resource management policies, healthy work environment, and ideal organization culture that foster interactive and positive work culture for all employees. Besides, the two organizations have systems and structures that promote employee promotion, remuneration, and social welfare as members of a family. In addition, the two companies have been proactive in promoting creativity and rewards performance through series of attractive employee retention packages that are very difficult to resist. As a result, the rate of redundancy in the two organizations is very low. At present, the two organizations have some of the best employee retention packages in the world due to high profit turnover and employment of the most qualified personnel in the world.

The ideal company

In my opinion, the ideal company is that which supports personal growth, structure and attractive remuneration, and has a health work environment. The company must also support innovation and value employees through offering competitive rewards and promoting personal growth and development. Therefore, I believe that an ideal company must be holistic and proactive in addressing all social, economic, and other needs of employees in a well structured employee-employee partnership. An ideal company is organized to promote positive relationship between favorable, effective job performance, and work environment as attributes of motivation and congenial conditions. The structure encourages security, comfort and safety, and prevailing physical convenience among the staff members. Measuring factors such as interpersonal relations, working conditions, support and trust, welfare provisions, and work environment can greatly contribute to the organizational effectiveness as well as employees’ behaviors.

As a result, the company may be in a position to expand its market operations due to efficiency of the staff members due to motivation by the unity of purpose symbol. An ideal company must identify that the key driver of productivity is employees’ morale since productive workers are more likely to be creative and interested in their work commitments. Satisfied workers are more eager to create positive results in their work. Through centralized and properly designed training procedures, talent promotion, and motivation, productive behavior internalization should present the best alternative ways of solving problems in role execution in an ideal company. The unity of purpose symbol must be embedded in the ideal organization customs to create the culture of efficiency and support among the employees as part and parcel of such an organization.

Company I: Apple

Background

Apple Incorporation is one of the leading American electronic manufactures that has specialized in the production of personal computers, Smartphone, iPod media player, tablet computers, and online services. It has its headquarters in California with global market coverage. Apple has 425 stores across 14 countries and mostly it sells its products through retailers across the world. Apple was named as the most valuable brand in the world in 2013, edging out Coca Cola that had maintained the top position for some time. Apple Company has continued to create multiple brands through its innovative team in order to keep the company ahead of the other competitors.

Product and services

Apple Incorporation is a leading global electronics brand that retails products such as personal computers, Smartphone, iPod media player, tablet computers, and online music services. Apple is the leading company in the PC industry in terms of design and innovation (Apple Inc, 2015). The company is associated with new innovations and attractive designs that appeal to their customers across the world. The Apple Inc Company has benefited from this strategy in terms of market expansion, especially among its early adopter customers. Specifically, through product development, the Apple Inc Company has been in a position to optimally exploit opportunities available in the innovation market segment and has gained a significant share in the mobile PCs market at the global level (Jobber, 2012).

HR work culture

The company’s HRM strategies are integrated in business management model and it takes 25% of the total budget. The company’s HRM strategies have been effective in managing internal and external work environments. The company has one of the most comprehensive and continuous training program. The structure for reward and promotional in the company are institutionalized in its HRM system. The company has an experienced HRM team which handles complaints, grievances, and inquires among the employees. As a result of these factors, the company has one of the most competent and happy workforce. This has resulted in continuous consistence in the company’s productivity. The optimal productivity has increased the company’s competitive advantage in the PC market. The company has attractive remuneration, promotion, and work environment than all its competitors. Through its universal code of conduct on professionalism and equality, each employee is given equal opportunity to grow through the regional and global transfers, which is vital in managerial position preparation.

SWOT analysis

Apple has a very effective and innovative leadership structure, which has promoted robust growth over the years (MarketLine, 2015a). It is almost impossible to talk about the success of Apple without mentioning Steve Jobs, its former chief executive. Through his transformational leadership qualities, Apple was able to navigate the competitive electronic market to become a leading industry player. He also helped in maintaining the morale of the employees. The innovative nature of this firm is another strength that has helped it achieve massive success in its operations. The iPhone and the iPad received massive acceptance in the market because they were unique products. They offered high value to customers beyond their expectations (MarketLine, 2015a). This helped in improving its popularity in the market.

