A company set for success ought to have a stable organizational structure. According to Griffin (2014), organizational structure determines how power, roles, and responsibilities in an organization are assigned, coordinated, controlled, and how information flows between
different levels of management. An organization’s objectives and strategy largely determine the organizational structure. As such, how an organization is set up controls the success or failure of the concerned company. Jones (2010) states that the organizational structure
dictates how to report priorities and strategies to the upper management.
Consequently, having an understanding of a firm’s organizational structure may also help reveal cross-functional required to coordinate work efforts and optimal results. Accordingly, the paper evaluates Apple’s organizational structure.
Apple uses a collaborative structure to realize its goals and objectives. According to Griffin (2014), a collaborative structure brings together different teams in the organization to form a long-term relationship to achieve a common goal. The organizational structure has
seen Apple transform ever niche it venture into thereby rendering other players uncompetitive.
For instance, in 1984, Apple launched the original Macintosh that could be used by anyone regardless of their computer expertise (Reference Essays, 2013). During the
time, International Business Machines (IBM) was the leading maker and seller of computers. However, the computers could only be used by programmers. Jobs combined ideas with his lead designers and conceptualized the idea of graphical user interface that could make a
computer more user-friendly. After its launch, the sales were so splendid such that years later, Apple outwitted IBM in personal computers manufacture.
According to Griffin (2014), a collaborative work environment played a significant role in Apple revolutionary design of Macintosh. When a team of professionals works together towards a particular goal, different talents come into play. Consequently, there arise more ideas resulting in innovation (Reference Essays, 2013).
Apple’s CEO, Tim Cook, also attributes the success of the iPhone to the collaborative structure of Apple. He notes that Apple has no committees. Consequentdy, the employees are free to share their opinion and ideas geared to the safeguard the progress and success of the
company. While making the iPhone, Steve Jobs brought together all the teams to come up with ideas on how to enter the already saturated mobile phone market. Most analysts were skeptical of Apple’s ability to beat giants such as BlackBerry. However, the collaborative
environment helped Apple visualize the idea of a Smartphone. During the first launch of iPhone 1, the company was able to sell over one million units. Later, the company changed how people viewed mobile phones. Few years after coming up with the iPhone, Apple beat its
skeptics by reducing the mobile market share of big companies like BlackBerry that used to dominate the high-end mobile phone market.
According to Olson et al. (2005), Apple’s organizational structure has various advantages and disadvantages. First, the collaborative structure has very high responsiveness.
Secondly it allows for inter-departmental decision making. Moreover, CEO has the influence to the decision making of department functions thereby ensuring thus enforcing the company’s strategy. Furthermore, Olson et al. (2010) notes that collaborative structure allows for central control. For example, at Apple, the CEO is central to any operation while all other departmental heads who are at the same level. Lastly, a collaborative structure gets rid of traditional hierarchy that hampers innovation. On the other hand, the main disadvantage is that the CEO has to0 many departments to handle. Secondly, there arises a communication gap between units as the functions are not inter-related. Lastly, the transactions between departments is too high.
Microsoft is another leading computer software company whose structure is comparable to Apple. Originally, Microsoft had a functional organizational structure. According to Jones (2010), the functional organizational structure is a structure where an organization is divided into small groups with each area covering a particular specialized area (Griffin, 2014). Such funtions include IT, finance, and marketing. Such structure was what Microsoft used when it was founded in 1975 by Bill Gates. At the time, Microsoft was a tiny enterprise comprising of only 11l positions. Jones (2010) notes that the structure was best Microsoft as it was a Iittle company with a focus on one product only. However, Microsoft currently uses divisional organizational structure. With the structure, each division focuses on a particular line of goods and services. At Microsoft, there are various groups dedicated to developing different parts of the Windows operating systems such as drivers and artificial intelligence. According to Griftin (2014) the structure help creates experts for the various aspects of the product. Consequently, such a structure favors Microsoft Windows and Microsoft Word development.
