Sustaining a competitive advantage cannot be acquired through operational effectiveness alone; an organization will have to become different from everyone else by performing different activities that will be hard to duplicate from the competition (Dess, et al., 2005). Sustaining a competitive advantage became hard for Apple Inc. as noticed in the Harvard Business School Premier Case. Therefore, this paper is an analysis of Apple, Inc. based on a 7-year old case written by David Yoffie and Michael Slind published by Harvard Business School (Yoffie, et al., 2008). The following paper examines in detail the strategies utilized by the company as outlined in the strategic management ...view middle of the document...
First, Sculley moved too aggressively to bring Apple into the corporate world in which the company manufactured products that were limited to Apple software (Yoffie, et al., 2008). Apple’s products were overpriced by comparison resulting in Apple witnessing a dramatic drop of gross margin below their 10-year average (Yoffie, et al., 2008). Second, Spindler later killed the plan to integrate Mac Operating Systems with Intel chips and instead created clones; resulting in cost measures, a reduced workforce and a reduction in Research and Development spending (Yoffie, et al., 2008). In addition, the company lost momentum in the market, loss revenue of $69 million, and little to no consumer base (Yoffie, et al., 2008).
Finally, in 1996, the company added a new CEO, Amelio, who came into the company with a totally different plan; he wanted to push Apple into manufacturing other products that ranging from PDAs to servers (Yoffie, et al., 2008). The results of this strategic plan: huge payroll cuts, three reorganizations, another dramatic drop in revenue of $1.6 billion, and a decrease in market shares (Yoffie, et al., 2008). For the next 12 years, the results of all three CEOs left the employees and everyone involved with a bag full of hopes that the company would return to their earlier premium-price strategy. Instead, they ended up with inconsistency, product integration failures, a company that was nearly flat broke (Yoffie, et al., 2008).
The first step of the strategic management process requires management to analyze the mission, vision, and internal and external environment. However, I will only analyze the mission statement. I noticed that while reviewing the case, there was no mention of the company’s mission statement. Yoffie and Slind (2008) stated that Apple wanted “to change the world through technology” (p. 2). This mission or vision statement is very clear and management and every employee should have had a complete understanding of what the entity was all about and why the business existed in the first place. Unfortunately, Sculley, Spindler, and Amelio had their own vision and created havoc in the business. In 1997 the mission statement totally changed to “Apple as the leader in providing simple, powerful, high-quality information products and services for people who learn, communicate, and create (Apple, Inc., 1997)”.
Recommendation: With that in mind, it is my recommendation that the organization modify the mission statement to match what Steve Job’s and his partners started with but add a little meaning to the statement so it will not seem so bland. The mission statement should read: “Changing the world through technological tools for the mind to advance humankind while making a contribution to the world” (Dess, et al., 2005; Yoffie, et al., 2008).
The second step requires management to make strategic decisions about the overall business – domestic and international...