The technical skill and expertise that the firm uses is also very superior. Management has been keen on hiring a highly skilled workforce in order to enable it to address some of the technical issues in this industry. The ability of Apple to meet the market demands with superior products has also helped the firm to be successful. Its financial performance has played a major role in boosting its performance. The firm has experienced massive financial success through the sale of its products in the global market. The image of the firm, especially the strength of its brand, has also helped in achieving success in the electronics industry (Johnson, Whittington, & Scholes, 2011).

The main weakness that Apple has faced in the market is the inability to come up with new products that are incorruptible by the competitors. The firm has been engaged in legal battles with some of its fiercest competitors over breach of its copyright. This is so because some of its high quality products have designs that can easily be copied by the competitors. The firm has also been accused of high-handedness in its management approach. This led to high turnover of employees, especially in the early years of Jobs’ return to the firm (MarketLine, 2015a). Some consumers have accused Apple Inc. of misusing online marketing platforms. The pop-up adds on e-mails and other websites has been considered irritating. Some of these adverts were also misused by cyber criminals who fleeced unsuspecting individuals of their money promising millions of dollars in cash prizes from Apple. It took some time for Apple to respond to these issues. This in turn tainted its image in the global market (Jobber, 2012).

The main opportunity that Apple has is the fact that the electronic market has been rapidly expanding over the years. Mobile phone has almost become a basic need both in the developed and developing economies. This means that Apple has a massive market that needs its products. The recent rise in population of the middle class in China, India, and parts of Africa has also offered an opportunity for this firm to sell its high-end products which are popular among this class (MarketLine, 2015a). The emerging technologies have offered various opportunities to Apple. Technology has improved speed, efficiency, and effectiveness of the production strategies. It has also reduced the time taken by this firm to deliver its products to the global market. The management of firm can also monitor operations in plants located in China without having to leave the offices in the United States (Jobber, 2012).

The main weakness that Apple is facing is stiff competition from other PC giants in the global market. The massive competition, especially from the arch rival Samsung, should be evaluated and corrected pronto. This competition may force the firm to engage in price wars that may erode its profitability. The legal battles that Apple has had with Samsung over patent issues may also affect the operations and image of the firm. A permanent solution should be found to this problem. The emerging trends in the market are threats that the management must address. The electronic market is so dynamic that it may not be possible to predict what the consumers will demand tomorrow (MarketLine, 2015a). Apple Inc. spends a lot of financial and human resources to conduct research to come up with new superior products. However, sometimes the products do not last in the market before they are considered old-fashioned. This forces the firm to undergo such an expensive process to deliver new products (MarketLine, 2015a).

Company II: Microsoft

Background

Microsoft Corporation is an international company that has been in the market for more than two decades. The company is active in providing products and services such as content development, content licensing, and software vending. Over the two decades of existence, the company has expanded across the world from its headquarters in Redmond, Washington. At present the company has presence in more than one hundred countries with human resource base of more than 128,000 persons. The company’s revenues have grown steadily by a two digit figure from the year 2009 until now. As at the end of the 2015 financial year, the company recorded revenues of $86,833 million. At present, the company is the global leader in its product and services category with extensive network in nearly all countries across the globe.

Product and services

Microsoft Company is active in providing products and services such as content development, content licensing, and software vending. The company is also active in developing and selling different hardware services for computers and delivering customized online advert services. At present, Microsoft has dwarfed the products offered by its competitors through product diversification, low prices, and creation of multiple products to serve the interests of individual customers, governments, and corporate organizations. As a result, Microsoft has not only create an environment of own competition but also ensure expansion of the market to all continents across the globe. As a matter of fact, the many products and services offered by Microsoft have positioned this company as the global leader in software vending, licensing, and content development.

