Apple Inc. is a Consumer electronics company and is one of the many American multinational corporations. It is headquartered in Cupertino, California and it has made a name from designing, developing and selling consumer electronics, computer software and personal computers. It was founded in April 1st 1976 by Steve Jobs, Ronald Wayne and Steve Wozniak. Its current Chief Executive Officer is Timothy D. Cook.
It is accurate to say that Apple uses both formal and informal styles of communication just like any other organization. This is heavily influenced by today’s trend in work environment, where managers command and control less but put in more in coordinating and communicating as argued (Daft, pg. 4). This is different from the former mind-set that used “a tight top-down control, employee separation and specialization, and management by impersonal measurement and analysis.” For example, the productivity suite – iWork – is very much in use in the day to day operations of the company. This suite uses a memo-style meaning that it only passes general information and there are fewer occasions where workers are given instructions individually, hence making them very independent. It has always been in the public domain that Apple is very secretive and there are even punitive measures for any employee that dares to go against the rules concerning communication to the outside world. Popular bloggers – Brad Stone and Ashlee Vance – gathered that Apple has ‘a serious obsession to secrecy that grows stronger’. This is meant to mean that it has key critical management missteps that are: poor communication skills; poor interpersonal skills; and an act of suppressing dissenting viewpoints. This is however an unfair way to look at it because Apple is largely in the services industry which may include the loss of intellectuals and this calls for the mangers to carry out one of their four management functions – Controlling – in terms of monitoring activities (of employees included) and making corrections.
As discussed earlier, the corporate culture of Apple just like any other company is heavily influenced by the pioneers of the company. The co-founders of Apple were very particular and were willing to protect their inventions from any unauthorized access. This dictates the rules up to today in the organization. However, I suggest that Apple should use the leadership management functions analyzed and suggested by (Daft et al, 2014) by opening up communication lines to all its workers and let them feel like they own the process while putting tighter measures on issues of copyright. This is because a leader’s role is to enhance relationships with subordinates, by motivating them; communicating and influencing them to be better at any task they do (pg. 7-8).
Apple does a lot of assessment and improvement in its communication network, just like any other corporation of its size and global influence. Annual audits are carried out and relevant information is collected from all the stakeholders about the current communication processes within and outside the organization. This information gets analyzed and assessed to come up with the problem areas and solutions. The core style of communication in Apple is the top-down approach due to the fact that it was invented by a few people who co-own it. However, it is more of a downward communication style whereby there is more coming from top to down than there is going from bottom to top. The reason that they have a different culture from that of other organizations with grassroots approach to communication is probably due to the kind of industry the company is in. The organization’s business process is mostly creative and the upper ranks of administration dictate the way forward and they leave the input and expertise to individuals at any level (pg. 5-6).
Apple uses both formal and informal styles of communication just like any other organization. The corporation’s workforce is known to use some of its inventions to communicate internally. It has always been in the public domain that Apple is very secretive and there are even punitive measures for any employee that dares to go against the rules concerning communication to the outside world. Popular bloggers – Brad Stone and Ashlee Vance – gathered that Apple has ‘a serious obsession to secrecy that grows stronger’. They noted that this hit the climax after Steve got ill. The enormous interest that was aroused by the media and the investors in their need to know was met by an astonishing silence. This is a corporate culture that even the employees of the company have chosen to abide by.
Apple uses task forces and functional work teams optimally. This is because of the current trend whereby a product and services company like Apple finds itself heavily reliant on effective teams as observed by (Daft, et al 2014 pg. 15). Apple needs highly efficient teams to carry out design, research and also develop software and hardware for their products that range from mobile communication and media devices, personal computers, and portable digital music players among others. They encourage members to suggest the individuals they would like in their respective teams. This is a double advantage situation because software development, for example, is better done by teams due to its complexity and the human need to relate with their partners in any given task.
- Richard L. Daft Management 11th Edition Vanderbilt University 2014 Published ISBN-13: 9781285068657
- Harvard Business School.(2002). Guide to Marketing Strategies. Harvard University Press, Vol. 46, No.16, pp14-26