Apple Inc, headquartered in California, US is primarily engaged in design, development and sales of computer media and mobile communication devices (iPhone, iPad), computer electronics (Mac book, Apple desktop) and portable music players (iPod). In addition, the organization also sells several associative software, accessories and digital contents of third parties. The organization is reputed for its applications and digital contents through iTunes store, iBooks and App store. Apple Inc.’s products are sold all over the world though online shopping platforms, brick and mortar stores as well as direct sales force (Bloomberg, 2015a).
Apple Inc. operates in multiple industries but its main domain has been the computer hardware and consumer electronics industry. The organization ranks five in the computer hardware industry with a market share of 5.4% trailing behind market leader Lenovo, HP, Acer and Asus (Bloomberg, 2015b). However, the company still stands ahead of its long time competitor Samsung Electronics. Being headquartered in California, USA, the company has expanded to almost all of Europe, the emerging economics (Brazil, Russia, India and China) and is also predominant in Asia Pacific region. In the Smartphone segment, Apple Inc. ranks second with a market share of 11.9% falling behind Samsung Electronics (Forbes, 2014). Apple Inc. faces intense competition especially in the Smartphone segment from arch rivals Samsung Electronics and Microsoft. Off late, Chinese Smartphone companies like Xiaomi and Gionee has also shown extensive competitiveness to a company of the stature of Apple Inc (Bloomberg, 2015b).
Apple Inc.’s magnanimous success till date has always been driven by the effective leadership strategies emulated by the organizational leaders. The fundamental reason behind the unprecedented success achieved by the company is the degree of innovation induced by the leaders in everything that the company does. The leaders have always stressed upon the need to think creative which is why they have constantly encouraged employees to come up with new ideas and share them with colleagues and senior managers. Employees are provided with the flexibility to conduct their own research which enables them to identify areas where innovation can be induced (Charnan, 2008).
The managers in Apple have emphasized a lot on purposive work. They believe that purposeless work can never be enjoyed. That is why they constantly encourage their employees to enjoy what they are doing by giving them a purpose and that is to bring change. This agenda has driven the innovations that have been produced by Apple over the last decades. Apple Inc.’s managers have always thrived from development which is why their constant endeavor has been to bring about improvement in all its product segments. The managers in Apple Inc. have established a robust line of communication that facilitates free flow of information between various functional departments. This has enabled the managers to streamline several operations which in turn have boosted the operational efficiency (Holbach, 2009).
Managers in Apple Inc. have engaged in frequent communication with the subordinates in order to understand their grievances and issues. These issues may be related to organizational development of personal development. The managers have been more than eager to address these issues regardless of the type and nature. This has enabled them to make the employees feel that they are being valued which in turn boost their confidence and motivation level. The managers have given equivalent emphasis on the welfare of the employees and on the productivity of the organization as a result of which Apple Inc. has been able to perform consistently over the last decade or so and has eventually gained a considerable proportion of market share. Apple’s managers have successfully established a relationship based on trust and respect with their subordinate employees which in turn have allowed the latter to gain all round development (Cooper & Robertson, 2009).
Apple Inc.’s managers have always applied a transformational leadership style by encouraging employees to think beyond imagination. This has enabled the organization to make groundbreaking developments in their product and service attributes that beats the competition in the industry. Their leadership style is evident in the way the employees cater to address the needs of the company’s customer base. The managers have always given importance to training and development programs in order to equip their officers, sales force and store ushers with adequate skills in order to for them to be able to influence the purchase behavior of their customers (Hughes & Beatty, 2011).
Apple Inc.’s organizational structure is collaborative in nature with the company’s CEO as the nucleus. The organizational structure of the company is just like a startup company where the owner creates multiple functional departments and appoints managers for each one of them. Each of those managers has their own unit comprising of team members who assigned with a variety of responsibilities. Apple’s organizational structure has been shown in figure 1 given below:
Figure 1: Apple Inc. organizational structure
(Source: Word Press, 2015)
Although the organization structure looks relatively complex but is simple in nature. The collaborative structure allows employees in the lower level to communicate with middle level managers as well as top tier managers. The company’s business strategies are completely aligned with the organizational structure and its chain of command. The collaborative organization structure allows the top tier managers to delegate responsibilities appropriately to the middle tier managers. The middle level managers thereafter find it relatively convenient to convey the organizational objectives to the lower level employees. Apple’s organizational structure has promoted teamwork integrated with proper coordination and collaboration. The free flow of information between the organizational employees has allowed the managers to align the operations closely to the organizational goals and objectives (Elçi, et al., 2012).