The company that I have chosen to research is Apple, Apple incorporation; an American multinational corporation was established in 1976 in California by two pioneer personalities Steven Wozniak and Steve Jobs. Both of the founders having a unique skill set and both highly interested in electronics (Researchomatic, 2012). The company’s background goes back to when Steve Jobs started in his garage innovating new technologies that would be used everywhere around the world today. Eventually Jobs turned his invention of the iPhone to a corporate empire in 1977 and it has soared till his death in 2011. The research in this paper goes to outline what changes his death brought about in the company, and what the management needed to solve along with impacts it had on the stakeholders.
Changing organization is as messy as it is exhilarating, as frustrating as it is satisfying, as muddling through and creative a process as it is a rational one (Palmer, Dunford & Akin, 2009).The company that I have chosen to research is Apple, Apple incorporation, an American multinational corporation was established in 1976 in California by two pioneer personalities Steven Wozniak and Steve Jobs. Both of the founders having a unique skill set and both highly interested in electronics (Researchomatic, 2012). The company’s background is simply put; it soared with increased revenue growth and innovative ideas from 1977 till Jobs death in 2011. My research goes to examine how former CEO Steve Jobs died in 2011 and the change the organization experienced. The company not only lost a great leader but a great innovator who changed the way “technology” was used throughout the world and now the company had to ensure its consumers that the innovative culture was still intact even after the creator was no longer present.
With many new changes, and issues arising Apple’s management had to solve them quickly and efficiently before they lost control. One of the key changes they had to solve was to re brand under the new CEO Tim Cook, ensuring that the product popularity remained high even after Jobs death. I believe this type of change would be considered partially intended change, due to the fact that Steve jobs was dying of pancreatic cancer and in weeks before he expired he resigned and passed his responsibility to Tim Cook (Palmer, Dunford & Akin, 2009) .With that being said the change the company was about to experience was a planned one whether it was short notice, they knew that changes were well on their way and the change intentions were achievable but not entirely. Due to the fact that both intended and unintended consequences could have emerged from the actions of change (death of Jobs, new CEO) and factors may modify what was original intended it was crucial for Apple to let its investors, employees and consumers know that it had capabilities. Unlike Cook, Jobs had no problem breaking into new segments even if they threatened existing ones. With that being said the future of apples success hinged on its companies and management’s ability to remain that posture with whomever is in charge.
With this chain of events apple needed to evaluate their image of managing change. When a Steve job was alive he was change manager as a director, based on an image of management as control and of change outcomes as being achievable. If he decided that he needed to realign the organisation to changes in environment by introducing new technological systems, then he did just that and it was assumed it would be better performing and a better aligned organization (Palmer, Dunford & Akin, 2009) . With a new personality such as Tim Cook, it would be logical to assume his image of managing change was that too of a director being the CEO of apple and all. However after analyzing his managing skills I would conclude that he is change image style has changed itself, after jobs death when he assumed responsibility I believe he had an change manager image of the navigator, with control still being at the heart of management, wanting to achieve outcomes, they were never completely planned due to external factors such as the market reaction, or investors worry over jobs death, and furthermore the loyalty of Steve jobs apple consumers. While Steve Jobs liked to break into new segments, Tim cook did not, he had a different approach in growing the company by, selling market shares in which he eventually did. Point being is that he was not in complete control in 2006 but he became closer to the change manager director when he started to gain trust of consumers, investor and the organization when market share doubled, when he created Apple has made changes to placate shareholders. Cook instituted a dividend and share buyback five months after Jobs’ death to counteract any negative financials performances.
Another major change that was a huge part of Apples change was its ability to market and innovate their products now that Jobs was gone. Steve Jobs and Tim Cook seem to be on opposite ends when it comes to the product innovation and marketing strategy. Thus the change in the approach now, For example, Jobs enjoyed creating illustrations that look like real life objects in his apps, and now apple has removed all life initiating graphics moving toward a more flat look. Jobs had a theory on why he chose to have rounded rectangular on his products, he believed that it was different and made the product unique. The new apples now have circles, which go to emphasize the difference in market product strategy. In addition, Cook has implemented a buy share dividend for its stakeholders, and created a matching charitable contribution for employees. All these changes were to rebrand Apple with its new CEO, and manager took the steps to do collectively increase their product popularity even with its creator out of the picture. However, each of these changes has had a deliberate impact on its major stakeholders for better and worse (Yarow, 2013).
