Organizational culture is the product of social invention and interaction that are influenced by values and traditions, attitudes, and national culture. Organizations are social settings where people can, ideally, express their true selves; however, they are often authoritarian cultures that promote false and inauthentic actions. Apple Inc. has a unique culture based on corporate identity and unique values of the company. Usually, giant companies like Apple have more formalized structures and cultures. In contras to traditional approach,
Apple introduces informal relations between employees based on strong corporate values and traditions. Hotlinks help the company to manage relations and sustain a positive climate and morale between employees. Apple’s culture is based on unique rituals such as “encouraged individualism’ and “immediate objectives”. A sense of belonging helps the company to introduce strong moral values and traditions among old and new employees (Apple Inc Home Page 2008).
Apple facilitates genuine and productive human relations based upon the values, ambitions, ideals, talents, and skills of key participants, members of powerful organizational coalitions, and their host political culture. At Apple shared values act as a kind of informal control system that tells people what is expected of them (Driskill & Brenton 2005). In doing so, values are more pervasive in the sense of being shared by many, and strong in the sense of being felt more intensively. Pervasive and strong values affect performance positively by increasing dedication and pointing at what should be given extraordinary attention. However, pervasive and strong values also have a negative effect: they may be inconsistent, may become obsolescent, and/or may lead to a massive resistance to change, even if change is needed. Values are important in day-to-day business and corporate culture. What brings values to life, however, is the awareness of everyone in the organization of them and why they are important (Mills, 2003).
Apple’s management admits that values alone are not enough, it is the extensive sharing of them that makes a difference. It should go without saying, but corporations consist of people. People explicitly in a rational planning-implementation-control sequence only at the end of this sequence, that is, when it is time to discuss implementation of plans, when activities which have been decided upon are to be organized, when control systems are to be designed and the like. The problem with classifications, such as those outlined above, is that they tell more about how culture manifests itself in behavior and so on than about culture as such (as norms, values, and assumptions) (Driskill & Brenton 2005). This fact influences, often implicitly, how they manage themselves and other employees, and how they conduct their business, for example, decisions they make about the organization’s relationship with its environment and about its strategy. Apple supports collective decision-making and creativity. Managers in a firm (as well as other employees), be they leaders or not, have a culture which is more shared and common (Thompson et al 2006).
The main problem at Apple is resistance to change and passivity. Organizational members often passively experience critical incidents such as new value systems and cultural changes. They characteristically feel victimized by constant change and transition. Seeing themselves as powerless and helpless, they suppress their anger and come to rely upon ritualistic defenses and routines at work. That way they deny and avoid confronting their problems of coping and adaptation and succumb to cynicism. It is this pessimism and negativity that organizational consultants confront in trying to extract pertinent information and facilitate. In order to improve the situation, Apple should motivate employees and help them to accept changes and transformations (Martin, 2001). The actual content of the culture and the degree to which it relates to the environment (present or future) seem like the critical variables, not strength, pervasiveness, or direction. The extent to which the experience of object loss and separation anxiety makes transition and renewal problems ultimately depends upon the persistence of good and bad feelings about previous leaders and the associated positive or negative impact of that collective experience upon organizational culture and organizational identity–the magnitude of institutional object constancy (Schein, 1996).
Strong leadership and example of the leader will help to improve the situation and motivate employees. Positive reaction to change should a core of modern corporate culture. Transformations are often welcomed by participants, the need for a cognitive and emotional process of abandoning old structures, procedures, and relationships remains (Martin, 2001). Finally, there are often emotional issues of disappointment among organizational members that aggravate feelings of object loss during transitions, for example, among those members who apply for executive appointments and subsequently are turned down. Self-system activities force individual attention toward meeting primary needs for security, which encourage institutional affiliations that provide structure and order, predictability, and equality of treatment and thereby minimal anxiety–hence, the complementarity of ritualistic behavior and organization (Schein, 1996). The cultivation of a self-system of psychological defenses is an appropriate reaction to an irrational world of interpersonal relationships. Persons in a staff position should have direct authority in their own right but act as an extension of their superior and exercise only ‘representative’ authority. There are, of course, relations between culture and leadership than the impact of national culture on business leadership.
Apple. Inc. Home Page. 2008. Web.
Driskill, G. W., Brenton, A.L. 2005, Organizational Culture in Action: A Cultural Analysis Workbook.
Martin, J. 2001, Organizational Culture: Mapping the Terrain. Sage Publications, Inc; 1st edition.
Mills, H. 2003. Making Sense of Organizational Change. Routledge.
Schein, E.H. 1996, Organizational Culture and Leadership. Jossey-Bass; 2 edition.
Thompson, A. A., Stickland, A.J., Gamble, J. E. 2006, Crafting and Executing Strategy. McGraw-Hill/Irwin; 15 edition.