The Impact of Management on Financial Performance: Apple under Jobs and Cook - Essay Sample

Paper Type:  Essay
Pages:  6
Wordcount:  1503 Words
Date:  2023-03-03


The management of the company is exercised by people with the authority to set goals and make appropriate decisions so that they are achieved and direct and coordinate the work of other people. Therefore, managers make decisions regarding the activity of the company, from the most important - such as the objectives to be achieved by the company in the next years, the launch of new products or the introduction into new markets, to the most routine and minor decisions, such as organizing the work shifts of the production plant, choosing the system for making employee payrolls, etc.

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Apple's success is associated with the highly differentiated managerial style of Steve Jobs during his leadership years, a cycle considered as essential for the successes later obtained by Tim Cook. This paper seeks to examine the impact of management styles on the financial performance of Apple Inc. under Steve Jobs and Tim Cook as CEO. In their own individual ways, both Steve Jobs and Tim Cook have made Apple Inc the giant company it is with the highest market valuation over a trillion dollars (


Background of the Study

Company management aims to integrate and coordinate the efforts of the different members of the organisation so that the objectives of the company are efficiently executed (Van Der Aalst, La Rosa & Santoro, 2016). Management implies the ostentation of formal authority. The management style is defined as the behaviours that a manager usually applies to interact with the collaborators that make up their work team (Kreutzer, Neugebauer & Pattloch, 2017). In the current business environment, being a good manager has often been faced with difficulty. Issues such as the technological revolution, the imposition of standards that are increasingly stricter for a capital increase, new management models, greater secrecy of labour markets, and increased competition for the acquisition of leadership positions (positions increasingly scarce), have raised the demands today to succeed in business. Given these challenges, executives need action models that guide their behaviour (Andersen, 2018).

Rationale of the StudyFour years have passed since the death of businessman Steve Jobs. Since his death, business scholars have not stopped writing about his life, his personality, and his managerial style. The study of leadership techniques, the success of large companies, and technological innovation have focused on Steve Jobs all these years. Many have tried to imitate him and follow on his footsteps, sometimes successfully and other times not so much. There is a lot of written literature about leadership techniques, analysis about the best managerial styles, and keys to success to carry out a good leadership style.

The concept of leadership is possibly the most suggestive for the manager among the many concepts contributed by the Behavioural Sciences. Throughout the day, there are specific problems that only the manager, in their capacity as a leader, faces at a maximum level of responsibility: goal setting, the delegation of authority, results control, staff valuation, creation, and management of teams, proposals for changes, conflict resolution, etc. Research carried out in this field has shown that there are no unique answers to these problems. That is why the leader is required to have flexibility, commitment, and continuous availability to modify his line of action based on the novelty of the situations. The subordinates also count on determining the leader's style, as well as the objective to be achieved.

Most people who study the subject today admit the fact that whether the leader succeeds or not, it does not depend solely on their behaviour. Success is, therefore, what results from the interaction between them and the people they lead in a specific situation. Therefore, there are no particular guidelines to follow. Even for the same organisational level and functional area, the characteristics associated with success can be diverse. The leader analyses the situation and chooses leadership methods. Apple, being one of the companies associated with great success (referring to success as maximizing the benefits of a company), I have considered it relevant to analyse to what extent the leadership of its CEO, Steve Jobs, had in the cause of this success. The analysis would be suitable since Apple is a company that has greatly influenced by his strong managerial style, which has been registered in his biography and, in addition, it is a company that is accompanied by success and remains in the spotlight of many of its competitors as a reference of success.

Main Aim of the Study

The main objective is to identify the impact of management styles on the financial performance of a company using a comparative study of Apple Inc.'s financial performance under Steve Jobs and Tim Cook as CEOs.

Research Objectives

Through this study, the knowledge bases about leadership in companies will be laid, showing different theories, and then focusing on the managerial style of Steve Jobs. This analysis aims to investigate whether his managerial style is the cause of Apple's success, or if on the contrary, another figure with a different managerial style could have led the company to the success it has today.

Research Questions

The study will seek to answer the following research questions:

  • Was the managerial style of Steve Jobs the cause of Apple's success?
  • How does Tim Cook's managerial style impact on Apple's success?

Chapter 2: Literature Review2.1 Concept of Leadership and Leadership DifferencesGreer (2017) defines leadership as an influence. According to the author, a leader must have the ability to get followers. Greer exposes the idea of the "power triangle" with three essential components; communication, recognition, and influence. Effective communication leads to recognition and recognition, in turn, leads to influence. According to the author, five levels to reach the ideal leadership situation can be established. These levels must progress chronologically, meaning that the next one cannot be achieved without having gone through the previous one (Greer, 2016).

Level 1: Position - At this level, a leader is distinguished from a boss, separating the two concepts and treating them independently. Being a leader goes beyond having a title or a position of command but is about being the person that people voluntarily follow and trust. The boss manages his workers. The leader is the one who trains them. The boss depends on authority - the leader of goodwill. The boss inspires fear. The leader inspires enthusiasm. The boss says: "I." The leader says: "We." The boss fixes the blame for the failure. The leader fixes the failure. The boss knows how something is done. The leader shows how it is done. The boss says: "Go." The leader says: "Let's go!" (Greer, 2017).

Level 2: Permission - The key to this level is that leadership begins in the heart, not in the head. People unable to build strong and lasting relationships soon discover that they are unable to sustain effective and permanent leadership.

Level 3: Production - At this level, people are already oriented towards results and meet to achieve goals.

Level 4: Human Development- At this level, workers value the work that the leader has done for them. It is an ideal level to stay long. Within this level, the primary responsibility of a leader is to empower others to do the job.

Level 5: Personality- Personality can only be achieved by having a lifetime working and being a leader. A good personality can inspire positivity among the staff, which is vital for achieving company goals.

Transformational and Transactional Theories

The theory of transformational leadership states that a person interacts with others and can create a stable relationship that results in a high percentage of trust, which will later result in increased motivation, both intrinsic and extrinsic, between leaders and followers (Kremer, Villamor & Aguinis, 2019). The essence of transformational theories is to transform their followers through their inspiring nature and with their charismatic personalities. The rules are flexible, always taking into account the rules of the group. All these attributes provide a sense of belonging for the followers, as they can quickly identify the leader and his purpose (Kremer et al., 2019).

In transformational leadership, workers accept and commit to fulfilling the objective pursued by the organisation, leaving aside their interests to focus on group interests. Various dimensions of transformational leadership can be identified as follows (Kremer et al., 2019):

Attributed Idealized Influence (AII): It is defined as the leader's ability to influence followers by providing a sense of vision and mission, which inspires pride, respect, the pursuit of achievement and trust, and increases optimism.

Behavioural Idealized Influence (BII): Influencing the behaviour of followers towards the achievement of goals and objectives.

Inspiration (I). The leader tries to act as a model for his followers, transmits a vision, and uses symbols to focus efforts.

Intellectual Stimulation (IS). The leader based on providing new ideas and rethinking the concepts and ways of doing things intellectually stimulates followers.

Individualized Consideration (IC). Leaders take into consideration the individual development needs of each of the followers; they perform a personalized follow-up, but this is not seen as a control that the leader exerts on his workers, but their actions tend more to guide. In this dimension, leaders demon...

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