Steve Jobs and His Management Career

Introduction

In the modern-day business world, managers have great roles in ensuring that they contribute to success while maintaining a sustainable business environment. The role of the manager is to plan, organize, direct, and control all the resources in an organization to achieve the set goals and objectives (Erven, 1994). In this paper, I will discuss Steve Jobs as one of the most successful managers in the business arena.

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Steve Jobs is the chief executive officer of Apple Inc. and has served in this position for many years. Apple Inc. is a company in the computer industry that manufactures computer hardware, computer software, and electronics. The company has been very competitive in the market due to its innovative products ((Linzmayer, 2009). Steve Jobs has been successful in his management career because he has been able to make Apple Inc. achieve its mission and objectives.

Description of the job that Steve is performing

Steve Jobs was a co-founder of Apple Inc. in the 1990s and had a wealth of knowledge in managing resources of the company. Together with Steve Wozniak and Ronald Wayne, they founded Apple Inc. in 1995 with the mission of becoming one of the most innovative computer companies in the world. Steve Jobs has served as the president of Apple since 1997 and has made tremendous achievements in the company. Due to the health problems that Steve Jobs has encountered of late, Tim Cook has been the acting president of the company as Jobs recovers from illness. The company has been able to develop innovative products and achieve greater heights of competition during the reign of Steve Jobs ((Linzmayer, 2009).

Apple Inc. was established in 1976 by Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, and Ronald Wayne. Ronald Wayne later sold his shares to the other two partners and ceased to be a partner. During the foundation of the company Mark Markkula was provided with funds and expertise. The headquarters of the company is based in Cupertino, California. The company manufactures computer software, electronics, and commercial servers.

The software manufactured by the company includes Final Cut Studio Mac OS X operating system, iWork, Aperture, iLife, Logic Studio, and iTunes. The computer hardware manufactured by the company includes Macintosh computers, iPhone, iPad, and iPod (Linzmayer, 2009). The company is managed by a board of directors who are the supreme decision-makers. There are committees elected to conduct projects by the company. The basic units of operation are the teams where workers are grouped into teams. Decisions made by the executive team are implemented by the teams (Hubbard, 1992).

Application of Fayol’s Key Managerial Roles

Planning

Planning is the managerial function of establishing the mission, goals, and objectives of an organization. Managers have the obligation of determining how these goals, missions, and objectives will be accomplished within a given time frame. Planning is the process of setting goals that are achievable. Plans are future-oriented, and managers have an obligation to ensure the organization achieves all the set goals (Erven, 1994).

Steve has been good at planning the activities of the company. Apple has been successful in the market for its excellent plans for the market changes. After realizing that there was a high demand for electronics, Apple developed the strategy of developing products such as iPhones. Thus, the company diversified its products range, and on top of the traditional products it manufactured, new products have been generated. Traditionally, Apple has been manufacturing computer software, and hardware and the management have come to realize that it needs to diversify in the production of other products (Bach, 2007).

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The company has a mission to achieve innovative products. Steve Jobs has created an environment that encourages the employees to be innovative. This has led to the establishment of innovative technologies. Apple has differentiated its products, and this has attracted many customers in the global markets. The goal of Apple Inc. is to achieve a large market position in the global scene. To achieve this, Steve Jobs established the strategy of selling products of the company through the retail stores and online stores. Customers can access the products of the company more easily by using online stores. The company has improved its sales since the establishment of the online stores (Bach, 2007).

Steve Jobs has been successful in attracting and retaining customers. Apple has managed to capture customer loyalty in the market. Most of the customers of the company like the products due to their unique features as well as the innovativeness of the company. The brands of the company are easily identifiable in the market, and many people are willing to re-buy from the company. In addition, the company is able to identify and match the customer needs of the brands manufactured by the company (Bach, 2007).

Organizing

Managers have the duty to develop the internal structures of an organization. They also coordinate and control tasks within the organization. In addition, they regulate the flow of information among all stakeholders. Authority is distributed all over the organization by the managers through the process of organizing. The day-to-day performance of a company is maintained by the managers. Activities are organized by the managers to ensure the goals and objectives which have been set are achieved (Erven, 1994).

Steve Jobs has developed the internal systems of Apple Company to ensure that all employees become innovative. He developed teams to work on different strategic positions of the company. These teams have team leaders, and employees within the team are expected to perform a certain proportion of the job. Employees are grouped into teams, depending on their professions. This strategy has improved performance because employees can develop products along their lines of performance (Apple Website, 2010).

Apple developed the enterprise resource planning strategy as one way of improving communication among all stakeholders. The ERP system allows the managers to communicate with other stakeholders for efficient management of resources. The managers can monitor all activities of the organization through the ERP system. Steve Jobs has distributed his authority throughout the organization by creating teams. Each team has a team leader who delegates duties to the junior employees. This strategy was adopted to ensure that the top management has few obligations for efficient management. The top management gives the teams adequate resources to conduct their activities optimally. Training is done to the teams to provide the most recent information in the market ((Apple Website, 2010).

Staffing

This is the process of attracting and retaining qualified professionals within the organization. Managers have the duty to recruit, hire, train, evaluate, and compensate their employees (Erven, 1994). Steve Jobs has excellent human resource management skills and has combined with leadership skills to improve the performance of his employees. Apple has been able to develop innovative products through the application of modern technologies.

The employees of the company are encouraged to apply their talents to develop products that match the market demand. Continuous training to the employees has been encouraged to ensure they acquire the best skills as well as upgrading their talents. Jobs established the strategy of creating work teams within the organization as a strategy for promoting teamwork (O’Grady, 2008).