There are numerous advantages that accrue to the divisional structure as witnessed in Microsoft. First, the structure promotes more customer focus. Various teams can be dedicated towards the development of certain areas that the customers feel they need improvement.
Secondly, the structure cross-product coordination easier (Reference Essays, 2013). Lastly, the structure reduces cross-functional duplication. On the other hand, the method is disadvantageous because redundancy among groups, difficulties coordinating cooperate and
division objectives, and increased management costs (Reference Essays, 2013). Dell is another company whose structure is comparable to Apple.
According to Dell founder, Michael Dell, the company uses functional organizational structure. The structure encourages different departments and their functional components to put forwards their ideas needed to strengthen the company. The structure is largely similar to Apple’s collaborative structure as it provides all members with learning opportunities as the decisions come from different levels. Secondly, the structure is advantageous as an individual manages the statf with experience in the same specialty. As such, the manager can adequately understand and review their work. Lastly, the structure gives the employees an opportunity to advance within their functional areas thereby encouraging their longer stay in the company. Consequently, the firm benefits from their expertise.
Apple’s marketing and human resource functions significantly influence its collaborative structure. According to Griffin (2014), Apple’s marketing function focuses on three broad fields. First Empathy forms one of the Apple’s strongest area of marketing. Accordingly, the company expects every employee to understand what the customer needs. As such, working together in a collaborative manner helps each employee to understand the client needs. Secondly, Apple marketing emphasizes greatly on the need to be focused. As such, one needs to get rid of unimportant opportunities to do an exemplary job. Lastly, Apple’s marketing emphasizes greatly on imputing to ensure their products are attractive to their customers. Such values require collaboration to ensure each employee follows them entirely.
Apple’s human resource department also plays a significant role in inspiring Apple’s structure. The department has four main strategies that they need to follow diligently (Olson et al., 2005). First, each employee needs to know their role. Secondly, all the managers require freeing their leadership. As such, they will dedicate much of their time to important activities such as leading. providing greater customer services and inspiring the junior employees (Olson et al., 2005). Moreover, the department encourages the employees to make their work meaningful. According to Jones (2010), if a worker is satisfied with their job, they will deliver their best. Lastly, the human resource uses the principle of retaining growth with opportunities. Such opportunities include promotion that makes an employee willing to stay longer as there are chances of growth. Such values need collaboration among employees to achieve them.
The finance department principle also cultivates cooperation in Appel. According to the firm’s website, the fiancé department goal is to ensure shareholders maximize their value over the long-term or the short-term. As such, the employees of the office need to collaborate
with each other to allocate assets that will make it possible to achieve the maximum goal with the least risks.
Lastly, Apple’s operational plan requires the firm to be collaborative. Apple’s operations are managed in geographical regions such as Japan, America, Europe, and retail stores. Such regional groupings bring together people on the basis of their expertise and resources needed to learm from those functions. Moreover, managers wield greater power over decisions made in these regions to reduce bureaucracy. Such form of operation hastens problem solution while collaborating people etforts towards better customer services.
Jones (2010) defines organizational design as a formal guiding process for integrating information with people and technology found in an organization. As such, the organization’s design help to match the people, vision, strategy, and technology with an aim to achieve the
company’s goal and it’s resilience to accomplish desired outcomes. The collaborative structure within Apple mostly borrows from Apple’s design. Collaboration between stakeholders in the company helps the managers to determine the strategies and design that are best for Apple in its quest to reach its goals, increasing customer base, and making more profits. As such, its design of matching people to information and technology requires the company to adopt a collaborative structure. Overall, one would regard Apple as successful global firm. Since its founding the early 1970s, the company has always been a success story. Their adoption of the collaborative structure has helped it create a pool of new ideas leading to constant innovation. On a daily basis, the company is becoming a financial powerhouse thanks to its revolutionary iPhone. Despite suffering various setbacks like the ailment and passing of its founder, Steve Jobs, it current CEO, Tim Cook continues to drive innovation amongst the collaborative employees.