Impact on investor
The impact Jobs death left with having another assume his role was colossal, before Steve Job’s death, stakeholders of the company were worried that due to his illness that company’s future would be jeopardized as would the financial performance. Shareholders in the US bought Apples share because it was increasingly profitable and showed good return on investments. Anxiety spread amongst the world that the company’s shares would decrease drastically because the innovator Steve jobs was no longer apart of the company and if the person with the source of ideas was not there then what kind of profit would be generated was a question that lingered on everyone’s mind (Researchomatic, 2012). The overall impact on investors has proven that even though the iPhone stills accounts for more than half of Apples profits, growth rates are stunted in the high end of the smartphone market(Gallagher, 2013).As a result Tim cook has made changes to placate shareholders when created a dividend and share buyback five months after Jobs’ death(Gallagher, 2013).
Impact on consumers
The biggest impact of jobs death was not its product but the legend of Steve jobs the company will have to live up to. He created new and innovative technology for the world to use and always had really strict quality control on its products, and now that seems to be missing (Qing, 2012). Consumers around the world feel that Apple has decreased in rank and lost its ability to be unique; some may say that Cook isn’t as talented or just that he simply is not Steve Jobs and cannot convey the messages like Jobs would have. For example with regards to the apps, there’s has been uproar of it being a mess. Specifically the maps on IPhone 4 and 5, having issues such as this under Tim Cooks relays the brand as weak and faulty, even though Tim Cook has taken initiative in firing those in charge of the maps app (Yarow, 2013).
Impact on organization
This was a second order change, one which was transformational , radical and fundamentally altered the organization to its core (Palmer, Dunford & Akin, 2009) .Steve jobs passing away and the torch to Tim cook, made the organization have to restructure and align its goals to the vision that Tim Cook felt would best bring apple to success under his leadership. With that being said Tim Cook did implement a matching charitable contribution for employees, with increased the satisfaction of its organization and made it more productive. However, the overall impact on the organization due to the influences of other stakeholders has still made Apple a different brand, not the Apple that Steve Jibs would have continued with.
In conclusion, CEO Tim cook as an image manager has had implications in which he has had to deal with. As mentioned before, it was stated that Cook was both a director and navigator change manager. The navigator image reminds the managers of change that when they are implementing multiple changes, it is likely to bring them into contact with different groups, interest, and power relationship within the organization that will require negotiation and navigation though a range of issues—not all of which they will be able to control (Palmer, Dunford & Akin, 2009). Likewise, when Cook saw that the company’s market share was decline he decided to create a share buyback dividend opportunity, which enabled others such as Billionaire activist Carl Icahn to push for more. Cook May this change but only time will tell if he will be able to control this outcome with increased productivity and market share or if he will succumb to negotiation (Gallagher, 2013). Apple has undergone many changes and has found a way to retaliate, whether they have been successful or not. Over time the company will leave the shadow of Steve Jobs and be immersed by its new leader Tim Cook, which we can expect a different kind of great innovative change.
- Gallagher, D. (2013, October 05). Apple marks two year anniversary of Steve jobs’ death. Retrieved from Market watch website: http://blogs.marketwatch.com/thetell/2013/10/05/apple-marks-2-year-anniversary-of-steve-jobss-death/
- Palmer, I., Dunford, R., & Akin, G. (2009). Managing organizational change. (2 Ed.). McGraw Hill. Qing, L. Y. (2012, October 5). Apple showing vulnerability year after jobs' death. Retrieved from http://www.zdnet.com/apple-showing-vulnerability-year-after-jobs-death-7000005289/.
- Researchomatic, (2012, July 6). Apple Company before and after Steve’s death. Retrieved from http://www.researchomatic.com/essay/Apple-Company-Before-And-After-Steves-Death-135138.aspx
- Yarow, J. (2013, August 08). http://www.businessinsider.com/how-apple-has-changed-since-steve-jobs-died-2013-8?op=1. Retrieved from http://www.businessinsider.com/how-apple-has-changed-since-steve-jobs-died-20