The Apple Company: Organisation Theory and Design


Organisation theory and design is a business field that describes various tools used to assess the probability of achieving corporate goals. It helps business leaders align various aspects such as globalisation, changing employee needs, and competitive market environments among others with the desired organisational goals with a view of ensuring an effective management. As a result, organisations have been prompted to focus on key business concepts to seek defining frameworks for their desired interventions. This provides a critical analysis of the organisational theory and design in the Apple Company.

Research Methods

The information provided in this report is primarily gathered from secondary sources such as journals that are based on previous studies on the Apple Inc.’s organisational theory and design. Therefore, the conclusions hinge on the concepts underlying various business models and principles that have been presented by the authors.

Background Information on the Organisation and Management of the Apple Company

The Apple Company is a multinational designer, developer, manufacturer, and distributor of electronic equipment and accessories (Lazonick, Mazzucato, and Tulum 250). The company is widely recognised for its uniquely designed superior hardware and software components that have boosted its sales significantly in the last decade. The organisation of the company is based on the informal corporate structure that drives most its activities in the technology industry. However, the company adopts a corporal style that is underpinned by the flat and functional structures (Lazonick, Mazzucato, and Tulum 251).

A few layers of management define the flat organisational structure in the Apple Company. In this case, the chain of command is comparatively shorter; hence, it is easier for the leaders to make policies quicker and efficiently. According to Lazonick, Mazzucato, and Tulum, this state of events increases the coordination of activities in various departments of the company (251). The flat structure has earned the Apple Inc. its distinctive competence in aspects such as the designing, innovation, and development of superior products. However, Daft posits that the structure can pose significant challenges to the organisation where it undergoes a change process (340).

According to Daft, the existing strategic structures can fail to fit in the implemented change processes (347). This situation was evident when the CEO, Steve Jobs, left the company. His successors had a hard time implementing the principles of the flat structure. This situation led to his reinstatement (Lazonick, Mazzucato, and Tulum 255).

According to Keen and Qureshi, the Apple Company also adopts a functional structure (8). The organisation has grouped its workforce into various categories based on aspects such as proficiency, available resources, and skills. This structure has led to a culture of specialisation whereby employees perform particular tasks. According to Lazonick, Mazzucato, and Tulum, this state of affairs has significantly increased the organisation’s operational efficiency and management (257). However, a critical drawback is seen where the structure has weakened the communication amongst various groups of employees.

Description of the Management Practices that make the Apple Inc. Unique

The contemporary business environment is becoming extremely competitive each day. Consequently, organisations have opted to implement appropriate management practices that help them to seek feasible solutions to fit in the competitive market zones. The Apple Company is undeniably successful in its various overwhelming business endeavours. The management practices embraced in the company align with its corporate culture that focuses on the production of high-end engineering products, minimal official procedures, and the welfare of its diverse workforce. The management practices adopted in the Apple Company cover wide-raging aspects such as knowledge management, employee motivation, teamwork, diversity inclusion, and leadership among others (Keen and Qureshi 10). This paper seeks to discuss talent management and leadership in the Apple Company.

Talent Management

Lazonick, Mazzucato, and Tulum unveil that the Apple Company has lately been recognised as one of the most valuable corporations globally (257). This fact is based on key factors such as the capitalisation of markets and competition in the technology sector among others. Lazonick, Mazzucato, and Tulum affirm that the company’s success does not arise from its access to manufacturing potential, tech-savvy equipment, and/or strategic business locations (258).

It is emphasised that the Apple Inc.’s position in the business world is attributed to exceptional leadership and meticulous talent management practices. For instance, many corporations yearn for the Steve Job’s talent management styles. The development and management of the abilities is strictly observed in the organisation. Various talent management factors underpin the Apple Inc.’s exceptional innovation and productivity in the technology industry (Lazonick, Mazzucato, and Tulum 257).

At the outset, the company adopts a lean talent management strategy that has improved its productivity tremendously (Daft 167). Lazonick, Mazzucato, and Tulum reveal that many corporations worldwide strive to develop the most productive employees (258). However, the Apple Company’s lean management approach seeks to generate unusual revenue that amounts to approximately 2 million dollars from every employee. This state of affairs implies that the company focuses on strategic understaffing and minimal operational costs with a view of increasing the productivity and innovativeness amongst the employees (Daft 168). Secondly, the company emphasises on the establishment and constant reinforcement of a performance culture. The company’s plan is to design, develop, manufacture, and distribute overwhelming products that lead the computer, mobile technology, and wearable devices industry.

Transformational Leadership Perspective of Organisational Theory

Leadership in the Apple Company is primarily driven by the passion for inventiveness and enthusiasm. One of the greatest approaches to the accomplishment of the corporation’s development goals is transformational leadership. This leadership strategy aims at motivating the workforce to realize a high degree of efficiency at both the individual and organisational levels. The approach to management involves the use of authority to accomplish change processes successfully (Daft 434).

Job believed that the development of inherently motivated and inspired employees to change the world was paramount to the emergence of the organisation as a global leader in the technology industry. However, the accomplishment of this theoretical model requires the employees to exhibit a high level of dedication, willpower, altruism, and audacity among other characteristics (Daft 435). According to Lazonick, Mazzucato, and Tulum, these features enable a leader to redefine the company’s competitive framework (263). For instance, transformational leadership has seen the Apple Company differentiate its products in terms of design, resourcefulness, and usability among other aspects.

However, this kind of leadership approach fails where the organisation needs to develop work relationships amongst the employees. Since the transformational leadership style focuses on the realisation of the desired goals, other important aspects such as the development of organisational processes are easily overlooked. Furthermore, Lazonick, Mazzucato, and Tulum claim that the approach is centred on the leader; hence, the succession of the management style by the next administration is usually challenging (265).

Summary of the Findings

From the above literature, it is clear that the Apple Company’s leaders have been adopting a variety of organisational theories that have taken it through numerous changes. This state of events resulted in the attainment of its current leading position in the design, development, and distribution of high-end computer, mobile, and wearable devices. Various organisational structures and management practices have enabled the company attain an exceptional competitive position in the technology industry. For instance, it is shown that the adoption of the flat structure has significantly contributed to the development of excellent products such as the iPhone, iPad, and Mac PC that have dominated the mobile communication and PC industry (Lazonick, Mazzucato, and Tulum 256).

In the ever-changing business environment in the technology world, the contingency theory of thinking has also been inevitable in the management of the corporation. Since the regime of Steve Jobs, leaders in the company appreciate the key role of the contingency approach in the formation and perpetuation of a learning organisation (Keen and Qureshi 15). The agility to remain modern in any aspect of business has underpinned the transformational leadership approach that has guided the company towards constant improvement, teamwork, commitment, and acquisition of new information.


This essay has provided a critical analysis of the organisational design and application of theoretical models in the Apple Inc. From the foregoing discussion, it has been shown that the corporation is a product of various uniquely developed values that are focused on constant innovation, talent management, and customer satisfaction. However, the company should adopt a leadership style that encourages the formation of strong teamwork and relationships amongst the employees.

Works Cited

Daft, Richard. Organization Theory and Design, Boston, MA: Cengage Learning, 2012. Print.

Keen, Peter, and Sajda Qureshi. Organizational transformation through business models: a framework for business model design, 2006. Web.

Lazonick, William, Mariana Mazzucato, and Ă–ner Tulum. “Apple’s Changing Business Model: What Should The World’s Richest Company Do With All Those Profits?” Accounting Forum 37.4 (2013): 249-267. Print.

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