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Apple Case Study – Core Competencies

Important Core Competences

Innovation constitutes a necessary competence at Apple, Inc., as evidenced in the business period ending 2008. Ideally, the firm was incorporated in 1976, and its profitability has grown substantially. The firm operates in a competitive technology industry with rival firms providing similar products as Apple. However, innovation is a crucial core competence that has enhanced the organizational growth of this organization. The financial period ending 2008 was remarkable as Apple integrated innovation as a driving factor of success. This attribute has been useful in developing cutting-edge technology devices, evidenced in smart devices and applications. The 2008 study indicated innovative success in the development of smart devices.

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Leadership style is another core competence at Apple that has ensured effectiveness and efficiency in developing innovative products. The period of 2008 was financially critical as the global was experiencing a financial crisis. Many companies faced economic challenges regarding the management of resources, including financial and human capital. Most importantly, Apple was strategic in adopting the transformational leadership style, which has ensured organizational sustainability. For instance, the firm has facilitated talent management in its recruitment practices. The approach has encouraged innovation at Apple, recording high profit-margins.

Stakeholder satisfaction is another core competence that has ensured success in a competitive industry. The company ensures the fulfillment of critical requirements amongst its stakeholder. For instance, innovation has ensured that customers acquire high-end products such as smartwatches, applications, and handheld devices. Similarly, Apple also facilitates conducive working environments for its diverse workforce to sustain creativity and innovativeness among employees.

Liberal approaches to conflict management constitute a critical element of stakeholder satisfaction. It has been useful to Apple during major disagreements that halt vital production activities. In addition, the core competence has been instrumental for the organization since its inception in 1976 to 2008. Stakeholder satisfaction improves cohesion and interaction as the vital contribution of an innovative working environment.

VRIO (Barney) model

It is useful to note that Apple, Inc. has remained profitable by integrating core organizational management competencies. The 2008 and 2010 case studies indicate the effectiveness of innovation in implementing continuity plans among technology companies. The firm in the discussion was established during the same time as other multinational corporations such as Dell and Microsoft Inc. However, the firm has ensured high levels of innovation, which lead to the production of devices as evidenced in smartphones. Leadership style has ensured that creative employees with commendable innovative talent are retained in the organization. Managing the workforce has been critical in sustaining quality production of devices making the firm highly profitable.

Moreover, the 2008 and 2010 studies highlight the importance of transformational leadership in promoting stakeholder satisfaction. In essence, Apple has been objective in optimizing critical stakeholders’ value and capabilities directly or indirectly in organizational performance. For instance, the company introduced liberal approaches of conflict management between employees differing in certain topics. This was useful in guaranteeing equality in a culturally diverse workforce in the period of financial resources. Conceptually, the value, rarity, imitability, and organization (VRIO) model would be useful in evaluating and assessing Apple’s core competencies as depicted levels of innovation, leadership style, and stakeholder satisfaction.

Core Competence Apple’s VRIO Analysis Table
Valuable Rarity Imitability Organization
Innovation Excellent High Medium High
Leadership style Excellent High Medium High
Stakeholder satisfaction Excellent Low Medium High

Key: Scale out of 10

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  • 10 – Excellent Levels.
  • 8 – High Levels.
  • 6 – Medium Levels.
  • 5 – Low Levels.

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