Business and Human Resources
Apple Company Inc.
Apple was founded by Steve Wozniak, Steve Jobs and Ronald Wayne in 1976; however it was integrated in 1977. It is an American company which not only produces computer electronics, personal computers, portable devices and software but also sells them. Apple has been in this business since 30 years and in this time span, it has faced highs and lows in its economic activity. It is not only listed on the NASDAQ with the ticker of AAPL but it has a share in NASDAQ-100 and S&P 500 as well. In 2007, Apple gained extensive fame after the struggle of many years when it introduced the iPhone, iPad and iPod touch in the market (Flippone et al., 2012).
The Organization Today
Flippone et al. (2012) mentioned that Apple has 393 retail stores located in 14 countries since August, 2012. Apple is recognized as the third leading mobile phone developing companies after Samsung and Nokia. Lately, Apple has launched a number of innovative products which include iPhone 5, iPad 4, iPad mini and the latest version of iMac. The revenues increased by 24% in the fourth quarter as compared to the revenues in quarter one in 2011. On the other hand, these increased revenues were not what the stockholders anticipated. Moreover, the value of the shares of Apple declined after the earnings report of the fourth quarter, whereas it dropped further after the introduction of iPad mini (Flippone et al., 2012).
According to the Data Monitor (2011), the organization is involved in the manufacturing, improving and advertising of personal computers, transportable digital music players and media related instruments. The firm is also known for trading in various associated software, peripherals, networking solutions, and services. Moreover, it also maintains contracts with certain third parties for offering digital content and other such applications. Macintosh (Mac) computer systems, iPhone handsets, iPod’s series of transportable digital video and music players along with iPad’s compact multimedia and computing instruments are included in the range of products offered by Apple. Its main operations are controlled from U.S. And its headquarters are situated in Cupertino, California. There are 46,600 workers employed at the head office.
Apple reported the income of $65,225 million in the fiscal year which ended on September 2010 or FY2010. This depicted an upsurge of 52% in the income when compared to the revenues of FY2009. The 93% upturn in the sales of iPhone and increased sales of iPad were the chief reasons behind this growth in the income. Apple experienced a rise of 56.6% which means it received $18,835 million as the operating profit of 2010 when compared to 2009. Additionally, the net profit also improved by 70.2%, that is, $14,013 million in FY2010 as compared to 2009 (Data Monitor, 2011).
Apple is enthusiastic in providing the finest personal linkage with computing devices to the people internationally by producing state of the art hardware, user friendly software and smooth product outlook.
Goals and Objectives
Giving the finest quality services to its customers through well-informed employees in the sales area
Providing excellent user experience by introducing inventive products and technologies for its consumers
Establishing and improving the operational structures, application software, services and hardware offered by the company.
Boosting the volume of sales by inaugurating additional stores, introducing innovative products, restructuring of production by employing intelligent advertising strategies
Leading stakeholders are the consumers, workers, financiers, societies and the opponent companies.
HR and Mission Statement
Old techniques prevalent in the business environment for novelty were mostly unsuccessful or considered obsolete due to the irregular outcomes. Precisely, only few organizations gave importance to employing individuals with artistic minds and giving them freedom to be innovative. On the contrary, other organizations left everything on destiny, expecting the good things to happen. Additionally, they incorporated ad hoc and unstructured techniques for novelty.
Whereas, some other firms tried to begin the procedure by means of single artistic workouts or possibly through the big bang approach for in-house communication promotion which led to failure in developing the capability to be innovative on the regular basis.
Apple has to deal with extreme competition as it is in the business category which is associated with extremely competitive and quickly changing technological environments. It has competitors in the market of personal computers, electronic products for customers, associated software and peripherals. Due to the sudden developments in the technology in case of software and hardware, it is the need of these markets to enhance their expertise and develop the use of personal computers and other digitalized electrical instruments. Continuously changing technological environment leads to the recurrent launching of modern products having reasonable prices, attributes and quality aspects (Data Monitor, 2011).
As illustrated by EIU (2009), the major trial for HR is that the organization deals with its operations on geographical level and the variety associated with this. Apple functions by means of its five major business divisions which includes Europe, America, Asia-Pacific, Japan and Retail. The European portion comprises of European nations along with Middle East and Africa. American portion comprises of South and North America. Asia Pacific division excludes Japan and encompasses Asia and Australia. Moreover, the retail section deals with retail stores of Apple in 11 different nations together with the U.S. All of the functional divisions offer identical software and hardware products and identical facilities. The various product categories produced by Apple can be classified into various segments such as iTunes, iPhone, iPod, iPad, displays, Mac hardware items, peripheral tools, software, internet software, computing technologies, and other facilities. However, due to the diversity in cultures, every product which is advertised has been promoted using various schemes in order to modify both the business techniques and culture at the same time.
