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Apple: Management Style and Organisational Structure

Paper Type: Free Assignment Study Level: University / Undergraduate
Wordcount: 2997 words Published: 18th Nov 2020

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Executive Summary:

This report analyses the case of Apple Inc to understand its management style, organization structure, organization culture. Further, the inclusion, diversity and ethics of the management stated are discussed with focus on the management issues faced by Apple as highlighted by various business forums globally in terms of privacy and supply chain management.

About Apple:

Apple Inc. (already Apple Computer, Inc) is a worldwide company that is built up on April 1, 1976 in California and incorporated on January 3, 1977. The organization for a long time was named as Apple Computer, Inc. be that as it may, it changed its name to Apple Inc. on January 9, 2007 as it needed to grow to the customer gadgets showcase and don't just remain in the PC advertise. 

Besides, the organization for the year 2010 utilizes 46,600 full – time workers and 2800 impermanent representatives and contractual workers. Some of its products are the following:

  • Hardware Products
  • Application
  • Software
  • Operation System Software
  • Displays & Peripheral Products

Justification for selection:

Apple Inc's. Hierarchical structure adds to powerful and quick advancement, which is a basic achievement factor of the business in the data innovation, online administrations, and buyer gadgets enterprises. An organization's hierarchical or corporate structure is the blend of workforce gatherings, assets, and interconnections among these gatherings and assets in the business. The hierarchical plan decides how the authoritative structure is created and oversaw. Around here investigation instance of Apple Inc., the corporate structure bolsters techniques that push for further mechanical advancement.

Qualitative research method:

Case study / Content analysis method: Contextual analysis research is a qualitative research technique that is utilized to analyze contemporary genuine circumstances and apply the discoveries of the case to the issue under study. Contextual analyses include an itemized logical examination of a predetermined number of occasions or conditions and their connections (Scapens, 2011). It gives the premise to the utilization of thoughts and expansion of strategies. It encourages a specialist to comprehend an unpredictable issue or item and add solidarity to what is now known through past research. It is an escalated examination of the specific unit viable. Its significant attributes are as per the following: a) the analyst can take one single social unit or a greater amount of such units for his study b) the chosen unit is considered seriously for example it is examined in moment subtleties.

The process of this method involves:

1. Identification and definition of research questions

2. Selection of the case

3. Data collection

4. Data analysis and evaluation

5. Output presentation

Data sources for this case study include Apple website, reports published by the company annually, articles from journal of international academy of case studies, journal of engineering and technology management and Journal of International Management

Organizational theory:

Management role and functions at Apple Inc:

The management plays a crucial role in the advancement of Apple Inc. After Steve jobs was gone, Tim cook has made a few changes but continued with the existing structure to attain success in innovation and creativity at all attainable levels of the market.

The main functions of the management at Apple Inc involved

a. Planning

Apple Inc. is centred on passing on the best customer experience to their clients through their imaginative hardware, programming and advantages (Apple Inc., 2015). The association incorporates building and developing its very own retail and online stores and its related flow framework to feasibly acquire more customers and offer broad arrangements and post-deals bolster involvement (Apple Inc., 2015).

It has achieved its astounding exhibition through reasonably realizing an unordinary framework: separation through development with simultaneous genuine degrees of effectiveness, bringing about the most diminished costs in its industry (Loizos, 2013). However, when organizations try to use both of these methodologies, in the long haul, they get "stuck in the centre", as, it isn't practical to separate an item requiring little to no effort. In any case, this mix, called quantum strategy, is the way to accomplishment of the firm since delivering imaginative items empowered them to charge premium prices. Besides, by decreasing the expense of creation and re-appropriating an ease technique is feasible (Loizos, 2013).

b. Organizing

Organizational style: The organization's structural attributes to keep up a customary pecking order, with some key components from different kinds of authoritative structure. Apple Inc. prosperity is connected to development and the administration of Steve Jobs, and its corporate structure is somewhat liable for guaranteeing support for such initiative. The format of Apple's organizational structure can be illustrated as follows:

Presently, under Tim Cook's initiative ("Conceptual provisions of formation of the quality management system within the integrated corporate structure", 2015), Apple has rolled out some little improvements in its hierarchical structure to suit the current worldwide market and industry requests.

The hierarchical organizational structure of Apple Inc. is characterized by product-based grouping which is divisional, inter divisional organization which is weak functional matrix followed by traditional features to suit the business. The three main features of Apple's structure are

1. Spoke- and - wheel hierarchy:

The upper level (deepest level in the spoke-and-wheel circle) of the corporate structure has a function-based gathering, which is a component gotten from the useful kind of hierarchical structure. Senior VPs who report to Tim Cook handles business capacities. For instance, Apple has a senior VP for retail and a senior VP for overall displaying. In this structural component, the organization's top chiefs address business needs as far as business work territories.