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To attract and retain professionals within the organization, Steve Jobs implemented the strategy of providing attractive remuneration. There are many other rewards provided to the employees of the company as a way of motivating them. The company has liaised with research centers to conduct research about technologies. This strategy has enabled the company to develop products that match the market demand (Apple Website, 2010).

The company offers several motivational packages for its employees. Some of these strategies include training employees, paid leaves, and promotions, among others. Steve Jobs established the strategy of motivating his employees as one of the ways of encouraging them to develop innovative products. Apple has been able to attract and retain professionals from different fields by creating better motivational systems. The company has employed people from different countries, and this has been a success factor because the diversity of the company has improved performance in the global market (Bach, 2007).

Controlling

Managers have the role of creating performance standards depending on the goals and objectives of the organization. The manager must measure and report the actual performance. The manager should then take actions accordingly to ensure the actual performance aligns with the standards which have been set (Erven, 1994).

All employees of Apple sign performance contracts, and this indicates that the president of the company has introduced control measures to ensure the employees achieve the objectives of the company. Teamwork has been encouraged, and each team has goals and objectives assigned to them. Adequate control measures have been put in place to ensure each team achieves its goals. Deviations from the standard performance are evaluated and measures put in place (Apple Website, 2010).

Apple has been successful in managing the costs incurred in the manufacturing and marketing processes. Apple has adopted cost leadership and differentiation strategies, and this has increased the sales volume of the company. Cost leadership strategies have been pursued by engaging different suppliers of products in the provision of high-quality commodities at reduced prices. Apple has established partnerships with different suppliers to supply materials for the company. Some of the suppliers are Intel, General Electric, and others. The suppliers have been regulated to ensure they provide quality materials at reduced prices.

The products of the company are sold at reduced prices due to the low cost of production. Through differentiation, Apple has managed to succeed in the market by competing with larger companies like Microsoft, IBM, among others. Some of the differentiated products are iTunes, iPhone, and others. Differentiation has been achieved in all areas of the company (Linzmayer, 2009).

The Biggest Challenges Inherent in the Job of Steve

Steve Jobs has been challenged by various business analysts over the decision to stop receiving supplies from IBM. Steve Jobs developed this strategy to interchange IBM for Intel in the supply of computer chips. In 2005 the management of Apple introduced the strategy of changing the suppliers of computer chips from IBM to Intel. This has been seen as a threat to the company because it is predicted that the company will lose its customers. IBM has been the supplier of the chips for a long period of time, and changing the supplier would confuse the customers. This could affect the brand image as well as customer loyalty (Marketing teacher, 2010).

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Steve Jobs has encountered the challenge of protecting the company’s business secrets. Some employees of the company have been reported to expose the secrets of the company, and this is creating a lot of chaos. This can be explained in the case where confidential information was leaked to bloggers in 2005—the confidential information related to the launching of new products of the company. The employees of the company had leaked information about Asteroid products. This is a clear indication that the company is still at risk of a similar event occurring in the near future (Datamonitor, 2006).

Effectiveness of Steve

Jobs has been effective in his management career because the company has been able to achieve success under his management. Most innovative products have been generated during the reign of Steve Jobs, and this is evidence of how effective he is in managing the company. With the introduction of online stores by the company, a higher sales volume has been made. Many consumers have been able to access products manufactured by the company through the use of online systems. Outside vendors have been involved in the marketing process of Apple products, and this has increased the profits made by the company.

The revenues made by Apple increased by 34.9 percent in 2008 after the establishment of the web sales of iTunes. This was an increase in sales from $2.7 billion in 2007 to $3.64 billion in 2008. The web store for iTunes has more than 2,500 films, 30,000 TV episodes, and 10 million songs (Linzmayer, 2009).

Major improvements have been established by the company on the sale of iTunes, for example, the sale of new movies from major film studios on the same day as their release on DVD. Compatible tunes can be assembled based on the existing digital music library of the users. The company has reduced the prices of the iTunes songs, and now they are available at only 69 cents while other songs are sold at 99 cents. Hits and new releases are sold for $1.29 (Linzmayer, 2009).

Conclusion

Steve Jobs has been successful in his management career because he has been able to make Apple Inc. achieve its mission and objectives. Apple has been able to introduce innovative products after Steve Jobs took over the management of the company. The company has been able to control its costs by applying different strategies for minimizing costs. Marketing programs of the company have focused on retail stores, online stores, and other subsidiaries of the company to reach as many customers as possible. Apple has been successful in online retailing. Through this program, customers can purchase Apple products through online channels. Global strategies have been achieved by promoting the products of the company through the online system. Steve Jobs has had great success for the company, and this proves that he is an excellent manager.

References

Apple Website. (2010). Web.

Bach, B. (2007). Implications of enabling technologies for Apple Inc.: Cybermarketing. GRIN Verlag. ISBN 3638810968, 9783638810968.

Datamonitor (2006). Apple Computer, Inc. Web.

Erven, B. L. (1994). The five functions of management. Web.

Hubbard, D. (1992). Forecasting process at Apple computer. The Journal of Business Forecasting Methods & Systems, 11.

Linzmayer, R. W. (2009). Apple confidential: The real story of Apple Computer, Inc. No Starch Press. 2009. Web.

Marketing teacher (2010). SWOT Analysis Apple. Web.

O’Grady, J. D. (2008). Apple Inc. ABC-CLIO. ISBN 0313362440, 9780313362446.

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