Strategic Leadership & Innovation at Apple

4154 words 17 pages

Executive Summary


Part One – Critically Evaluate the Key Features of Apple’s Industry


Part Two – Discuss how Leadership in Apple Influenced Strategic Innovation


Part Three – Critically assess Steve Jobs as a strategic leader at Apple









Executive Summary

“Increasingly, though, we live in an irregular world, where irregular people take advantage of irregular events and use irregular means to produce irregular products that yield irregular profits.” – The Future of
Management: Gary Hamel; Bill Breen, 2007.

During his time as CEO of Apple, Steve Jobs displayed the attributes outlined in many leadership theories. In some ways he was charismatic, powerful,
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For example, in the report, Heracleous and Papachroni point to Apple’s offering in 2003 of a (Microsoft) Windows compatible version of iTunes and the company’s decision to “switch from PowerPC processors made by IBM to Intel chips.” [Heracleous and Papachroni, p. 12].

Some commentators, though, have described the rivalry within the industry as “The Great Tech War” [Manjoo, 2011], a battle to lead the way in innovation within the sector. Manjoo predicts that over the next two years, Apple, Amazon and Google will “increasingly collide in the markets for mobile phones and tablets, mobile apps, social networking and more.” [Majoo, 2011].

In our view, the leaders of each company will have to display a number of traits to continue to compete but we feel that transformational leadership, above all, will be paramount to their individual success or failure.

In the short term, any change is likely to be incremental and as such, each company will have to evolve and adapt rather than completely revolutionise or reconstruct itself [Balgoun and Hailey, 2004]. However, as the industry continues to develop at pace, it is not inconceivable that each organisation will experience transformational change and move to a radically different future state. With this in mind, it is essential that the respective leaders display an effective style of change management as developments in the industry dictates. [Dunphy and


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