The paper 'Organizational Culture at Apple Inc" is an outstanding example of a management case study. To move forward and onward through the 21st Century, genuine leaders of Apple Inc. must maintain a healthy organizational culture, which is defined as a system “ comprised of the assumptions, values, norms and tangible signs (artifacts) of organization members and their behaviors” (McNamara, 2007), by doing more than just supervise and manage the workforce. They must be constantly and actively thoughtful and respectful of those whom they supervise. They must also be welcome to embrace change through open dialogue and communication.
And this is what the leaders at Apple Inc. have been doing by placing the company “ for the first time … in the Fortune 500” (Nokia and Apple, 2007, p. 16) list at number two. A “ sense of family is commonly reported in healthy work environments, and cheer is evident within work teams and the organization as a whole” (Shirey, 2006). This comes to light at a time when “ it is expected that the skilled labor shortage will worsen across all industries, including health care, by 2020” (Buerhaus, 2002; Buerhaus, Staiger, & Auerbach, 2003; Herman, Olivo, & Gioia, 2002).
So that no member of the workforce gets left behind, the leaders at Apple Inc. focus, at the same time and equitably, on the changing needs of the customers and the welfare of its employees (Nokia and Apple, 2007, p. 17). A healthy organizational culture, such as can be seen at Apple Inc. , may be thought of as one in which its employees, among other motivating forces of strong leadership, undergo frequent periods of training and renewal; are constantly encouraged, motivated, and supported; and, daily, weekly, and monthly, openly communicated with.
According to Gibb (1979), the more those in the workforce are supported, the more positively productive these individuals may be; and in turn, the less threatened they feel. As Shirey (2006) indicates, a “ healthy and effective work environments have a ‘ feeling tone’ in which individuals are encouraged to feel physically and emotionally safe. ” This type of culture, according to McNamara (2007) is described as an “ academic culture” in which “ employees are highly skilled and tend to stay in the organization while working their way up the ranks” through an environment that is “ stable” and is supportive of communication and collaboration. More specifically, those in the leadership roles at Apple Inc.
“ recognize that empowered employees are empathetic employees” (Kawasaki, 2000, p. S18). Communication occurs among employees and leaders. Employee morale and satisfaction are maintained. And, in turn, as customer needs change, employees can react by catering to those needs through the production of new-and-better technology and the education of the customers on the new product knowledge.
Kawasaki (2000) points out that Apple Inc. morale rises among its employees and leaders when, among other factors, room exists to “ combine insight into the potential of innovation, a love of what you’ re doing, and an understanding of needs” (p. S16). In essence, this promotes a healthy organizational culture at Apple Inc. Fraterman (2003) states that a healthy organizational culture, such as one may find at Apple Inc. , encompasses eight components. These comprise of an (a) “ openness and humility from top to bottom of the organization, ” (b) “ an environment of accountability and personal responsibility, ” (c) “ freedom for risk-taking within appropriate limits, ” (d) “ a fierce commitment to ‘ do it right’ ,” (d) “ a willingness to tolerate and learn from mistakes, ” (e) “ unquestioned integrity and consistency, ” (f) “ a pursuit of collaboration, integration, and holistic thinking, ” and (g) “ courage and persistence in the face of difficulty. ” As Kawasaki (1997), summarizing Apple Inc. ’ s commitment to maintaining a healthy organizational culture, states that “ if you’ re in an organization fighting for its life (and in some point in its history every organization is)[, ] you have to believe in the upside of what you’ re trying to accomplish, and the downside if you fail” (p.
11). No matter what, employee morale must be maintained, for without it, the future may be bleak.
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