The growth of a commercial organization requires the consideration of various aspects. One such element is the issue of corporate diversity. In the recent past, analysts have criticized the lack of this partiality in the leadership structure of Apple Inc. and other companies within the technology market. Although social classifications should not be considered as one of the selection criteria in hiring employees in these business enterprises, it is important to obtain professionals from all these categories in order to acquire the embedded benefits (Yoffie & Renee, 2010). A correlation between corporate diversity and the performance of a firm such as Apple Inc. explains the recorded decline in returns as well as the low physical and operational expansion rates observed in this company over the recent past. Statistics obtained from this business institution as well as other participants in different markets proves this notion.
In the top leadership structure of Apple Inc., there is lack of gender and racial parity. Andrea Jung is a female leader in this company from an Asian ancestry. She is the only member of the firm’s executive who is not a member of the white race. Moreover, she is the only representative of the female gender and the society’s minority groups in this top leadership framework comprising of eight directors. This is a clear indication of the lack of corporate diversity in this well-established commercial organization in the technology market (O’Grady, 2009). For this reason, it is rational to assert that some of the strategies formulated and implemented under the facilitation of this executive do not represent all the relevant parties in its operating system.
This scenario is not only evident in Apple Inc. Based on recent statistics, a significant portion of well-established firms do not respect the principle of corporate diversity. For instance, in a survey conducted in 2011 regarding corporate diversity in the leadership structures of Fortune 500 companies, women are not properly represented. 11.3 % of these business organizations have not integrated females in their board of directors with only 16.1 % of women holding positions in these leadership structures. In addition, racism is also a major concern in these commercial organizations. Females who are not members of the white race only hold 3 % of the positions in the board of directors in the Fortune 500 companies (Dobbin & Jung, 2011). This equates to 71 % of business organizations in this classification, which do not comprise of women of color in these leadership structures. For instance, of all the female directors in Fortune 500 companies in the United States, 11.3 %, 4.9 %, and 2.5 % are African Americans, Latinos, and Caucasians respectively. This means that more than half of the female directors in these firms are from the white race (Dobbin & Jung, 2011). This is an indication of the extent of the lack of corporate diversity in the business environment in the United States.
Benefits of Corporate Diversity
In order to solve the problem faced by Apple Inc. with reference to the lack of corporate diversity, it is important to understand the benefits of adopting this business principle and integrating it into the company’s strategies and operations. To begin with, this element assures the firm of improved performance in the stock market. Recent statistics regarding this corporate issue indicates that large-seized companies with a significant portion of women in their leadership structures have improved their performance by 26 % with the small and medium enterprises (SMEs) recording an increase of 17 % (Dobbin & Jung, 2007). This is because of the high level of skills noted in a business organization that upholds corporate diversity in terms of the race and gender of the high-level managerial team. This improved performance also comprises of an increased return on equity and higher profits in addition to lowering the debt-to-equity ratio of the company.
Rationale of the Benefits
There are several arguments that justify the incorporation of this business principle in such a well-established firm as Apple Inc. To begin with, it uses the element of signaling as a way of increasing the market share of a business institution in its various segments. By transforming their strategies in order to promote corporate diversity in its managerial team, Apple Inc. will be sending a positive gesture to the existing technology market with reference to its focus on effective corporate governance. This will indicate the company’s impact in the market and the available expansion opportunities (Linzmayer, 2004). Moreover, analysts assert that diverse groups in the business environment are more effective than homogenous teams with reference to the quality and quantity of work completed within a specified timeframe. This is because of the increased participation of all the involved parties in such a situation. For this reason, Apple Inc. should consider transforming its existing strategies in order to integrate professionals from different social classifications in its top-level leadership structure. This will not only aid in increasing the firm’s market share in different segments around the globe but it will also be useful in augmenting the recorded returns.
Furthermore, Apple Inc. will benefit from the enhanced leadership skills acquired through the promotion of corporate diversity. Some analysts argue that women often use five of the nine key aspects that define a good leader as compared to males. For example, females are better in delineating responsibilities as well as mentoring and training human resources in an organization. Conversely, men are good at making individual choices in addition to identifying corrective actions that would aid in solving arising problems. Furthermore, Apple Inc. has an opportunity to evade some of the existing and potential business risks. Based on recent statistics, women are more risk evasive as compared to men (Jayne& Dipboye, 2004). For this reason, increasing the number of women in the board of directors in Apple Inc. will lower the company’s debt-to-equity ratio enhanced by the recurring global financial crisis.
In conclusion, the
existing lack of corporate diversity in Apple Inc. has resulted in a
substantial decline in its returns as well as the platform for physical and
operational expansions. This is because of the correlation between this corporate
issue and the performance of the human resources and the entire corporation. Similarly,
recent statistics indicate that well-established organizations in the
technology market as well as other trade subsections do not uphold this
business principle. This aspect has resulted in several undesirable results in
the business environment hosting these firms. Some of the evident benefits of
incorporating this principle in the operating strategies implemented by the
company include lowered debt-to-equity ratio, increased profits, and enhanced
performance in the firm’s stock market. This is because of the high performance
recorded by diverse groups of employees in all levels as compared to homogenous
teams. This proves the need for Apple Inc. to promote diversity of race and
gender in its managerial team.
Dobbin, F. & Jung, J. (2011). Corporate board gender diversity and stock performance: The competence gap or institutional investor bias? North Carolina Law Review, 89: 809-838.
Dobbin, F. & Kalev, A. (2007). The architecture of inclusion: Evidence from corporate diversity programs. Harvard Journal of Law and Gender, 30: 279-301.
Jayne, M. E. A. & Dipboye, R. L. (2004). Leveraging diversity to improve business performance: Research findings and recommendations for organizations. Human Resource Management, 43(4): 409-424.
Linzmayer, O. W. (2004). Apple confidential 2.0: The definitive history of the world’s most colorful company. San Francisco: No Starch Press.
O’Grady, J. D. (2009). Apple Inc. Westport: Greenwood Press.
Yoffie, D. B. & Renee, K. (2010). Apple Inc in 2010. Harvard Business School Case 710-467: 1-25.