An important factor that determines an organisation’s success is its leaders’ willingness to encourage and implement teamwork strategies (West, 2012). All successful organisations encourage teamwork because of its numerous benefits that include improved work efficiency, better employee relations, increased accountability, improved productivity, greater morale, enhanced flexibility, and innovation (Hellriegel & Slocum, 2010).
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Apple is a very successful corporation that embraces teamwork. Since its founding, the company has embraced teamwork, which has been a key factor in determining its success in the technology and communications industry. The benefits of teamwork are evident in areas such as innovation, product development, and employee relations.
Business aspects that are improved by teamwork
One of the main advantages of teamwork is increased innovation (Hellriegel & Slocum, 2010). Apple leaders implement policies and management strategies that create a work environment that fosters creativity and innovation. The company’s corporate culture is founded on collaboration and cooperation among employees (Milian, 2011). Each department comprises small teams that work together in order to achieve certain goals. As a result, employees exhibit more cooperation, commitment, and creativity. Working in teams encourages exchange of ideas, opinions, and feedback, which is important in enhancing innovation (Hellriegel & Slocum, 2010).
Teamwork has increased the productivity, flexibility, and efficiency of employees (Hellriegel & Slocum, 2010). Employees achieve results faster by working towards common goals. At Apple, teamwork is critical to completion of projects within certain time frames. For instance, the company was able to deliver the iPod, iPhone, and the iPad to consumers within certain periods because employees worked in teams that ensured speedy delivery of the products to the market (Lusted, 2012).
Teamwork reduces the pressure experienced by individual employees because responsibilities and tasks are shared. Employee deals with tasks that are within their area of specialisation. Therefore, they deal with challenges and difficulties easily without stalling the progress of their teams. Teamwork improves flexibility because team members apply creative strategies to solve problems (West, 2012).
Cooperation among employees is a key factor that determines the success of Apple’s products in the market. New products are designed, manufactured and marketed by different teams that comprise employees with different skills (Lusted, 2012). For instance, a team could include engineers, designers, technology experts, marketing experts, and management gurus who play different roles that ensure timely completion of products.
One of the reasons why Apple delivers a new product into the market every year is the strong spirit of teamwork that governs employees (West, 2012). Teams meet weekly to review their progress and deal with challenges that members encounter. Finally, teamwork improves accountability and responsibility. Apple does not create committees to oversee the activities of different teams (Lusted, 2012). Each team has a leader who reports directly to management regarding the team’s progress.
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Resolution of conflict and difficult situations
Conflict resolution and problem solving is easier when employees work in teams that when they work individually. This is because teams encourage open discussions that involve presentation of feedback from members (West, 2012). Discussion among employees is one of the methods used to resolve conflicts and deal with tough situations at Apple. Team discussions include presentation of opinions, ideas, criticisms, and complaints from members. In addition, employees brainstorm in order to come up with potential solutions to their challenges and problems. Apple’s leadership encourages accountability and honesty among employees.
Accountability eradicates criticism and blame because employees are aware of their individual tasks and responsibilities. Apple’s principles of business conduct include honesty, respect, confidentiality, and compliance (Lusted, 2012). Employees are required to adhere to these principles in dealing with fellow employees and in conducting business. The policy encourages employees to discuss issues with their team leaders and managers. For that reason, teams meet weekly to discuss challenges and problems that they encounter in achieving their goals.
Effectiveness of teams in achieving goals
An advantage of teamwork is increased efficiency and effectiveness in achieving goals (West, 2012). This is largely due to speedy completion of tasks, use of effective methods of resolving conflicts, and increased creativity that is encouraged by open dissemination of knowledge and ideas. Apple hires highly knowledgeable employees who are passionate about their work. Its teams comprise passionate and knowledgeable employees who are committed to achieving certain goals in a timely manner. Teamwork has enhanced Apple’s achievement of goals because the organisation has consistently introduced new products into the market every year (Lusted, 2012).
In addition, the high quality of its products is largely due to teamwork. Timely introduction of new products is proof of efficiency, cooperation, and effectiveness among employees. One of Apple’s goals is to use innovation to provide customers with quality products (Lusted, 2012). This is evident from their numerous products that have created revolutions in different market segments. The company’s success in innovating is largely due to the concept of teamwork that the company embraces and implements (Milian, 2011). After the demise of Steve Jobs, Apple continued to innovate because of the core principle of teamwork that governs its corporate culture. The success of the company is determined by cooperation and collaboration among employees (Milian, 2011).
Hellriegel, D & Slocum, J 2010, Organizational Behavior, Cengage Learning, New York.
Lusted, M. A 2012, Apple: Company and its Visionary Founder, Steve Jobs, ABDO, New York.
Milian, M 2011, Why Apple is More than just Steve Jobs, Web.
West, M 2012, Effective Teamwork: Practical Lessons from Organizational Research, John Wiley & Sons, New York.