Last Updated 24 Jun 2020

How do the different image of managers influences various aspect of business at Apple?

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1. Introduction

Managers are the core of the organization, different image of managers influences various aspect of business. The debate about whether the managers could stand up to the scrutiny when researchers examine what managers actually do has become more and more heated. This paper is aimed to introduce and analyze three vital types of images of managers, and give a classic case to illustrate the importance of managers. Then, discuss two types of managers and point out the advantages and disadvantages. Finally, give the conclusion.

2. The analysis of the images of managers

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It has been universally acknowledged that the managers play the most crucial role in any organization, in most cases, the abilities and activities of the managers decide the success and failure of the organization. Managers have various images such as rational and analytical planners, decision makers and issuers of commands, which are responsible for single or multiple management areas. (Wilson F, 2001) Recent years, there is a drastic dispute about that whether the managers stand up to scrutiny, Miller(2009) argued that “they cannot stand up to any scrutiny about the daily works”. However, Willmott(2008) indicated that the managers actually do more then their employees. Personally, I hold the belief that the managers do stand up to the scrutiny when anyone examines what they actually do because of many reasons.

The images of managers are various but core for any organization. Take the rational and analytical planner for example, their responsibility is to realize a problem, establish and evaluate planning criteria, create alternatives, implement alternatives, and monitor progress of the business activities. (Alvesson M & Willmott H., 2003) The rational and analytical planner could be the foundation of the whole process of business implementing, they need to make sure a program or plan is “rational” and whether should the organization do it. Meanwhile, decision makers are also important to any company. They are the vital component of the organization, need to verify and detail the problems, then generate all possible solutions and objective assessment criteria, choose the best solution generated, implement the preferred alternative and finally monitor and evaluate outcomes and results. The decision making process cannot be overlooked in any business operation, the fate of a program even the future of the company is dependent on the decision. The importance of decision making in business is immense, wise decisions are the triumphs of judgment while falling decisions are the way to failure.(Scarbrough, H. 1998) The issuers of commands are the indispensable part of the business operations, they are the link between top leaders and the employees and need to transmit and explain the leaders’ concepts, ideas and commands to the employees and make sure they accept them. The business could be falling or chaotic if this bridge broke or the communication is poor.

In one word, the images of managers are various and necessary to any organization. Every image has exclusive utility in the specific area and the managers have to do real work in daily business, or the company would be mired in troubles and chaos. It is impossible to any manager does insignificant and mean useless work while the company could get the positive goal.(Dopson, S. & Stewart, R. 1990) For any successful company, the managers must be competent and busy for daily works and challenges, they do stand up to scrutiny what they actually do and the employee would see.

3. A successful case for the great manager

With the offering and sale of the Ipad2 on 25th Mach 2011, Steve Jobs proved his power to the world again. He is a business magnate and inventor, and the co-founder and chief executive officer of Apple Inc. In the late 1970s,Jobs and his partners designed, developed and marketed one of the fist commercially successful lines of personal computers. Now, Apple has become one of the largest electric equipments company and it leads the trend and creates innumerable commercial legends.

Steve Jobs is the CEO of Apple, and he was the designer, producer, marketer, manger etc. No one of the Apple’s customers and employees can deny his creativity, leadership and efforts as he is the manager. According to Robert(2009), “Jobs’ history in business has contributed much to the symbolic image of the idiosyncratic, individualistic Silicon Valley entrepreneur, emphasizing the importance of design and understanding the crucial role aesthetics play in public appeal.” His work drove forward the development of products and management styles that are both elegant and outstanding. For Apple, Steve Jobs is the rational and analytical planner, decision maker and commands issuer. He always makes the specific goals both in short term and long term, meanwhile verify and define the innovative concepts and goals, and detail the objectives for the staff. The creativity is hard for any technological company, and there are in spate of problems and troubles on the way of development of Apple, he needs to generate as many as possible solutions and objective assessment criteria to solve them and measure the success and failure of alternatives. Whilst, he is the absolute leader of Apple, he makes all the significant decisions and issues every important command to his managers, monitors and evaluates the commercial outcomes and results. Steve Jobs plays the most important role in the development of Apple, and all his efforts and contributions could stand up to any scrutiny from any one. In a matter of speaking, Apple cannot achieve a high process as today without Jobs and his management.

4. The roles of managers’ discussion

The managers are the key to the success of a business rather than the financial support and the special industry. Maister(2007) argued that “The character and skill of individual managers, who practice what they preach and recognize the manager’s role in coaching employees are what count.” The outstanding managers could enable all employees in the organization contribute their all power to the works and duties. They also could promote individuals’ development and encourage the employees’ confidence, loyalty, and understanding between the employees and employers. The management provides an invisible framework for creating an effective team, whilst according to King(2009), the managers “also concern with assigning authority and responsibility to individuals with a view to communicating between experts at various levels, and to enforcing accountability.” Different managers have different management activities, meanwhile, managers and employees have their different duties and works. However, the objective of managers is similar, to improve the efficiency and accuracy, create maximum value for the clients and the organization.

