Case Study APPLE, Inc
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According to the text Strategic Human Resource Management, the concept of Strategic Management is defined as, “the process by which organizations attempt to determine what needs to be done to achieve corporate objectives and, more important, how these objective are to be met” (Mello, 2011, pg.104). This paper will examine the case study for Apple, Inc. and provide Strategic Management recommendations of how Apple, Inc. can effectively meet its objective of maintaining a viable corporate strategy that results in steady industry success in worldwide PC markets. Major Issues
Apple has evolved from a leading developer of personal computers to the leader in innovative technology by expanding its business model to include digital music, digital TV and mobile phone platforms. Apple experienced increased distribution and sales with a creative retail strategy to include online retail sales, allowing tremendous growth in becoming one of the top three PC makers in in the US, yet they consistently were unable to grow their worldwide market share above 3% (Delong, 2006). Apple products are premium priced and the applications and platforms were initially developed as proprietary, establishing Apple as an exclusive brand. With numerous adjustments in the management system over the years, the variances in organizational structure hindered a consistent decision making process. Changes in leadership allowed for inconsistency in business strategies in areas such as: outsourcing of manufacturing and labor, inventory consolidation, termination of small sales outlets and unsteady R&D costs.
Alternate Courses of Action
While Apple’s foremost strategies involved innovation and growth, the process of Strategic Management should be carried out systematically and it should begin with the mission statement. Apple has held various mission statements over the years, yet it is difficult to obtain a current mission statement for the company from their website or corporate relations information page. According to Business Insider, as of August 2013 this was Apple’s mission statement:
Apple designs Macs, the best personal computers in the world, along with OS X, iLife, iWork and professional software. Apple leads the digital music revolution with its iPods and iTunes online store. Apple has reinvented the mobile phone with its revolutionary iPhone and App Store, and is defining the future of mobile media, and computing devices with I-Pad (Blodgett, 2013).
With consideration to the mission statement, Apple could analyze the external environment to compare their mission and strategy to their competitors, HP and Dell, who hold the largest worldwide market share for PC’s. Furthermore, the organizations’ decision makers (internal environment) should evaluate and fulfill the remaining sequences in the Strategic Management processes: self-assessment, goals and objectives, strategy (corporate and business unit) in coordination with HR concepts and management strategies.
With the intention of Apple assessing threats and opportunities in order to increase its global market share for the Mac PC brand, they should look closely at internal resources, specifically human resources. Corporate decisions such labor outsourcing, web based retail sales along with continual premium pricing of PC’s each affect the organizations performance globally. Consideration should be given to employees in order to maintain morale, motivation, productivity and retention. This involves including human resources in connection to measuring the value of human assets for an organization. HR supports a highly functioning work system and that will contribute to overall corporate global profitability. Conclusion
Apple can effectively meet its objective of maintaining a viable corporate
strategy that results in consistent PC sales success in worldwide markets through the implementation of the Strategic Management process, with a focus on the management decision making process in coordination with Human Resources. For Apple to achieve its global objective to increase market share for PC’s, the employees first need to clearly understand the objective and how they contribute to meeting it. A well-defined mission statement would help, along with a strategic approach to HR practices to include workforce development, the cost effective use of labor and organizational planning.
Blodgett, H. (2013) Apple’s ‘Mission Statement’ Is Making People Worry That The Company Has Gone To Hell. Business Insider. August 3, 2013 Retrieved from: http://www.businessinsider.com/apples-new-mission-statement-2013-8#ixzz31FHglXPV Delong, T. (2006). Strategic Human Resource Management: Apple, Inc. Harvard Business School, 1-32.
Mello, J. (2011). Strategic Human Resource Management (3rd ed.). Mason: South-Western Cenage Learning.