HR work culture

Microsoft Company has a very unique organization structure, in terms of work culture. The company exhibits distinctive and unique organization structure that is shaped by the organization’s goals. The company has more than one twenty eight thousand employees across the world with a human resource force of more than four thousand personnel. The human resource manager is at the apex of labor management and has been very proactive in promoting creativity and dynamic performance. The company concentrates on systems thinking, mental models, personal mastery, shared vision, and team learning. The organizational structure and culture play a significant role in hindering as well as fostering learning in the organization. The radical approach offers the most ethically viable option for proactive leadership management of behavior. This identifies the aspects of effort-performance expectancy, valence expectancy, and performance-outcome expectancy for the entire workforce. These values have been embedded in the company’s tradition and practiced by our employees over the years. For example, at Microsoft Corporation, it is responsible for the developing and driving growth strategies between management and employees.

SWOT analysis

The main strength of the company is that it has established an enduring presence in the global hardware and software market due to high level of innovation and product affordability. Most of Microsoft products retail within the average market price or sometimes below prices offered by its competitive due to benefits arising from economies of scale (MarketLine, 2015b). The company has a very strong research and development department that has become the global leader in innovation, product development, and product differentiation to satisfy different segments of customers. In addition, the company has a very strong financial performance with the current revenue of more than 86 billion dollars in the year 2015 alone. Every employee in Microsoft Company is his or her own boss; the cultural structure of the company has spurred a continuous growth in the competitive market. Microsoft has a learning culture that embraces group learning. Hence, this makes it easier to change the practices that might hinder learning in the various departments through devolution of tasks and responsibilities to employees and managers (MarketLine, 2015b). Related to changes in organizational structure are the variations in job design and new structures which provide the employees with an opportunity within the work activities. Moreover, the organization exhibits flexibility in its organizational structure that enables jobs to be redesigned thus, facilitating work based innovations.

The main weakness that Microsoft faces is strong competition from many medium companies, especially in Asia and Europe. The competition from established businesses has made it difficult for the company to retain its staff since most of its competitors often poach employees who are not satisfied with the company’s motivation systems. Other factors associated with inhibiting learning in the organization are inappropriate organizational structures, work pressure, entrenched attitudes towards learning, and emphasis on meeting targets (MarketLine, 2015b). Fear and resistance to change in the organization are characterized by high levels of bureaucracy and inter-functional rivalry between different teams has pushed some employees to quit their roles or become inactive (Revels & Michele, 2012). In addition, the company has been struggling with series of litigations and legal suits from software developers and other partners due to misunderstanding and copyright infringement allegations, which have affected the image of the company in some regions.

The primary opportunity for the company is the fact that it has the potential of implementing the strategies of investigation, ramification, and elements of the problem definition and transforming itself into a complete learning organization. The company has potential to accrue benefits in the areas of culture and governance in the quest for efficiency and affordability in the present competitive market through collective responsibility strategy (MarketLine, 2015b). Majority of the company’s competitors pay lower salaries to their employees. The company can use financial incentive strategies to motivate and create a healthy work environment. The company may also roll out more products in order to increase its competitiveness by creating more affordable products to Africa and Asia, where its market has been growing steadily in the last ten years. For instance, the cloud computing services, diversification into the tablet and phone market, and Internet of Things (IoT) have the potential of furthering the current expansion strategies for the foreseeable future.

The primary threat facing the company is changed customer preference. The services offered by the company are very sensitive to any change in the preference of the clients. The company must thus struggle to create a functional team for its own survival. With a typically poorly organized technical skills pool, the business is not geared towards increasing its market share since the beneficial interests in the work force are not distributed across the highly competent employees. Besides, the current decline in the PC market as a result of market entry by many competitions threatens the revenues of the company in the US and other foreign markets. In addition, the proposal of the government to regulate the monopolistic nature of Microsoft might hurt the company’s financial standing in the long-run (MarketLine, 2015b).

Conclusion

Apple

From the research results, it is apparent that Apple is well positioned to survive market turbulence due to ability to attract the best talent, diversify products, motivate employees, and continuously develop on its current business management strategies. The dynamic and teamwork environment is also ideal for new employees since it encourage innovation and healthy work culture. Apple has a very unique work environment that promotes innovation and creativity to all employees, especially through the continuous research and development department feedback and employee engagement. Through training, evaluation, and performance reviews, the company has been able to establish a clear performing culture, which fosters a unique culture among employees. The company encourages proactive approach to providing labor services by all employees as members of the Apple family unit.