Various images of managers demonstrate different functions and responsibilities in any enterprise. Normally, the managers’ general functions can be divided into two approaches, the coach approach and the doer approach. Rodden(2010) indicated that the coach approach is “the managers work to achieve the best operational performance results by developing and maximizing the talents and abilities of employees to their fullest”. These managers approach their jobs as a balance of managing both task issues and people issues, connect them and complete the tasks. Under this approach, the managers need not to do too many works but they have to make plans and decisions, lead and develop their employees to achieve the final goals. They also trust the management of people is the part of managing the works that they actually do. On the other hand, Smith(2008) pointed out that in the doer approach “managers tend to focus more on task issues of the job (and also the technical issues of their work), as well as on the group’s performance.” The doer managers have the desire to finish the work first and by themselves, they insist they are the pioneers who have to accomplish the task and show the image of leader to their employees.(Keat, R., & Abercrombie, N. 1990). They prefer to do works than arranging the staff to complete the missions, as a result, they tend to function as senior individual contributors.

Moreover, some managers are the combination of two types of approaches, the doer and the coach.(Scarbrough, H. 1996) They could handle both the tasks issues and the people issues, arrange the work process and make the goals and decision rationally, and encourage the employees complete the missions effectively. Meanwhile, they also could solve the problems and troubles that cannot be dealt with by the employees and have the courage and determination to finish the tasks before anyone, and establish an excellent example of leader and problems solver. All of these aspects are always seen as different parts of the managers’ roles, and two different types of managers have their exclusive advantages and inevitable disadvantages, as the doer managers pay less attention on how people performing and the coach managers are lack of real activities on doing works. However, they actually have their objectives and missions to achieve, their duties are not replaceable.(Grey, C., 1999)No matter what scrutiny they face, they would stand up because they indeed spend a lot of efforts on their work and company.

5. Conclusion

To sum up, the importance of the images of managers is particularly noticeable. The managers are the most important part for any business of any organization, various images of managers play different roles in disparate sections. However, there is a debate about whether the managers stand up to scrutiny by the researchers. In my opinion, any responsible and successful manager does stand up to any scrutiny. It has been universally proved that the managers could decide the success or failure of the business and the enterprise, as the decision maker and rational planner are the vital elements for the process of operations planning and key bricks of the organizational structure.(Gowler, D., & Legge, K., 1983) The CEO of Apple may be the best example to illustrate this point, the manager’s power is incredible. Some people have controversy about the doer approach managers and coach approach managers, I hold the belief that both of them are crucial and they indeed have their advantages. No one can affirm that which kind of manager pays less effort or does not strive for his business. Therefore, I trust that the qualified manager could stand up to the scrutiny of when researchers examine what managers actually do.


Alvesson M & Willmott H. (2003). “Studying Management Critically”, Sage 658 STU

Wilson F. (2001). “OB: A Critical Introduction”, 302.35 WIL

Gowler, D., & Legge, K. (1983). “The meaning of management and the management of meaning: A view from anthropology. In M. Earl (Ed.), Perspectives on management: A multidisciplinary analysis.” Oxford: Oxford University Press, pp. 197-234.

Grey, C. (1999). “We are all managers now”, Journal of Management Studies, 36, 5, 561-585

Jones, P. (2009). “The Importance of Decision Making”, [online], Retrieved from [Assessed 26.03.2011]

Keat, R., & Abercrombie, N. (1990.). “Enterprise culture”, London: Routledge, pp.45-56

King, S. (2009). “What Is The Importance Of Management?”, [online], Retrieved from [Assessed 26.03.2011]

Maister, D. (2007). “Rules of Managers and Management”, Modern Business Press, pp.64-67

Robert, C. (2009). “Steve Jobs: Apple Computer and Pixar”, Global economy press, pp.107-108

Rodden, M. (2010). “Modern Managers”, Financial Times Press, pp.37

Scarbrough, H. (1998). “The Unmaking of ManagementChange and Continuity in British management in the 1990s”, Human relations, 51, 6, 691-716

Scarbrough, H. (1996). “The management of expertise”, London: Macmillan, introductory chapter.

Smith, W. (2008). “Management Styles: Are You Coach or Doer?”, [online], Retrieved from [Assessed 26.03.2011]

Dopson, S. & Stewart, R. (1990). “What is happening to middle management?”, British Journal of Management, 1, 3-16

Willmott, H. C. “Images and ideals of managerial work: A critical examination of conceptual and empirical accounts”, Journal of Management Studies, 1984, 21(3) , 349-368.

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