Course Project Proposal
Course Project Proposal
Overview of Apple Inc
Apple Inc is a Multinational company from California that produces and sells personal computers mobile handsets and consumer electronics. The company has built a reputation as one of the largest and most influential technology companies in the world. Consumers and industry experts have lauded the company for coming up with some of the most innovative electronics such as the iPod, iPhone and Mac computers (Linzmayer, 2004). Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak started the company in 1976 with the introduction of the Apple I into the market. At the time, they called the company Apple Computers Inc. to reflect the firm’s focus on personal use computers. The firm’s innovation and ingenuity helped it come up with personal computers that drove the industry forward as the revenue climbed to a billion dollars within a span of three years. Competition from IBM led to a decline in the company’s revenue and the situation forced Steve Jobs to leave the company (Linzmayer, 2004). Steve Jobs’ exit was followed by an attempt to recover lost markets from IBM. This attempt failed to work and the decline continued until Steve Jobs return in 1997. Steve Jobs return ushered in a new era for Apple Inc as the company rejuvenated its personal computer sector and ventured into consumer electronics. The introduction of the iPod and the iPhone changed the consumer electronics and mobile handset industries and turned Apple into one of the largest technology companies in the world (O’Grady, 2009).
Apple’s leadership is divided into two sections. The first section contains the company’s executives. They are directly involved in the running and management of the firm, with each one of them taking charge of various sectors within Apple Inc (Yoffie & Renee, 2010). There are ten executives in the company, handling areas such as design, hardware engineering, global marketing and software engineering. The company also has a board of directors that is involved in the management of the firm. The board has eight members, all of whom are professionals with experience in various fields. The board performs an oversight role within the company, making sure that the firm stays in line with its ambitions and continues to compete strongly with rivals such as Samsung, HP and Nokia. Tim Cook replaced the late Steve Jobs as the chief executive officer of the company. As the CEO, Cook is in charge of Apple Inc and is the only person in the company’s management that sits on its board of directors (Yoffie & Renee, 2010).
Corporate diversity appears to be a significant problem for Apple Inc. In reality, the firm lacks any real diversity within its management structure. Firstly, there is only one person within the firm’s entire management structure that is not Caucasian. Andrea Jung, an Asian-American, sits on the firm’s board of directors and is the only person within Apple’s management who could claim to come from a minority group. The firm’s management structure also lacks genuine gender diversity. Only one of the company’s ten executives is a woman and the same goes for the board of directors. This means that the company does not have any real gender representation, which may become a problem for female employees. Lastly, the firm lacks any representation of minority groups within its management structure. Andrea Jung is the only person from a minority group on the company’s board of directors. The situation is even worse for the company’s executives as none of them come from a minority group.
Diversity is an important aspect of any organization because of the effects that it has on production and employee motivation. Initially, companies in the US were increasing diversity to meet the legal requirements set by the government (Jayne & Dipboye, 2004). This situation has changed over the recent past, as different corporations understand that there are benefits to having diverse workplaces. This diversity works well if it is noticeable within the workforce and management of a company. Dobbin and Jung (2011) state that diversity in a company’s management tends to have various positive effects that range from employee motivation to better decision making. Accordingly, any company could benefit from corporate diversity, regardless of the industry or sector in which it is involved. Apple’s lack of corporate diversity makes it likely that some members of the firm’s workforce do not feel well represented in the higher levels of the chain of command. This is especially the case for women and people from some minority races that have no representation at all. It is possible that an increased level of diversity in Apple’s corporate structure could benefit the firm in various ways and endear it to an increased number of people.
Preliminary Problem Statement
executive structure and board of directors lacks gender and racial diversity.
Only two people within the higher levels of the company are female and only one
of them comes from a minority group. This situation is likely to affect the
company in some ways and there is a need to rectify it and increase the
representation of women and minority groups in the firm’s higher levels of
command. Through this study, the researcher will attempt to address this issue
by answering the question, “How does a lack of corporate diversity affect
Apple’s operations and performance?”. This problem relates to the class topic
that discusses workplace diversity and the effects that it has on the
performance of a company. By looking at the way that Apple operates in its
current state, it would be possible to determine whether the firm’s lack of
corporate diversity is adversely affecting its production and output.
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.