Microsoft

Microsoft is one of the few companies in the world that would be so hard to turn down their employment offer since the remuneration package is very attractive. If this trend holds in the foreseeable future, it is in order to state that the company is the most ideal in service the interest of the modern employee. This is because the human resource policies are designed to motivate workers to be more proactive, productive, and consistent in service delivery due structured remuneration and promotion system. Besides, the company has very attractive employment packages that are almost impossible to resist as indicted in its low redundancy level.

Final Decision

From the research, I am willing and ready to work in either of the companies since they support my personal career growth and development aims. Besides, the innovative nature of these organizations would be a privilege. The two companies have three building blocks of learning such as a supportive learning environment, concrete learning processes, and practices leadership that reinforce innovation as internalized in the lively training sessions that are unique. The managers play a significant role in setting up the learning environment for their employees in performing training rituals as the team leader in each of the unique training sessions for both the companies. The structure encourages security, comfort and safety, and prevailing physical convenience. Measuring factors such as interpersonal relations, working conditions, support and trust, welfare provisions, and work environment ensures that the performance culture results in organizational effectiveness as well as positive employees’ behavior. These rituals have created an ideal climate for innovation and communication among the employees. These rituals are meant to create an ideal climate for innovation and communication among the employees.

The team work culture in the two companies spell the rules of engagement, expected behavior, and understanding of the organization culture. These rules appreciate diversity and uphold integrity in judgment as enshrined in the vision and mission statement of the two companies. In the process, cases of prejudice are minimized as diversity develops into a positive aspect of the organizations. For instance, in managing optimal output of each employee, the companies have established a formal employee performance motivation system which integrates the rituals and symbols as part of the service charter. The charter is made up of formal systems of monitoring operations, reviewing performance and rewarding achievements. Employees’ behaviors in the two companies are influenced by the mutual interests that exist between them and the workers. Thus, I am sure that my innovative and creativity skills will be highly rewarded in either of the companies.

Next Steps

From the findings of this report, I have gathered knowledge on the preferred companies I may join to further personal career growth and development. I have chosen the unique recital employee engagement rituals at Microsoft and Apple because they have created an environment of dynamic, consultative, and proactive decision making for the employees as part of a family unit. This performing culture has created a healthy work environment and personal growth perspectives since all the vital controls organs of the companies are centralized. Decision environment often experience dynamics and swings which create short and long term effect on chances of survival for two alternatives to solve a problem.

When faced with a decision dilemma that requires critical assessments, the ritual ensures competitive positioning advantage since each employee is inspired to internalize the need to give the best in this family unit when serving customers. The ritual also defines the line between the rationally correct, economically viable, and ethically correct decision. Decisions made by the employees of the two companies are based on addressing all aspects of innovation, creativity, and optimal performance that attract the best remuneration packages in the market. Since these companies have a reputation for hiring the best, I have to maintain high average grade to increase my chances of joining either of them. I intend to apply for internship at these companies besides attending series of relevant programs. To be competitive, I will frequently update my academic credentials to make my achievements and experiences visible. If I am accorded an internship opportunity at one of the two companies, I will endeavor to perform exemplary to increase my chances of being absorbed in the organization at the end of the internship.

References

Apple Inc. (2015). Business application development. Web.

Jobber, D. (2012). Principles and practice of marketing. New York, NY: McGraw-Hill Publishers.

Johnson, G., Whittington, R., & Scholes, K. (2011). Exploring strategy (9th ed.). Alabama: Prentice Hall.

MarketLine. (2015a). Company profile: Apple Inc. Web.

MarketLine. (2015b). Company profile: Microsoft Incorporation. Web.

Microsoft Corporation. (2015). Products and services.

Revels, M., & Michele, M. (2012). Technology impacts in organizational recruitment and retention. Franklin Business & Law Journal, 12(1), 61–69.