STRATEGIC MANAGEMENT AND STRATEGIC COMPETITIVENESS
StrategicManagement and Strategic Competitiveness
AppleInc is an American multinational corporation which has a huge sharein the technology market. It is the largest technology company interms of revenue, total assets, and market capitalization. Thecompany’s businesses include designing, development, and marketingof consumer electronics and computers. Its main products includehardware such as personal computers, tablets, smartphones, mediaplayers and smartwatch. It is also involved in the development ofsoftware such as operating systems and mobile applications as well asonline services through iTunes and iCloud among others. The companywas founded by Steve Jobs and two of his friends in 1976 andincorporated in 1977. In 2007, due to changes in technology andcustomer preferences, it changed from Apple Computer Inc to AppleInc. This enabled it to venture into emerging segments of thetechnology market (Johnson et al., 2012).
Severalaspects have an influence on Apple’s strategies and performance.The mission and vision statements of the company have massivecorporate influence and are critical success factors. They are areflection of the company success in the last few years. The missionstatement reads “Apple designs Macs, the best personal computersin the world, along with OS X, iLife, iWork and professionalsoftware. Apple leads the digital music revolution with its iPods andiTunes online store. Apple has reinvented the mobile phone with itsrevolutionary iPhone and App Store, and is defining the future ofmobile media and computing devices with iPad." (Rowland, 2015).Consequently, quality products and advanced technologies are whatdefine the company. Therefore, the gadgets produced by Apple Inc arevital for its existence. Additionally, the detailed vision statementoutlines the comprehensive strategy adopted by the corporation forcontinuous success through innovation and customer focus (Rowland,2015).
Globalizationand technological development have a huge influence on the operationsand performance of Apple Inc, due to the nature of its business. Inthe context of the company’s operations, globalization can bedefined as the increased internationalization of business processesand trade. Traditionally, Apple targeted the local market within theUnited States borders. As economies and societies become integrated,Apple has adopted an innovative approach to business, transformingthe corporation into a multinational. The Apple global strategy hasbeen one of the most successful strategies, taking advantage ofglobalized economies. The company has exploited the phenomenon, andestablished retail as well as online stores in different parts of theworld. The sharp rise in revenues in the last five years has beenattributed to the growth in merchandise sales in the global market(Zylla-Woellner, 2015). According to Leitao (2013), its earningsincreased by about 14 percent in the year 2013. About three-quartersof the total sales were in the international market outside theAmericas, where Asia and Europe accounted for over 50 percent. Thismeans that the company’s success is dependent on commerce outsidethe United States (Leitao, 2013).
Globalizationhas other impacts on Apple’s operations. This includes partnershipswith other players in the industry such as China Mobile, which hasimpacted positively on the brand name and presence in emergingmarkets. Additionally, integration of economies has facilitated theforeign outsourcing of some of the processes. For example, in theproduction of hardware, the majority of the workers are locatedoutside the United States. This has reduced the cost of operation,and consequently increased profits (Adam, 2013).
Changesin technology have had tremendous impacts on all aspects of Apple’sbusiness activities, principally because it is a market leader in theindustry. Some of the technologies that have changed the world havebeen developed by Apple Inc and its competitors. Since itsfoundation, the company has strived to be a leading technology firmin the United States and the world (Lüsted, 2013). Consequently, ithas investment heavily in the development and marketing of itstechnologies. The current global strategy adopted by Apple Inc isaligned to the changes in the technological world. For example, thecompany has focused on the development of smartphones, smartwatch,and other related sophisticated products, as well as supportingapplications. Despite its successes, it does not have a monopoly inthese breakthroughs. Emerging trends in the industry have resulted inincreased competition, especially from other companies that canproduce high-quality products at lower prices (Lüsted, 2013).
Abusiness organization can use two models in the development ofmission and vision, as well as strategies that result in aboveaverage returns and competitive advantage. These are industrialorganization and resource based models. The industrial organizationmodel relies on the assumption that the external factors have aninfluence on the business strategy. Additionally, the many players inthe industry have access to similar resources and are likely to haveduplicated business approaches. The decision makers in theorganization are always rational and act in the best interests of thecorporation. On the other hand, resources based model assumes thatcompanies have unique resources and abilities, which impacts on theirstrategy and rate of returns. The policies adopted are based on theinternal strengths (Hitt, 2016). Apple Inc can use both models toachieve above average returns. In the industry organization model,it can establish its competitiveness and position in the market byevaluative the Porter’s five forces of suppliers, rivals,substitutes, buyers and new entrants in the market. By producinghigher quality and differentiated product, Apple Inc can achieveabove average returns. The resources based model can also be used toattain higher revenues. The resources include internal factors thatinfluence the operations, which include financial power, intellectualproperties, brand name, experts, skills, and talents. Although someof these factors have high mobility, Apple Inc can take advantage ofthese resources to enhance its profitability (Adam, 2013).
Severalstakeholders have an influence on Apple Inc’s operations. As aresult of the strong brand name, the policies and strategies adoptedby the organization take into account all individuals and entitiesaffected by its success or failure. They include customers,employees, shareholders and business partners (suppliers anddistributors). The company puts a lot of emphasis on providingquality merchandises to its clients. Although Apple products areexpensive, it offers superiority devices to its customer (Thompson,2015). The corporation employs a huge number of employees indifferent aspects of its operations. The success of Apple Inc isdependent on how it handled employee related issues. This has adirect impact on its ability to attract and retain talented workers. The investors or the shareholders provide capital and expect a returnon their investment. Apple Inc is one of the most profitable publiccompanies in the world and therefore strives to provide value to theinvestor’s inputs. The success of the organization is due to thecordial relationships and partnerships it has established with itssuppliers and distributors. They have resulted in mutual benefitswhere both enjoy above average returns (Thompson, 2015).
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Hitt,M. (2016). StrategicManagement: Concepts: Competitiveness and Globalization.Cengage Learning, ISBN 1337413577.
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Lüsted,M. (2012). Apple:the company and its visionary founder,SteveJobs.Minneapolis, MN: ABDO Pub.
Rowland,C. (2015). Apple’sVision Statement & Mission Statement,Retrieved fromhttp://panmore.com/apple-mission-statement-vision-statement
Thompson,A. (2015). AppleInc. Stakeholders: A CSR Analysis.http://panmore.com/apple-inc-stakeholders-csr-analysis, retrievedfrom http://panmore.com/apple-inc-stakeholders-csr-analysis
Zylla-Woellner,J. (2013). Businessanalysis of Apple Inc. Grin Verlag Ohg.