Sample Case Study paper on Managing Organization Behaviour

Managing Organization Behaviour


Several factors contribute to behaviour failures in an organization. One such factor is the management of organization behaviour. This paper discusses how management of organization contributes to behaviour failures in an organization. Using Apple Inc. as a case study, the paper applies and integrate theories, models, as well as concept of management of organization behaviour to determine how it contribute to real life success or failure of the company. Organizations use different types of management theories and concept in modelling their behaviour. The choice of management style directly affects the organization’s performance, profitability, and sustainability.

Apple Incorporation is a leading American multinational company operating in the field of technology. The company’s headquartered in Cupertino, California and has many branches and subsidiaries in both United States and abroad. It specializes in designing, developing, and selling several types of consumer electronic products such as computer software and hardware. Some of the leading electronic brands produced my Apple Inc. Include iPod, iPad, tablets, iPhone, smartphone, iOS operating systems, Safari web browser, iTunes media player, iLife, as well as iWork among others. Apple applies a wide range of management practices that has defined their success. Apple is a suitable case study for this analysis because of its unique management styles.

Organizational Behaviour Management

This is an essential element of company management because it applies the principles of psychology in organizational behaviour management. In particular, this method experimentally analyses the behaviour of the organization with a clear goal of improving the work safety and performance of each individual worker. Apple Incorporation has been using a wide range of Organizational Behaviour Management (OBM) interventions in modelling the behaviour of its workforce. The OBM share many qualities and characteristics with human resource management. With this respect, it includes various aspects of management such as organizing, planning, leading, staffing, directing, as well as controlling an organization to achieve a specific behaviour goal or target. As explained by Valentin (2011), it encompasses the manipulation of workers in order to achieve specific behaviour requirement suitable for the organization.

Theoretically and conceptually, the OBM applies the science of behaviour and psychology. It relies on the use of respondent and operant procedures in producing the required behaviour changes in the organization. By being based on the behaviour of people at workplace, the OBM guided by a single theory of human behaviour highly emphasizing on the identification and modification of various environmental factors that have high potential of affecting employee performance. The Organizational Behaviour Management is applied majorly in three business areas namely performance management, behaviour system analysis, and behaviour based safety. The former involves the use of behaviour principles to manage the performance of company employees. The process normally involves analysis of the behaviour of individuals or groups within the organization. The second application allows the analysis of an organization outside antecedents, behaviours, and consequences. Lastly, the former application focuses on the analysis of workplace environment and its effects on the organizational behaviour (Armstrong &  Taylor, 2014).

Case Study: Apple Incorporation

Apple became one of the highly successful technology companies in the world after its establishment in the 1970s. Its success was backed by well-defined organisational behaviour as well as the corporate culture. However, during the later 1980s, the company started experiencing some challenges attributed to OBM. By 1984, Apple Inc. has created an informal culture and organizational behaviour that differentiated it from its market competitors. Apple Inc. developed culture and organizational behaviour that was more akin to start-up rather than putting the face of a multinational corporation. This type of organizational culture encouraged innovation and this resulted in several young and inexperienced talents being recruited into the organization. Therefore, modelling the organizational behaviour became essential as time goes. However, this was not easy to achieve as the company employed different opinionated managers.

Since the early 1970s, Apple Inc. has been successively led by series of different chief executives and managers. It is worth noting that these managers and chief executives were differently opinionated. Because of the use of differently opinionated managers, Apple Inc. started losing some of its original corporate culture and organizational behaviour. This marked the beginning of Apple’s failures and organizational problems. Despite the many problems that followed, Apple managed to maintain good reputation thanks to properly organizational behaviour management. They used OBM tools and interventions that foster individuality and excellence at the workplace. Their focus was to attract talented workers and model them into the required organizational behaviour. Apple was also interested in recognizing the best for its employees and award individuals who make extraordinary leadership and technical contributions to the firm (Cameron & Green, 2015).

Employee management and job satisfaction failures

Since its inception back in the 1970s, Apple Inc. has faced several challenges leading to remarkable failures. Some of the company’s failures are attributed to the management of organisational behaviour. OBM is an influencing factor in determining success or failure because it applies the principles of psychology in organizational behaviour management. Apple’s main failures revolved around employee management and job satisfaction level. As explained by Locke (2011), the major contributing factor this failure is inaccurate organizational behaviour management.