2. Product based divisions:

The upper and lower levels of Apple's corporate structure have product-based divisions, which is a component gotten from the divisional sort of organizational structure. There are senior VPs and VPs for various yields or products. For instance, Apple has a Senior Vice President for Software Engineering (iOS and macOS), a Senior Vice President for Hardware Engineering (Mac, iPhone, iPad, and iPod), and a Senior Vice President for Hardware Technologies (equipment segments). Apple Inc.'s advertising blend or 4P is connected to this basic trademark. This part of the corporate structure is utilized to oversee explicit products or product segments that the organization conveys to its objective clients.

3. Weak functional matrix:

Apple Inc.'s weak functional grid alludes to the community connections among different segments of the business. In a weak functional lattice, top administration decides venture bearing, while undertaking heads have restricted position and control. For instance, the corporate structure permits equipment groups to work together with programming groups. Along these lines, the organization encourages data dispersal that is fundamental for development forms. This structural component adds to viable and fast advancement forms, which are a significant business quality that appeared in the SWOT investigation of Apple Inc. Through this attribute of the authoritative structure, the organization keeps up solid advancement forms that help brand improvement and the utilization of premium-valuing procedures.

Organizational culture:

Characterized by the following at Apple:

First-rate excellence: Apple intends to utilize individuals that are the best at what they do. Brightness is emphasized as a vital component of achievement, especially when structuring and delivering products. Absolutely superb is acknowledged and anybody whose exhibition doesn't meet the desires is terminated decisively (Meyer, 2015)

Innovativeness: Creativity is an important resource at Apple, particularly for representatives who work in structuring and creating products. Besides, this element has served accommodating in critical thinking and when figuring out what the buyers need (Meyer, 2015).

Advancement: Innovation exceptionally stresses in their hierarchical structure. Apple is praised for its imaginative soul in the business and continually urges its representatives to concoct innovative, unique and contributively thoughts on product structure and production (Meyer, 2015).

Mystery: Secrecy is a significant piece of their hierarchical culture since it shields the organization from the theft of data or secret activities. Each representative at Apple consents to a non-exposure understanding that keeps him or her from spreading data (Meyer, 2015).

Moderate combativeness: This component was exceptionally connected with Steve Job's method for driving. Steve Jobs even used to incite his workers just to see whether they had what it took to be a piece of Apple. Today, under Tim Cook, it is drilled yet in a more subsided way (Meyer, 2015).

c. Leading

Steve Jobs was the CEO who revolutionized the association from its center, after he retook control in 1997 (Isaacson, 2012). His administration is described as a combination of different leadership styles relying upon the conditions, since he was a visionary leader (Nair and Quay, 2012). At the point when he returned he engaged and disentangled the methodology in the production procedure yet in addition, mulled over the imaginative recommendations of his subordinates, giving them the opportunity to consider creative thoughts (Isaacson, 2012).

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When Tim Cook took over in 2011, a measure of Apple's staff quit their occupations since they couldn't envision the firm without its visionary chief (Nair and Quay, 2012). Notwithstanding, the organization keeps on succeeding monetarily, the incomes somewhere in the range of 2011 and 2014 increased by 70% while the financial exchange cost simultaneously edge multiplied (Yoffie and Baldwin, 2015). Besides, his autocratic strategy is believed to be absolutist by some yet fair by others, since, imaginative gadgets, for example, Apple Watch and Apple Pay keep on being created this reconciliation of styles is viewed as successful in the association (Yoffie and Baldwin, 2015, Nair and Quay, 2012).

d. Controlling

The controlling mechanism of the managers is the most significant because here you see the consequences of the three up to referenced capacities: planning, organizing, and leading. In the controlling procedure, managers watch out for individuals and their presentation of the activity, and afterward collect and translate the data and roll out any remedial improvements that should be made. Nothing is ensured to go as arranged, so plans must be balanced and improved to guarantee future achievement. (Schermerhorn, 2010).

Apple's Ethics statement:

Apple's management insists on codes that focus on workplace safety, pay rate, health practices and more. They review and amend strict guidelines to suppliers annually to ensure product standard compliance ("Apple Inc. - Code of Conduct (Ethics Statement) - BUS100mlmuseAppleInc", 2019). The organization surveys random centres as a surprise audit to ensure that the teams adhere to their ethics all the time. Apple has trained millions of its teams to achieve ethics compliance.

