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Steve Jobs and Mary Kay. The personal computer industry as a competitive environment - Case Study Example

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Steve Job’s Apple is a somewhat formal, traditional business that places emphasis on the organizational arrangement and authority structures to get things done because workers have an employment relationship with the firm (surname 134). …
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Steve Jobs and Mary Kay. The personal computer industry as a competitive environment
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Download file to see previous pages On other hand, Mary Kay’s organisation is a network DSO where workers are legally independent thus they present a totally different context for the founder with regard to control and maintaining commitment (surname 135). Nevertheless, to enable us arrive at the decision that Steve Jobs and Mary Kay being different we use Weber’s definition of the elements that are requisite for charisma.
Jobs was a visionary who sought to change the world through technology (Yoffie & Kwak 1) and most definitely manifested exceptional ability with regards to coming up with strategies that enabled Apple to make a turnaround from making losses of US$ 1.6 billion to making profits in five straight quarters. In addition to this Jobs, like Weber’s elements of charisma dictate, was able to demonstrate his ‘gift of grace’ through the continued success of his mission to turnaround Apple into a ‘happening’ brand. Mary Kay differs from Jobs in the sense that she was able to not only attract a following but also convert them into devotees of her way of working. Steve Jobs seems unable to transfer his ideals to his ‘charges’ in that he has to be present for his vision to be realized. Mary Kay on the other hand has been able to arguably transfer her vision to her followers to prepare them for succession. In a nutshell, we can argue that Steve Jobs is a strategy genius in so far as setting the direction for Apple to go while Mary Kay is more of an inspirational leader who attracts independent individuals and gives them the belief that they will succeed if they join her and follow her tenets. Historically, what were Apple’s major competitive advantages? Apple derived its competitive advantages from the following three unique attributes: technology leadership, proprietary technologies and its horizontal and vertical integration. Apple’s technological leadership is demonstrated several times through its early years. Good examples are: the Apple II that drove the PC industry to US$ 1 billion in annual sales in less than three years, and the Lisa – the first PC to use a graphical user interface and a point-and-click mouse in addition to having a windowing system that allowed multiple applications to run at the same time (Yoffie & Kwak 2). Apple consistently launched revolutionary products that set the bar for computing. For Apple to retain its technological leadership it relied mainly on its proprietary technologies such as its superior capabilities in graphics, design and sound. Unlike its main rivals, Apple had its own proprietary operating system (OS) thus it could easily integrate it with its other software applications to enhance its users’ experience. In the case we are informed that Apple machines were simple machines that ordinary people could use straight from the box (Yoffie & Kwak 1) a competitive advantage that we can attribute to the seamless integration of all Apple software and hardware. The fact that Apple had its own proprietary technologies meant that the organization could increase its customer value proposition through bundling for example the Mac was sold bundled with an OS, Mac application software and other peripherals (Yoffie & Kwak 3). These made its products to be more versatile. Finally, we can argue that it would have been difficult for Apple to retain its technology leadership and proprietary technologies without its extensive horizontal and ve ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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