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The company culture of Apple Inc

Paper Type: Free Essay Subject: Business
Wordcount: 2419 words Published: 1st Jan 2015

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Apple incorporation is today’s one of the biggest if not the biggest organisation culture change trend master, in the past few years apple as being in the light of it totally perceive genius ways of getting thing done with a different, however Apples corporate culture is constantly changing as a result of changes to its leadership/CEO from time to time. To gain an in-depth understanding of this we must dwell into apple historical background, it pros and cons, and the possibility of future management. Therefore the empirical question would be what the culture of Apple is.

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What is culture?

Culture has been describe by many authors, school, theories to mention a few in relation to it conceptual useage,it as been described for example as the dominant values espoused by an organisation’, the basic assumption and believe that are share by member of an organisation’. In recent time culture has been refer to as ‘the way things are done around here’ (. foulk lynch 2006) culture refers to the shared understandings and meanings of that members have concerning an organisation. Rather as individuals have distinctive personalities organisation have their own particular culture. Some will be friendly, relaxed and informal while others will be highly formal aloof and hostile. Also Drenna(1992).in senior.B (1997).organisational change.london pitman publishing,p101)says culture is what typical of the organisation, the habits the prevailing attitudes, the grown up pattern of accepted and expected behaviour “.

Case study page 10,Van backer ( Backer)an analyst at Gartner inc, noted when Apple goes out to hire somebody, the no1 criteria is not how much experience you have or who you know .its whether they think you will fit into the culture. Nevertheless the culture seems unique but can it function without structure, the leader, performance and strategy? Ideally, we can communicate this by a thorough analysis of the model below, take note that the model is a non linear model as its all inter-related.

Fig1 culture model

What is the component culture at Apple Inc?

Noticeable in the case study is the commentators’ reference to Apple as a Unique culture, analysts argued that Steve jobs the CEO of Apple is the best marketer in the world, but his leadership style suggest a different view. For instance secrecy is the pinnacle of Apples strategic marketing culture. Apple was known to appreciate and value its employee, it worth noting that whereas motivational theories such as B.F Skinner (1974), Mintberg (1979), have highlighted the importance of reward and value as the ideological stimuli that motivate individual to work, in contrast, at Apple any universal concept of motivation might not work, because of how apple justifies its reward system with a do or die culture. More so the structure at Apple Inc is becoming complex as it evolves into a different pattern over the years.

The above is an illustration of a standardize structure of organisation formulated by many scholars over the year to explain organizational functionality; the flat is more prominent to entrepreneurship while the other is ideal for a larger organisation. However, of all the supportive research is the work of Canadian academics, called Henry Mintzberg. According to Mintzberg (1979)”an organisational structure is the sum total of the way in which it divides its labour into distinct task and then achieve coordination between them’.include others….in relation to Apple Inc is of opinion that the trend at apple organisation structure is more complex than initially perceived, for instance Apple is seen as the pioneer of “work hard play hard” ethic. Equally important is the frequent changes in structure as different leaders tried to adopt a different approach to reorganise the structure, it is interesting that analyst said Apple adopted a style that was not too far too formal or hierarchical and that the approach was more result-driven.

In ugly circumstances as a reference to the case study the adopted in Apple is not consistent with its culture noticeably any change in culture will resort in change in structure if the structure cannot survive without the culture then where do we put the leadership style to bring about ultimate performance? Apple structure is neither hierarchy nor flat we could say it’s more of a hybrid or metric type according to Max webber in analyst of organisation he had identified the principle of bureaucracy as a continuous organisation that is bound by rules…..mention adocrasy


Leadership as a concept has been an interesting centre piece to different fields of thought, to the ordinary man; a leader is just a symbolic head, but as a supportive element by theorists and analysts a definite category of classification; it is said the most important type of leaderships are of the following: the charismatic, the traditional, the situational, the appointed, the functional and the principle centred leader for the purpose of this essay we will look at leadership from management perspective, according to G.A Cole in the book Management theory and practice leadership is define as the following:

“leadership at work is a dynamic process whereby one individual in a group is not only responsible for the group results but actively seeks the collaboration and commitment of all the group members in a achieving group goals in a particular context and against the background of a particular national culture” g. A cole Management theory and practice ref


The leadership style of Apple is highly represented by their iconic CEO Steve job that is highly regarded for his innovative, creative and marketing strategies. Using classification of leadership his style could be linked as the transformational leader which is characterised by the transformation of organisation, creativity and innovation with the purpose to engender commitment. However the simplicity of his approach could resort in the downfall of his perceived personality and organisational performance for instance if this was ideal for the organisational culture then the question would be the sited instances of global workforce revolting against the culture of secretary used by Apple as an accepted way to move the company forward. If apple is to maintain its status quo as the number one most valued company in the world then it needs to engage itself in some of leadership re orientation as over the past decade different management/leaders have tied to change the culture of apple and its structure only to head back to the starting point which is where they are today, Steve job certainly must be doing some right, concrete evidence suggest that Steve job must have outperformed his expectation to the board of management ref


the ripple effect of change of leaders/managers at Apple inc emphasis the need for change in culture, however this changes also brought about change in structure as each leader tries to implement his/her own ideology, arguable is the internal problem that apple faces from its reorganisation, for instance the appointment of sculley who was credit for making Apple one of the biggest and fastest-growing corporation in the US.REF-case study page 5 paragragh 4,a series of failure in the ealy 90s again brought another power shift when the board decided it time for leadership change and in 1993 Micheal spindler was appointed in place of sculley,spinder also fail to perform as expected ,Amelio could have being the one man that brought the last drastic change into apple because of his focus on Apple product line and workforce reduction but fail follow Apples corporate culture, once more Steve was back in business to turn things Around.a key point to his transformational leadership style, nevertheless its is questionable to argue that the board were more interested in performance rather leadership quality or style the focus arena should be performance which shall be dealt with accordingly in next paragraphs.


