01st April 2013Executive SummaryKnowledge management is the ability to coordinate the way an organization’s resources are used. Resources can be in the form of people, technology, capital, processes, framework/ structure, globalization and leadership. Apple Incorporation was incorporated in 1977. It is a designer, manufacturer and marketer of personal computers, softwares and digital music players. Some of its products are iPhone, iPod and IPad. Apple is the leading manufacturer of revolutionary iPhone and App Store. The company also sells personal computers, networking solutions and digital contents. Apple sells its products through retail stores, retailers, wholesalers and online stores.
One of the applications that it has acquired is WiFiSlam, a startup of Silicon Valley. Apple uses this application to map smart phone applications. Some of Apple’s board of directors are Arthur D. Levinson and the late Steve Jobs. By engaging in computer appliances and softwares, Apple has managed to remain on top of its competitors such as IBM and Samsung. The company has managed to remain this level of competitiveness by implementing strong leadership skills and company culture. The aim of this paper is to identify how Apple Incorporation can improve its knowledge management.
In order to achieve this goal, first, the paper has identified the cultural aspect of knowledge management that needs improvement. Secondly, the paper has also identified and explained the technological gap that needs to be repaired. Thirdly, the paper has identified the organizational structure and design that needs to be changed in order to improve knowledge management. Fourth, the paper has identified the lapses that Apple has in motivating the human resource factor. By implementing these factors, Apple plans to achieve improved production of unique product designs.
Lastly, the paper has come up with policies to govern knowledge in Apple Incorporation. These are based on the knowledge management issues that have been raised in the paper. Information necessary to achieve these objectives was obtained from internet sites including the company’s website. Knowledge Management Strategy The first element of knowledge management strategies that Apple needs to adopt is improved corporate culture. The company needs to improve its corporate culture by adopting a bottom-up model of product innovation. Currently, ideas meant to promote its unique designs are generated from top to bottom.
For example, Steve Jobs, the former CEO was very interested in managing innovations. Therefore, he reviewed daily progress of Apple’s leading innovations in no less than six markets. Additionally, he personally directed some of the major markets that the firm should pursue. This has made some people to resign because they feel that their ideas are not being appreciated. For example, Mark Papermaster, the former Senior Vice President of Apple was very innovative but it is claimed that he resigned after the company failed to appreciate his contribution to product innovation.
Failure to appreciate contribution by junior level employees can reduce employees’ motivation and some of the company can end up losing very influential and productive staff. As a result, a company can lose very innovative employees to competitors. In order to manage and retain innovative employees like Mark Papermaster, Apple needs to adopt a culture that appreciates contribution from both senior and junior employees. Therefore, innovative ideas should not only come from the CEO but also from other employees at the lower levels.
This kind of approach brings richer and more stable results in the long-run. When authority is coming from one person, many errors can be made. For example, Steve Jobs had various shortfalls which led to ejection of people like Lisa and Newton from the company. It is also important to accommodate internal as well as external ideas during innovation. Therefore, Apple should encourage its employees to contribute their ideas towards innovation of its products. This would reduce cases of employees selling their ideas and knowledge to the company’s competitors (Case Analysis of Apple Incorporation, 2013).