Paper Example on Comparing Management Styles of Steve Jobs and Tim Cook at Apple Inc

Paper Type:  Research paper
Pages:  6
Wordcount:  1609 Words
Date:  2023-01-29

1.1 Importance of the Problem

Different managers normally pursue different policies that have a bearing on the performance of a particular company and entire industry. Evidently, Steve Jobs and Tim Cook are different managers that have different policies for Apple Inc. The study of the different management styles and the decisions made for the company is significant not only in defining the company's performance but also drawing attention to the performance indicators (both financial and non-financial) (Narkuniene & Ulbinaite, 2018, p. 132).

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1.2 Aim of the research Project

The aim of the research project is to investigate and compare the ideologies pursued by Tim Cook and Steve Jobs to determine the relevance in the business environment. Towards this end, the study will investigate the leadership styles by the two managers (CEOs) with the aim of establishing the impact the styles in the company's performance. In this regard, the study will apply systematic analysis of scientific literature, aggregation, and comparison methods to determine the best business models as indicated by the company performance in various aspects. Furthermore, the research intends to provide a classification scheme for performance evaluation based on the policies pursued by the aforementioned managers.

Research Objectives and Questions

2.1 Research Questions

  • What are the policies and business ideologies pursued by both Tim Cook and Steve Jobs at Apple Inc during their respective tenures as the CEOs of the company?
  • What is the company's (apple) performance based on both financial performance indicators?
  • What are the similarities and differences of managerial strategies of the two managers (Cook and Jobs) with the aim of establishing the most relevant, sound, and appropriate decisions based on the company's performance?

2.2 Research Objectives

  • To investigate the policies and business ideologies pursued by both Tim Cook and Steve Jobs at Apple Inc during their respective tenures as the CEOs of the company
  • To determine the company's performance based on both financial performance indicators
  • To investigate the similarities and differences of managerial strategies of the two managers (Cook and Jobs) with the aim of establishing the most relevant, sound, and appropriate decisions based on the company's performance.

3.0 Literature Review

Leadership has a close correlation with an individual's personality. The influence form previous mentors also play a vital role in determining a person's ability and capability to direct and guide a group of individuals (Wenner & Campbell, 2017, 137). The two personalities (Steve Jobs and Tim Cook) had distinct leadership styles that certainly guided Apple Inc. to different levels, making it the most valuable companies in the globe currently. The company's organizational structure is at the center of its rapid, efficient, and effective innovation, which is a critical component of its success in the global market. The company is a leading force in information technology, consumer electronics, and online services. It is worth noting that the corporate or an organization's structure entails the resources, the workforce, and the interconnection between various groups and the resources within the control of the business. The organizational design normally determines the development of the management structures and its subsequent management. The corporate structure also supports the business strategy that has the propensity of ensuring timely technological innovation and advancements. The most notable leadership style adopted by the two leaders is transformative leadership.

Transformative leadership refers to a style that encourages the employees to engage in critical thinking and the leader often inspires the team. The leader is often visionary, motivating, and charismatic. Such kind of leadership has the big picture approach. The second type is the autocratic leadership in which the leader apparently makes all the decision without necessary involving the subjects or those under him or her. It is some sort of dictatorial leadership in which the aim is to establish total control over the subjects (Wenner & Campbell, 2017, 149). The subjects rarely like the leader since he or she uses a militant-like style to make decisions that affect the entire company. The other type of leadership, which is common in the contemporary corporate world, is the participant or the collaborative leadership in which the leaders seeks and subsequently takes into consideration the employee opinion. Such kind of leadership takes into consideration the employee input and opinion during the decision-making process. Finally, Laissez-faire leadership entails that has the doctrine that opposes any interference in the economic matters of a company beyond the necessary minimum (Tal & Gordon, 2016, 272). Essentially, the leader only intervenes when necessary.