The main failures of Apple are harsh working conditions and safety issues. Although the company is making some positive progress towards eliminating the problem, it still affects the company to a greater extent. Over the past two decades, many employees in the organization have been complaining about harsh work conditions and safety issues. In particular, the working condition for employees assembling the company products such as iPhones and iPads is not favourable. The company has been improperly disposing of falsified records and hazardous wastes, which directly affects the working condition as well as the environment. These hazardous wastes often lead to poisoning of employees at the factories. In particular, employees are often intoxicated with a chemical known as nhexane. This chemical is used for wiping clean the screen display of iPads and other products so as to enhance efficiency and speed.

Secondly, guided with the primary goal of saving money, Apple provided no proper safety measures for its employees in the factories. In addition, the company did not provide proper ventilation systems at the main factories. This became a major problem during cleaning process, thus, contributing to the loss of motor functions. Some workers also developed numb limbs, as well as a wide range of neurological problems. A major problem occurred in 2007 when some employees fainted in the factory overcome by debilitating fatigue. Although the report is not being made public, fainting and fatigue is a common incident in Apple’s factories. Some of the affected employees were bought off after signing agreements that they will not make claims against Apple Inc. This is a horrendous practice inculcated by improper management of organizational behaviour.

Labour dispute is another problem that has affected the operation of the company. Although labour dispute is not commonplace in Apple, it is contributed by the choice of organizational behaviour management. Some employees and watch groups have complained of poor labour practices in the organization. For instance, in 2010, Apple’s main supplier in China was affected by a labour dispute. 20 employees of Foxconn decided to commit suicide due to labour disputes. Foxconn was the leading supplier of products to Apple. Concerns were raised as to how Apple is contributing to Foxconn’s problems. Apple was committed to maintaining good relation with its supplier but the pressure to deliver was too high for some employees to handle. The problem of the labour dispute is also experienced in Apple Inc. Some employees are not comfortable with the target and level of performance anticipated by the company.

The primary concern of this paper is to determine and establish how organizational behaviour management contributed to Apple’s failures. As noted above, most of Apple’s failures are attributed to labour disputes, poor working condition, a safety measure, and employee dissatisfactions. To determine how organizational behaviour management contributed to these failures, it is essential to understand the type of management styles used by Apple Incorporation Jiang et al. (2012) noted that Apple Incorporation uses a combination of theories and concept in managing its organizational behaviours. The most prominent one is management theory, behavioural theory, motivational theory, great man theory, as well as a trait theory. The management theory puts more emphasis on the role of performance, organization, and supervision. On the contrary, it punished employees who have not performed well.

According to Wilson (2014), organizational behaviour is a result of its employees and stakeholders who hold decision-making power. Their decisions reflect their won assessment of what is economically and politically beneficial to them. This is the exact situation where Apple Incorporation found itself in. Sometimes decisions were made that did not capture interests of the entire organization including employees. It is true that at some point the Apple’s management and chief executives allowed themselves to be motivated more than the level that could optimally benefit the company. As a result, they developed high ambitions for the company. They started setting high targets for the company. This type of behaviour is described by the political model of organizational behaviour as a focus on self-interest. Following this model, money and high profits became the primary focus of the organization’s executives. Subsequently, they lost focus on establishing good working conditions. They started acting unethically as they push employees towards high production level in order to increase profits.

The action was taken by the company executive and managers directly impacted on the general behaviour of the organization. They influenced the behaviour direction taken by the company that led to problems with other employees. Goetsch and Davis (2014) explained that when managers and executives are unethical, other employees tend to become unethical too. In a similar way, when executives and managers are guided by personal interest, other employees tend to do the same. In essence, the behaviour of the organization is determined by the overall behaviour of its executives and managers. Following this model, the Apple’s leadership became extremely influential in determining the organizational behaviour.