As of present day, there’s no generalised definition of performance in management field, however few management researcher have noted the core different of performance from other fields in comparison to management sectors. Performance is more adapted to performance management day in day out, therefore performance could be agreed to be of relevance to situational changes. Armstrong and Baron define performance management as ‘a process which contributes to the effective management of individuals and teams in order to achieve high levels of organisational performance. As such, it establishes shared understanding about what is to be achieved and an approach to leading and developing people which will ensure that it is achieved’. They go on to stress that it is ‘a strategy which relates to every activity of the organization set in the context of its human resource policies, culture, style and communications systems. The nature of the strategy depends on the organisational context and can vary from organisation to organisation.’CIPD

As evidence in the case study the market value of Apple against the backdrop of its financial performance over the years in Exhibit VIII, it is clear that in the past decade there being a major profit share in the company, more so recently Apple posted all time record revenue with increase earnings of 78 percent, as of July 2010. The Company posted record revenue of $15.7 billion and net quarterly profit of $3.25 billion, or $3.51 per diluted share. These results compare to revenue of $9.73 billion and net quarterly profit of $1.83 billion, or $2.01 per diluted share, in the year-ago quarter. Gross margin was 39.1 percent compared to 40.9 percent in the year-ago quarter. International sales accounted for 52 percent of the quarter’s revenue.nevertheless financial performance in one comfort zone for the company identity externally but those this speak the same for the internal general audit of employee of Apple who work tirelessly to get this result out.then how engaged are the staff of Apple incorporation.

What then is employee engagement?


The unique culture of Apple which is base on the leadership style of one man approach: steave jobs,can it survive after the exit of job.its plauseible to say yes as jobs himself claim he had trained others to manage whenever he is no longer available,however the determation of each individual could result in systemic failure of the culture as every leader approach with a diffrwent goal setting.if the goal serve as the basis for motivation,and the goals are set by managers,industrial standard or base on negotiation,how then do you motivate individual,researchers noted that one can be motivated by target set against the others while you could be demotivated by over pressured standard.”levison(1972)”hinglight this in Asinine attitude towards motivation, in relation to reward or punishment to motivate workers, more so borrowing the idea of Hygiene theory of motivation by Herzberg (1968),which he claim that the most important motivator or satisfier are



Work itself



While the following called hygiene factors or dissatisfers

Company policy and administration.

Supervision-the technical aspects.


Interpersonal relations-supervison

Working conditions.

Herzberg poited out that these fctors were intrictly related to the content of work,,ie with intricsic challenge,interest and the individual responses generated by them.

If applied to Apple,how do we justifie the working condition of staff who work for long hours to get the job done,or does the secery atmosphere bring about individual motivation or fear of punishment has who ever fail to comply to the culture is noticeably punichnished,the reward scheme in apple for those that come up with innovative technoly like iphone,mac ipad could result in esteem of individauual while the punisiment approach on the other hand isd deteriment to the public image of Apple as any failure leads to sacking individual or leakage of secret will automatical result in dismissal.therefore we could say any universal concept of motivation might not work in Apple cooperate culture base on perceived punishment and reward of staff performance,thus Apple cooperate culture is zero experience and no stability of staff uptil now though it has worked for the company.

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Even though the strategy may be consider risky. Apple target young staff recruits with less commitment and more glory seeking rather than experience. However is worth saying the older generation are not mush expandable. This could be explain using Maslow (1956) Hierarchy of needs, which he associated the important of needs to motivate individual, starting from basic needs called physiological needs, follow by safety needs, then love needs, esteem needs, and self actualisation. He emphasis that as one needs is fulfil we move up to another.

Goal setting (locke,shaw sari &latham 1981)

A change in goal will foreseen a better Apple as a company,for example Apple has always focus on improving on a previose product ie Iphone1,2,3..4.e.tc while not come up with something entirely different and innovative.even thougth Apple came up with a micro palm device name ipad,it still relie entire on the old operatin system which is gradually facing out as compition grows in the technology industry.Again the past ten years down the line Steve Jobs was the in same job at the apex of the company after many failures of different managers at various stages of cultural development within Apple inc.even though Jobs is makin money for apple for nowthe question is will same strategy that fails at the initial past decade in culcutere,work for the future?

A do or die culcure was Apples it it idela for apple?fro instance school tried for Apple for about five years,thus due to culcutrea strategy of schulley,the board got raid of him.at this jouncture the answer would be it all depends on many factors conserving strategy culture and variable element to forecast the future.


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