Labor and human rights: The management has strict regulations on antidiscrimination, reinstatement of fair treatment to all who serve the company in various levels. They also work on prevention of involuntary labour and human trafficking in the warehouses. The company has also consistently imposed on 60 hours maximum working hours per week that includes over time with a minimum one day leave in every week. Minimum wages are provided across all the Apple workforce.

Health and safety:

Apple perceives that incorporating sound wellbeing and security the board rehearses into all parts of business is fundamental to keep up high resolve and produce creative products. Suppliers will focus on making safe working conditions and a sound workplace for the entirety of their labourers.

Management Accountability and Responsibility

Risk Assessment and Management—A procedure to distinguish ecological, wellbeing and security, business ethics, work, human rights, and lawful consistence dangers related with their tasks; decide the general hugeness of each hazard; and execute proper strategies and physical controls to guarantee consistency and control the recognized dangers. Hazard evaluations for wellbeing and security must include stockroom and storerooms, plant and office bolster hardware, research centers and test zones, restrooms, kitchens, cafeterias, and specialist lodging.

Performance Objectives with Implementation Plans and Measures—Written norms, execution goals, targets, and usage plans, including an intermittent appraisal of the Supplier's presentation against those destinations.

Reviews and Assessments—Periodic self-assessments to guarantee that the Supplier, its subcontractors, and its next-level Suppliers are conforming to this Code and with appropriate laws and guidelines.

Diversity in Apple:

Apple is an organization with various decent varieties from race, ethnicity, sex, and sexual direction. Apple esteems individualistic distinction and inclusion to accomplish more noteworthy objectives. "Assorted variety is more than anyone's sexual orientation, race, or ethnicity. It is luxuriously illustrative surprisingly, all foundations, and all viewpoints. It is the whole human experience" - Denise Young Smith, Apple VP of World Wide Human Resources

The greatest strength of Apple is credited to its diversity and Inclusion, which has broadened since the leadership of Tim Cook ("Inclusion & Diversity", 2019).

Inclusion of women at Apple has been increasing:

The Apple in USA represents a combined workforce based out of different ethnicities, as they believe in inclusion as the strength of the innovation.

Recommendations and Conclusions:

Apple's corporate structure has the drawback of low adaptability. Chain of command regularly counteracts lower levels of the structure to deftly react to current business needs and market requests. For instance, the organization's product-based divisions must hang tight for mandates from the CEO or other top administrators to continue in actualizing changes that address drifts in the market for buyer gadgets. Nevertheless, Tim Cook has just made slight upgrades by increasing joint effort among various pieces of the firm. Such cooperation improves hierarchical adaptability. Overall, Apple's hierarchical structure does not bolster fast changes in light of the fact that everything must experience Tim Cook and the top management.


  • Apple Inc. - AnnualReports.com. (2015). Retrieved 30 October 2019, from http://www.annualreports.com/Company/apple-inc
  • Apple Inc. - Code of Conduct (Ethics Statement) - BUS100mlmuseAppleInc. (2019). Retrieved 30 October 2019, from https://sites.google.com/a/email.vccs.edu/bus100mlmuseappleinc/home/apple-inc-code-of-conduct
  • Apple Inc. - Code of Conduct (Ethics Statement) - BUS100mlmuseAppleInc. (2019). Retrieved 30 October 2019, from https://sites.google.com/a/email.vccs.edu/bus100mlmuseappleinc/home/apple-inc-code-of-conduct
  • Conceptual provisions of formation of the quality management system within the integrated corporate structure. (2015). International Business Management9(6), 1129-1135.
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  • Inclusion & Diversity. (2019). Retrieved 30 October 2019, from https://www.apple.com/diversity/
  • John Wiley & Sons. (2010). Introduction to management (10th ed.). New York.
  • Meyer, P. (2019). Apple Inc.’s Organizational Structure & Its Characteristics (An Analysis) - Panmore Institute. Retrieved 30 October 2019, from http://panmore.com/apple-inc-organizational-structure-features-pros-cons
  • Nair, P., & Quay, A. (2012). The Sweet and Sour Apple: The Case of CEO Strategies at Apple Inc. The Indian Journal Of Management5(1), 21-23.
  • Scapens, R. (2011). The Case Study as Research Method: A Practical Handbook20111Yves‐C. Gagnon. The Case Study as Research Method: A Practical Handbook. Québec: Presses de l'Université du Québec 2010. Qualitative Research In Accounting & Management8(2), 201-204. doi: 10.1108/11766091111137582
  • The Real Leadership Lessons of Steve Jobs. (2012). Harvard Business Review90(4), 92-102.
  • Yoffie, D., & Baldwin, E. (2019). Apple's Future: Apple Watch, Apple TV, and/or Apple Car?. Retrieved 30 October 2019, from https://www.hbs.edu/faculty/Pages/item.aspx?num=49343


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