Apple Inc.(formerly Apple Computer, Inc.), was originally founded by Steve Jobs and Steve Wozniak on April 1, 1976 in California, United States . It operates now in five segments in the world: Americas, Europe, Japan, Asia-Pacific and Retail, mostly producing and selling “consumer electronics” (Markoff, 2007). After more than three decades development, its core product lines now are the Macintosh (Mac) computers, iPhone, iPad, iPod, Apple TV, Xserve, the Mac OS X and iOS operating systems, third-party digital content and applications through the iTunes Store, and a range of accessory, service and support offerings. In contrast with its counterparts like Nokia, Dell, Samsung, Apple Inc. is an integration of hardware company, software company, service company and retailing company.
This kind of vertical integration elevates the company's capability in the world market competition. By 2012, Apple has become the world’s second-largest company in information technology by revenue only second to Samsung Electronics. According to Owen Thomas, it is also the third-largest producer of mobile phone after Samsung and Nokia. (Thomas, 2012) This year in May, Apple Inc. has officially entered the top ten of Fortune 500 for the first time.
Human Resource Management
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Human resource management (HRM) is the effective and efficient management process of an organization’s human resource, or work force. It is generally responsible for the building of an organizational culture, the recruitment, training, assessment and dimission of employees as well as overseeing the organizational leadership and ensuring the compliance between the employment and labor laws. Renwick (2003) suggested that the duties of a HR include reward, recognition, re-training, absence control, recruitment, performance of the employees and the development of the staff. Tamkin et al (2004) suggested that “management capability is a key intervening variable in the successful application of people management” (Tamkin et al, 2004).
HRM plays an important role in the management of employee relations. Purcell argued that the human resource manager (HR) of an organization is in charge of formulating “a distinctive set of guiding principles, written or otherwise, which set parameters to and signposts for managerial action in the way employees are treated and particular events are handled”(Purcell, 1987). Besides, Purcell and Gray (Purcell et Gray, 1986) believed that the management style can be divided into Traditional style, Sophisticated HRM style, Sophisticated consultative style, Bargained constitutional style and Opportunistic style.
There are three basic categories of management style: a) pure unitary perspectives, which seeks employee commitment through Employee Involvement (EI) processes such as problem solving, communication, and financial participation; b) Pluralist perspectives, which seeks involvement through third party participation and collective agreements; c) The compromise position which combines unitary and pluralist perspectives as a positive way forward. Unitary managers need good transformational leadership and communications skills, knowledge of the psychological contract and motivational issues. They buy-in to devolved HRM. Pluralist managers need transactional leadership and negotiation skills. They see HRM as the responsibility of the HR department.
Information Gathering Techniques
The information gathering process of this research paper can be divided into the following steps: first of all, the author did a lot of research on the existing organizations to identify the organization to be examined in this paper and the particular issue to be investigated. Most of the information is gathered from internet after group discussion. Second, the review of the theoretical information on topic is mostly gathered from textbook, lecture notes and reading of the associated literature by our group members.
Findings of This Paper
After reading through all the information that our group has gathered, the author hereby presents our finings on the HRM of Apple Inc. First of all, Apple Inc. adopts sophisticated HRM style, which emphasizes the employee’s development, involvement, individualism, paternalism and works for perfecting HRM by respecting and inspiring talents. Jobs did not fire employees because of the economic depression even when the company is strongly shocked by Microsoft and IBM. Instead, the company cherishes the solidarity and value of the staff and inspires its staff to share a common interest with the company, which ensures a steady and rapid development of the research of the products.
In addition, staff in Apple Inc. enjoys great medical insurance plan and generous arrangement of holiday. Though they are exhausted during their working time, they can enjoy their life without press and stress after they have done their work. Apart from that, the company attaches great importance to the communication between the staff and their seniors, between the staff themselves. Jobs is also known for his management style, he treated all the staff as friends. In Apple Inc. there is no such kind of hierarchy among the boss and employees. Jobs believed that the close relationship and frequent communication and interaction are the key to broaden their visions in every stage of the development of the company.
From the past years we could see that Jobs had always been doing efforts to eliminate the obstacle that might impede the communication and cooperation inside of the company. This is why the organization has such strong team cohesion all these years, and this is why the organization has won itself such a good reputation on the whole.
At the current stage, the competition among organizations is actually the completion of their talents. A lot of organizations experienced the trouble of job-hopping of their employees even raise on salary and promotion can not change the situation. On this occasion, the author would like to recommend the HRs of those organizations the management style of Apple Inc. The organizations in question should create a working environment for their employees, which shows great respect and takes good cares of the interests for the employees. Once a unitary working environment is formulated in an organization, the organization can not be replaced by any of its competitors.
However, there is no management is perfect, so it is in the case of Apple Inc. Since its former CEO Steve Jobs passed away, there are increasing doubts about the future of the Apple Inc.. As the spirit leader of the company, Jobs is important but he can not be indispensible. In the case of Apple Inc. Jobs personally took part in every part of the operation of the company, from the strategy-planning of the company to market-promotion and recruitment of employees. This will inevitably impair the management capability of his lower ranks. Once something wrong happened with the leader, there will be crisis which his lower ranks can hardly be capable to deal with. Therefore, every organization should formulate their own risk-control system on their HRM and cultivate an excellent management team to perfect their human resource management.
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