ID #: 2911785
The following is a description of Apple Inc.’s organizational structure and processes.
Although it is argued that Apple has relied on innovation and design to become a major competitor in the technology sector, their success is largely due to its ingenious organizational structure, authority, and job design utilized within the company.
Steve Jobs, Apple’s Chief Executive Officer, changed the organizational structure (Appendix 1) of Apple Inc. to functional departmentalization in the late ’90’s (Wikipedia, 2014). Functional departmentalization allows work to be done by highly qualified specialists, lowering costs and reducing duplication. This efficient structure has significantly contributed to the corporation’s emergence as one of the most powerful technology companies in the world. Employees have similar backgrounds in this structure; Therefore, the work experience, training, communication and coordination are relatively similar for most within the group. These similarities limit inter-organizational problems and provide a positive work environment (Williams, Zondra, & Vibert, 2008). Using this type of departmentalization allows Apple to have a focused approach throughout their projects. There is no co-ordination with other groups, and the company can keep their products a secret until launch dates. These functions, as well as others, are why Apple has chosen the most advantageous organizational structure of which to choose from.
The other structures Apple could have chosen are product, customer, geographic, or matrix departmentalization, each of these have their own advantages and disadvantages. Product departmentalization divides company areas based on product lines. This structure allows for development of broader skill sets and better performance evaluation of product divisions (Williams, Zondra, & Vibert, 2008). The downfall of the Cupertino, California based company adopting this structure would be the inefficient use of resources, time, and money. Customer departmentalization is similar to the product departmentalization as it results in a duplication of resources; In addition, it can be difficult to coordinate across multiple areas within the company. The main advantage of Apple using this would be the enhanced focus on customer needs and ability to adapt to different needs and problems that arise. Although geographic structures help companies sell in different countries by responding to the unique demands of different markets, this structure would also lead to the duplication of resources and inefficient department coordination (Williams, Zondra, & Vibert, 2008). Instead, Apple has been able to reach cultures world-wide by utilizing partnerships around the globe with companies like China Mobile and its software with over 35 system languages(iOS8, 2014; Collelo, 2014). Matrix departmentalization has a high degree of cross-functional interaction; Each group usually has two leaders or direct reports. Suncor Energy Inc., my current employer, uses the matrix structure, and there is a lack of communication between different areas. Even though this structure is seen as a way to manage large tasks, it requires an effective management team to coordinate between bosses and avoid confusion or conflict (Williams, Zondra, & Vibert, 2008). Of the options available, Apple chose the most straightforward and effective organizational structure for its current operations, functional departmentalization.
The chain of command within the company is relatively straightforward. The organizational chart clearly shows that they follow the principle of unity of command. This prevents confusion in the workplace as employees only report to one boss (Williams, Zondra, & Vibert, 2008). In addition, all product projects are kept a secret. Using this method “… helps employees to stay head-down and focused on their own...
References: Apple Inc. (2014). What is iOS8?. Retrieved 09 10, 2014, from Apple: http://www.apple.com/ios/what-is/
Collelo, B. (2014). Investment Thesis. Retrieved 09 10, 2014, from Morningstar: http://analysisreport.morningstar.com/stock/research?t=AAPL®ion=USA&culture=en-US
Fiegerman, S. (2012). Why Working At Apple Is A Dream Job. Retrieved 09 13, 2014, from Business Insider: http://www.businessinsider.com/heres-what-employees-really-love- about-working-for-apple-2012-6?op=1
Reuters. (2012). Tim Cook stamps his authority on Apple with management overhaul. Retrieved 09 12, 2014, from NDTV: http://gadgets.ndtv.com/mobiles/news/tim-cook-stamps-his- authority-on-apple-with-management-overhaul-286256
Wikipedia. (2014). History of Apple Inc. Retrieved 09 10, 2014, from Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_Apple_Inc
Williams, C., Zondra, A. Z., & Vibert, C. (2008). Management (2nd Canadian Edition, pp. 1-86). Nelson Education Ltd.
Yarow, J. (2012) Apple Management Lessons Every Company Should Steal. Retrieved 09 13, 2014, from Business Insider: http://www.businessinsider.com/how-to-run-your-company-like-apple-2012-2?op=1
Apple Inc.’s Organizational Structure (2011)
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