Repeated nonappearance of Steve Jobs has influenced the degree of the progress.
The reason why Apple is considered as an innovative entity is due to the fact that its founder had an enigmatic personality and he was a farsighted leader. Mr. Jobs has been highly influential in dealing with the development of the firm and taking it to its present level. Mr. Jobs is a survivor of pancreatic cancer and has not been completely healthy in the recent past years. Recently he has endured a liver transplant procedure for which he had taken a leave of absence for six months. Now he will be taking an absent leave on medical grounds for the third time since 2004. Following the disclosure of his leave and unstable health, the price of Apple shares fell by 8% (DataMonitior, 20011), and serious concerns regarding his health have come forward.
In 1996 Mr. Jobs had come back to the Apple Company after an absent leave that had lasted for 12 years. His return had revived the company and made them reach newer heights. He is the key which makes Apple a successful company and due to this, his remaining a part of the company is very important for the company’s stakeholders. Apple has managed to make its name into that of a revolutionary brand in the world of technology-based gadgets. There have been numerous back to back launches of high quality and highly anticipated handheld gadgets. These can include the launchs of iPhone in 2007 and iPad in 2010. All this has resulted in Apple today being the biggest technology company, at least where marker capitalization is concerned (DataMonitor, 2011)
In order for Apple to keep growing at its current rate, it needs to come up with more diverse creations. The company’s current growth might be hampered due to Steve Jobs being absent which will cause the launch of iPad-II series and other related goods to be delayed. It might be difficult for Apple to keep up its current growth rate due to the unavailability of Mr. Jobs.
Recommended HR strategy
It is very common for businesses to try and copy another businesses approach if they feel that approach is successful. Many companies have tried to pull off an Apple but they have met with disappointments because inventions look different from different places.
Comparing 3M and Apple would show us that there is no benefit of copying the approach used by another company. 3M and Apple are both successful companies and both have different approaches and have always practiced two diverse approaches. While 3M is more scattered, Apple is more condensed and focused. The paper is suggesting that an innovational approach should be developed by Apple that would be in accordance with its environment.
Firstly, it does not depend on the amount of money devoted to R&D. Statistical studies have revealed that there seems to be no substantial relationship between innovation spending and financial performance. Moreover, technology cannot be attributed to be the most important factor either.
Thus the recommendations for Apple are presented below:
Initiating strategic partnerships with business partners, suppliers, and customers
Searching, engaging, and then retaining top talent devoted to pursuing innovation
The promotion of risk taking and entrepreneurship at all levels of the organization
Development of innovational skills for all members of the organization.
Effectiveness of the HR strategy
Companies seeking to implement and integrate innovation on a continuous and sustainable basis need to consider the level of personal involvement the top management have in sponsoring the innovational activities of the organization. This can be also perceived as the level of support that is enjoyed by the innovation agenda because of the leaders and their long-term commitment to the idea of sustainable innovation. Well managed change management programs are a necessity for many organizations for creating and developing a creative corporate culture. In the initial phases, the management of change begins from the support and buy-in by the C-suite. Other useful aspects that are included in the strategy are:
â€¢ The level of integration of innovation in the overall corporate strategy
â€¢ The capabilities of top management to handle and manage risk and thus eventually succeed in converting the creativity into something of sufficient value
Creativity will only occur when the environment in which employees operate is conductive, positive, and safe. There needs to be a certain amount of ‘discretionary space’ for display of initiative by the employees alongside a certain level of flexibility in regard to job design and working practices. Coaching and solving should be an integral part of the corporate culture rather than telling and doing.
Other important questions that should be considered in the strategy are:
â€¢ The organization of work is around flexible role profiles or vaguely defined job descriptions?
â€¢ Is there sufficient resources, tools, space, and time possessed by employees for making innovational contributions?
DataMonitor. (2011). Apple, Inc. Company Profile. Data Monitor, annual Report, Company Overview.
Economist Intelligence Unit: Fertile Ground: Cultivating a talent for innovation. February 2009
Flippone, T., Youden, D., Pennington, K. And Fersht, P. (2012). Human Resources Transformation: Is It Driving Business Performance? HfS Research, Ltd.
The Global Innovation 1000: How the top innovators keep winning. Booz & company, 2010