The performance of any company is normally depends upon the type of leadership by the chief executive officer and the management. There is no doubt that Steve Jobs created and nurtured Apple to the point that it became a global brand. The two leaders were transformational gurus that made Apple Inc. the most valuable and profitable company in the entire globe. Nevertheless, the company's continued success depended heavily on the successive leadership strategies applied by Tim Cook. Business performance evaluation forms an inseparable part of any particular company since it is a prerequisite that defines business management decisions, the necessary adjustments for result improvements, and the direction of the company activity results (Myers & Fellow, 2014, p. 7). Steve Jobs and Tim Cook evidently pursued different policies and performance ideologies that apparently led to varying fortunes for the company. Steve Jobs joined Apple in 1996 when the company's net worth stood at $3 billion (Narkuniene & Ulbinaite, 2018, 134). When Jobs departed in 2011 the company's fortunes stood at an impressive $347 billion, which represents an astronomical improvement. The impressive improvement in Apple's stock market valuation was mainly due to the pursuit of the right policies and the right managerial decisions. Meanwhile, Tim Cook took over the company in 2011 when its stock market valuation stood at $347 billion (Narkuniene & Ulbinaite, 2018, p. 135). It is worth noting that the company's worth stands at $922 billion and is on the right track to hit the $1 trillion mark by the end of the year. Comparatively, the two CEOs improved the company's fortunes immensely, albeit during different tenures and somewhat varying times and business environments. It is worth noting that that Jobs and Cook were at the helm of Apple leadership at different times. Nevertheless, Job made the much-needed turnaround while under Cook, Apple become the most valuable company in the entire world. The impressive performance by the company is partly attributed to timely decision associated with good leadership. The evaluation of a company's performance plays a significant role in ensuring that the management makes the necessary adjustment for continuity by making the right decisions.

Apple's involvement of in social corporate responsibility was different, though intense, during the tenure of the two CEOs. The company has the ideology and an utmost commitment to making the world a better place. Notably, Jobs was never so much into charity or charitable works, human rights subjects, or environmental issues. However, the company's involvement into charitable courses became relatively prominent and part of its identity during Cook's tenure (Narkuniene & Ulbinaite, 2018, p. 135). Unlike Jobs, Cook evidently is passionate about gay rights, privacy, and the reform of the immigration system. During the latter's tenure, the company absolutely dependent on sustainable energy. Additionally, the company worked and invested to improve the supply chain and improved the terms and conditions of accessibility to clients living with disability. Under the contemporary leadership, the company seemingly adopted the idea that the world should be a better place.

The company employed different advertising or marketing strategies under the two mangers. Under the current leadership, the company delivers impressive advertisements or commercials. However, during Job's tenure, Apple had marketing brilliance that served to reach clients and potential clients all over the world. Jobs applied various campaigns that include but not limited to "Think Different" and "Get a Mac." The company applied the former campaign at times when it did not have any products to sell (Myers & Fellow, 2014, p. 12). It is worth noting that the latter campaign was profoundly referenced by the clients or the company fans many years after it stopped, meaning that it had a great impact on the company's fortune. Additionally, Job's campaigns served to popularize various new products such as the iPod and the iTunes. The campaigns included silhouettes dancing on the background. During those days, the company evidently invested heavily on advertisement campaigns. For example, it had the "Switch Campaign" that employed the services of renowned director Errol Morris. The investment then was substantial. Even in the contemporary setting, the company has one of the best, polished marketing strategies, particularly the Christmas advertisements that are popular with audiences across the globe (Myers & Fellow, 2014, p. 13).

Challenges and the methods applied by the two CEOs to manage them are seemingly different. When Jobs took over at the helm of Apple, the company was on the verge of bankruptcy. Prior to his appointment, the company had a few disastrous years that saw it make various losses that drove it near-collapse (Finkle & Mallin, 2010, p. 31). The business model was evidently wrong or irrelevant to the prevailing market and business environment at the time. Jobs' arrival at apple obviously excited loyalists, but it was not an obvious turnaround. It required sound strategy coupled with the development of market-relevant products to further inspire the loyalty of the customers. On the other hand, Tim Cook took over at Apple Inc. at a seriously different time, but he still had challenges to overcome as well. Cook borrowed heavily from the business models of successful companies such as Sony, Polaroid, and Disney and managed to make the company the most valuable in the whole world (Myers & Fellow, 2014, p. 12). Nevertheless, Jobs faced more demanding and larger challenges in comparison to his successor, and brought the company back to profitable ways. The impressive performance by the company is partly attributed to timely deci...

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