In addition, several Apple’s managers and executives exemplified charismatic leadership style. This type of leadership was extremely influential in determining the organizational behaviour. They greatly encouraged employees to accept and follow their lead. They also greatly encouraged employees to focus on their work and performance level. Because of this practice, the employees starting pay little attention to the poor work condition. They also gave little attention to the safety measures in the work place. As a result, the organization started adopting behaviour that focused less on the development of good work condition and the establishment of safety measures. With time, the poor work condition in the factory started becoming worse. In the end, the employees could not afford to condition in the factory without proper ventilation systems. They also demanded the improvement of the work condition.

The company management plays significant roles in linking employees, suppliers, shareholders, and the customers. They also set various informal aspects of the company such as attitudes, values, norms, as well as interactions. These informal aspects are actually the determinant of the organizational behaviour. As explained by Hitt, Ireland and Hoskisson (2012), these informal aspects contribute to more than 90% of the real nature and behaviour of an organization. Through their charismatic leaders, Apple established informal aspects that emphasized in performance and high work ethics. This helped established strong work ethics. However, it was counterproductive because the employees felt overworked. There was little time for personal development, rest, and entertainment. The employees focused more on the production process rather at the expenses of other ethical issues.

The moral culture of a company is directly tied to the integrity of its leaders. In essence, the quality of company leadership determines its commitment to employee welfare. When a company lacks commitment to the welfare, as did the Apple Inc., it is not possible to maintain comprehensive ethical standards (Fisher & Oberholzer-Gee, 2013). In addition, the company cannot maintain good welfare for the benefit of their employees. It was a lack of visionary leaderships towards attaining standard ethics contributed to poor welfare. The company leadership did not make employee welfare a priority. Their primary focus was to maintain and increase productivity and profitability. The employee felt not cared for by the company. The management did not take their issues seriously.

Because of this approaches in leadership style, Apple Incorporation underwent breakdown in its corporate culture and structure. It developed a culture that cared less of the employee welfare, a safety measure, as well as good work condition. As a result, the company experienced major failures that directly affected its operation, organizational management, as well as employee sustainability. Instead of focusing on employee welfare and good work condition, Apple’s culture was highly obsessed with developing the bottom line. This led to the establishment of unethical employee behaviour in the company. Instead of accommodative organizational behaviour, the company culture thus demanded conformity to the leadership directives. As a consequent, the employees working for Apple Inc. complied and adopted culture demanded by their leaders even though it was not leading to acceptable organizational behaviour management.

Another cause of organizational behaviour failure in Apple Incorporation was groupthink. The Apple’s executives and managers were highly influenced by the concept of groupthink. According to Kraemer, Linden and Dedrick (2011), groupthink is a practice or behaviour whereby group members are involving in discounting or hiding of information to maintain the group cohesion. The Apple executives were interested in maintaining the group cohesion at all cost. They were encouraged to do this because of the reputation and image that Apple has created in the image. In particular, they wanted the public to continue believing that all is well with Apple despite the existing problems affecting the company’s operation and management. The leaders collectively overestimated the employee’s moral as well as the ability to stretch their limits. They pressurized each other to preserve the company conformity.

Nonetheless, not all was wrong with the Apple’s organizational behaviour management. The company leadership also used a wide range of theories and concepts that contributed to their success in the market as well as organizational behaviour management. For instance, their leadership style was based on situational leadership theory. This theory suggests that leaders are capable of making the bets decision based on the existing situation. Using this theory, the company executives were making decisions based on the company situations. This method was effective in managing the organizational behaviour thus leading to their success. The management implemented several types of leadership styles that were suitable for making different decisions depending on the existing situation (Leonard et al., 2014).

In conclusion, from the above discuss, it is apparently vivid that organizational behaviour management depend on the success or failure of a company. The failure of Apple Inc. was highly attributed to lack of appropriate organizational behaviour management style (Valentin, 2011). It is essential if organizations take OBM very serious because it determines failure or success. In addition, it has a great impact on the effectiveness of the company management and leadership. Several theories are considered to have the potential for creating more effective organization only if implemented correctly. The organizational behaviour management becomes more effective over time if it is regularly practiced in the company. The power of OBM lies within their capability to motivate employees. In addition, they have potential for establishing strong relationship bond between company leaders and other employees.



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