Social For instance, the marketing team operates on three

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Social
Performance of Organizations

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Social
Performance of Organizations

Apple Inc.: Nature and Structure

            The organizational
structure of Cupertino, California-based
Apple Inc. is a collaborative one, such that it is established to
facilitate team work and unified effort towards the attainment of a common
objective. Using this approach, the company ensures partnership within the
workplace, which helps its employees in their personal and organizational
pursuits. At Apple, various professionals work in tandem towards achieving the
organization’s objectives regardless of their designation, and thus, ensure
that diverse skill sets and talents are put to use.

On the other hand,
the company’s marketing, human resource (HR), and finance departments are some
of the other major components that define Apple Inc. For instance, the
marketing team operates on three main principles, including comprehension of
the customers’ needs, eliminating less important functions, as well as ensuring
creativity and professionalism while presenting its products in the market.

            Apple’s
HR department has also played a significant role in the development of the
company’s organizational structure and nature. The most important function of
Apple’s HR department is ensuring that all employees understand and perform
their roles diligently. Secondly, the HR also ensures effective deployment of
staff to make sure that the management does not have to indulge in
micro-managing employees, and instead, focuses on policy and strategy
formulation and the operations of the company. Additionally, the HR ensures
that all Apple employees find their roles meaningful in addition to creating
and retaining the opportunities for growth in the industry.

The other factor
that defines the nature and structure of the organization is the company’s
financial performance. Overcoming the cut-throat competition in the sector of
technology, Apple Inc. has managed to ensure sustainable financial performance
over the years. Schein (2010) states that Apple’s organizational culture of
collaboration is built around company co-founder Steve Jobs, who realized the
importance of team work after being employed with another company.

Type of Products & Services

Since its
incorporation in 1977, Apple has been involved in the design, manufacturing,
and marketing of communication and technology devices such as mobile phones and
computers as well as digital music appliances. The most notable Apple products
in the market are the iPhones and the Macintosh computers (Jakki, Sanjit, &
Stanley, 2010). In addition to dealing in these hardware products, the company
also develops software services and offers network and internet solutions.

Effects of External Environment Factors

The two major
factors in the company’s external environment that have a possibility of
negatively influencing Apple’s success include situations that are beyond its
control. Economic effects, such as financial crises and recessions, are major
external aspects that might influence the success of the company. During the
2007-08 financial crisis, the company suffered from low sales, which affected
its revenue. The effect of this economic situation was that most consumers were
unable to purchase their favorite Apple products, citing unaffordable prices
against their diminished purchasing power. The other external environment
problem that may affect Apple’s success is associated with geopolitical
dynamics. Since the company obtains its supplies overseas and contracts battery
manufacturing companies and assembly plants abroad, the political situations in
such regions may have a direct impact on its financial performance.

Apple Inc. has
also been affected by the political decisions and administrative policies of
the United States (US) government. For instance, the US government, in 2010,
blocked the import of certain raw materials, such as minerals and cell phone
body parts used in the manufacturing of iPhones and Mac computers. As a result,
the company was compelled to increase its spending on the purchase of such
material, thus increasing the production cost of its products. Inflated costs
of manufacturing are invariably linked to the inability of a company to make
sustainable profits from mass sale of its inventory. To solve the issue, Apple
Inc. negotiated with the government and the problem was resolved, an indication
that politics is a major external factor that has a key effect on the success
of a company.

Influence of Primary Stakeholders

            Apple Inc.’s
primary stakeholders include its shareholders, customers, suppliers,
management, and employees, among other parties that possess a functional and/or
profit interest in the products and services of the company (Hull &
Rothenberg, 2008). Apple shareholders may affect its financial performance by
suddenly increasing or reducing the number of shares or stocks of the company
they hold. Secondly, Apple’s management can affect its objectives and
strategies, both long-term and short-term. The result of these decisions might
be positive or negative, depending on the prudence and analytical capabilities
of the decision-makers. Thirdly, Apple’s suppliers can affect the performance
of the company through the quality of supplied goods and contracted services.
Fourthly, Apple employees, who are the most important component of the
organization, can influence the growth or decline of the company. Their input
and commitment to the goals of the company should be guaranteed, as failure to
do so will affect the company’s performance negatively. Lastly, Apple relies on
customer loyalty for the sale of its products and services, and their boycott
of the company’s products is detrimental to its financial success.

Controversial CSR Concern Associated with
Apple, Inc.

            The one controversial
corporate social responsibility (CSR) concern associated with Apple Inc. is the
treatment of workers at its assembly and spare parts manufacturing plants
overseas. These factories are located in developing economies, where labor
standards and wages are low and working environment are more often than not
inhuman.

In China, for
instance, costs of labor are increasingly reducing, and Apple, among other
multinationals, exploits this situation by underpaying the workers (Chan, Pun,
& Selden, 2013). Regardless of the worth of the products, Apple pays less
than the recommended minimum wage dollars in the United States to these foreign
workers. This is a major CSR failure on part of Apple Inc.

 

References

Chan,
J., Pun, N., & Selden, M. (2013). The politics of global production: Apple,
Foxconn and China’s new working class. New Technology, Work and
Employment, 28(2),
100-115. doi:10.1111/ntwe.12008.

Hull,
C. E., & Rothenberg, S. (2008). Firm performance: The interactions of
corporate social performance with innovation and industry differentiation. Strategic
Management Journal, 29(7),
781-789. doi:10.1002/smj.675.

Jakki,
M., Sanjit, S., & Stanley, S. (2010). Marketing
of high-technology products and innovations. New Jersey: Pearson/Prentice
Hall.

Schein, E. H. (2010). Organizational
culture and leadership. New Jersey: John Wiley & Sons.