Internal and External Factors
December 9, 2012
Prof. Maggie Ellison-Lohkemper
Internal and External Factors
Innovation is an internal factor of business that has served as the cornerstone for Apple’s success as a technology giant. “Arguably one of the most innovative technology companies to emerge in the last three decades,” Apple has masterfully applied the four functions of management to their business strategy (Finkle and Mallin, 2011, p. 63). The first function, planning, focuses on the company’s strategy to set out and achieve their organizational goals. The technology industry is perpetually evolving to be successful Apple has to stay ahead of the curve using strategic planning to ensure that their innovative products dominate the market. Apple “stands for innovation in personal computing and digital media distribution” (Finkle and Mallin, 2011, p. 63). The second function of management is organizing and Apple’s organizational infrastructure is strong and profitable. They employ the best software designers in California and allow China to take the competitive advantage in production. The third function of management, leading, has also played a big role in the development of Apple as a corporation. One of their most successful, intuitive, and respected leaders was Steve Jobs. Jobs redefined “Apple’s image to a ‘hip’ alternative to other brands – computers that offered a cutting-edge, tightly integrated user experience” (Finkle and Mallin, 2011, p. 65). The fourth function of management, controlling, is about modifying your product or service based on the feedback of your consumer. Jobs worked to make Apple’s products more compatible for Microsoft users. When consumers complained that Apple’s tablet prices were too high, Apple released an iPad Mini with much of the same base functionality but at a much lower price tag. Apple is a leader in innovation. “Apple does not ask people what they wanted; it tells them what they were going to want next” (Grossman 2010, p 37). Diversity
Bateman and Snell (2011) says, “Organizing activities include attracting people to the organization, specifying job responsibilities, grouping jobs into work units, marshaling and allocating resources, and creating conditions so that people and things work together to achieve maximum success” (p. 15). Apple stores are located in 14 different countries around the world (Apple Retail Store, 2012). Apple must be able to communicate and train the managers running those stores. Hiring people of different cultures and languages is extremely important so that communication to and from these different locations is clear. Apple Inc. has diverse engineers and diverse suppliers. Williams (2011) explains his first encounter with Steve Jobs and how he was asked to help Steve Jobs hire more black engineers. Williams was teaching an engineering class at a school for black women in Atlanta called Spelman College. Mr. Jobs’ understanding of the importance in developing a diverse team is apparent. According to “Apple and Procurement” (2011), “Apple’s Supplier Diversity Program was formally established in 1993; since that time the company has continued growing and supporting the long list of suppliers who participate.” This program includes different diverse councils that Apple supports. Diversity at Apple Inc. provides different cultures to come together to come up with new ideas and plans. Ellis (2011) explains, “Understanding cultural differences will help you to embrace others’ viewpoints that lead to profitable solutions. Organizations that are attuned to diversity are more likely to prosper in the global marketplace,” (p. 273). Hiring diverse employees and suppliers has benefited Apple because it can also advertise and communicate with a large variety of consumers. Technology
Organizations compete in a global industry of an ever-changing landscape. As such, it is clear that...
References: Apple and Procurement. (2012). Retrieved from http://www.apple.com/procurement
Apple Retail Store. (2012). Retrieved from http://www.apple.com/retail/storelist/
Bateman, T. S., & Snell, S. A. (2011). Management: Leading & Collaborating in a Competitive World (9th ed.). New York, NY: McGraw-Hill/Irwin.
Ellis, D. (2011). Becoming a Master Student (13th ed.). Boston, MA: Wadsworth.
Finkle, T. A. & Mallin, M. L., (2011). APPLE INC.: PRODUCT PORTFOLIO ANALYSIS. Journal Of The International Academy For Case Studies, 17(7), 63-74.
Gregory T. Huang. Over the Border, New Scientist, January 20, 2007,downloaded from Business & Company Resource Center, http://galenet.galegroup.com (interview of Ethan Zuckerman).
Grossman, L. (2010). Launch Pad. It’s Here. It’s Hot. But What on Earth was the iPad For? Time, April 12, 2010, 34-37.
Wilcox, D. L. (2012). At the Core of Apple. Public Relations Strategist, 18(3), 28-29.
Williams, A. B. (2011, October 28). Steve Jobs ' Passion for Diversity. Urban Faith. Retrieved from http://www.urbanfaith.com/2011/10/steve-jobs%E2%80%99-passion-for-diversity.html/
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