Organizational Culture and HR Policies Case Study

Excerpt from Case Study :

Corporate Culture

In a contemporary business environment, organizational culture is one of the strategic methods that an organization employs to achieve competitive advantages. Culture is a technique that organizations employ to differentiate among one another. Each organization has its own unique culture that guides the conduct of the employee. Organizational culture consists of the organizational personality and it is the value, norm and behavior of the member of an organization.

The objective of this paper is to explore the concept of organizational culture and how the concept is translated into the organizational acts.

High Performance Culture

In the present competitive environment, each organization is searching for the method to achieve market competitive advantages and differentiate its products and services from the markets. In the contemporary business environment, culture of innovation is a method a high performing organization employs to differentiate itself from other organizations. The success of an organization depends on its culture, and an organization with well established culture will be able to drive up performances. A corporate culture is the sum of the organizational behaviors and practice used to drive up performances. There are several methods an organization could use its corporate culture to drive up performances.

First, an organization could drive up performances by incorporating culture of innovation in its business policy. An organization that builds culture of innovation in its corporate policy has developed a strategy to drive up business performances. Typically, a culture of innovation is a strategy that an organization could use to create unique product and services to achieve market advantages. In the last two decades, Apple Inc. has developed a culture of innovation to drive up performances. By inculcating innovation in the company culture, Apple has been able to design and produce high quality products such as iPhone, iPod, iMac, iTunes, Macpro etc. (Apple 2010).

Another method an organization could use culture to drive up performances is by generating customer loyalty and ignites employee passion. Typically, an organization could develop a culture that shapes employee behavior and influence business practice. An organization that is able to deliver its promises to employees and other stakeholders will reap high market advantages. For example, an organization that inculcates learning culture to improve the skills of its employee through training and development will improve employee performances and consequently using employee to drive up performances. Moreover, an organization that inculcates the culture of corporate social responsibility (CRS) in its business policy will enhance its public image.

Rosenthal and Masarech (2003) argue that value driven culture could enhance an organizational business performances. For example, an organization with the value driven culture could attract high skilled employee to achieve business goals. Typically, organizational value is very important in the contemporary competitive advantages. Environment that organizations are operating is changing, and organizations need to meet the expectation of the society and the shareholders. To attract the talented employees, a corporate organization needs to build a culture that will align a personal value. By building a value driven culture, organization will be able to increase the employee fulfillment. Many medium and large organizations have translated corporate culture into the organization acts. For example, many medium and large organizations have realized that employees are assets to the organizations, and the developing employees skill enhances organizational performances. Rogers & Ferketish (2010) argue that employee fulfillment could increase corporate performances by 39% and consequently translate into financial success. Thus, organizations that have developed learning culture to enhance the skills and development of employee will enjoy high business performances. In additions, organizations that have developed learning culture will attract and retain star performers and talents to achieve the business goals. Rosenthal et al. (2003) argue that value driven culture create personal connections between employees and the organizations which contributes to the business performances. The findings of the survey conducted by the author supports this assertion.

Fig 1: Employee Commitment towards Value-Driven Organizations.

The findings of the survey in the Fig 1 reveals that 80% of the employees working with the organizations that have established cultures reveal that they are proud working with their organizations while 73% reveal that they ready to recommend their organizations to another people because their organizations are good working place. However, 69% of the respondents reveal that they are more satisfied in their organizations than any other place. Based on the findings, organizations that have established culture would enjoy employee commitments and this will be translated into an organizational performances.

To provide greater understanding on the extent that corporate culture has been used to drive up performances, the paper discusses the strategy Apple Inc. translates the corporate culture to enhance organizational performances.

Apple Inc. Corporate Culture Strategy

Apple Inc. is a global organization specialized in designing and producing the best hardware and software products such as consumer electronic, personal computers and computer software. Among the products of Apple Inc. are Macintosh, iPhone, iPad, Mac operating system etc. Since 1990s, Apple has developed a culture that enhances the employee commitment. The commitment of the employees towards the company has made Apple to be one of the most successful computer companies in the world. For example in 2010, Apple recorded the annual sales of $65 billions with the net profits of $4.1 billions.

Apple Inc. resides in the quadrant 4 in the Exhibit 3 because the company has been able to develop inspiration to achieve the sustainable success. Apple resides in the quadrant 4 because Apple has developed a learning culture to develop the talented employees and a transformation leader. Using employee skills and talents, Apple has been able to manage its culture to execute sound business strategies. Since the last two decades, Apple has been able to develop the brand integrity to deliver promises to its employees, the shareholders and other stakeholders. Apple has also inculcated culture of innovation in the business strategies, which makes Apple to design and produce best innovative hard and software products. With the strategies that Apple uses to manage its corporate culture, the company has recorded $28 billions in revenue at the end of the 2011 fiscal year. Between 2010 and 2011, the company has recorded 40% increase in revenue. In addition, Apple records $6.2 billions in the net profits at the end 2011 fiscal year compared to the company net profits of $4.1 billions in 2010 showing 51.2% increase in the net profits between 2010 and 2011. (Apple 2011).

Although, Apple has been able to develop a sound corporate culture to enhance business performances, however, the company still needs to maintain the culture that it has built for more than two decades to maintain the leading position in the production of high quality software and hardware products.

Recommendations for Apple to improve its Success

Illustration in fig 2 reveals that there are five steps that an organization could use to improve its high performance. The five steps are Clarity, Communicate, Model, Align and Engage.

Fig 2: Method Apple Inc. could improve High-Performance Culture

Although, Apple has already established high-performance culture, however Apple still needs to use the five-step model developed by Rosenthal et al. (2003) to improve its high-performance.

Clarity: To improve high-performance, an organization needs to clarify its mission ad value before it could develop high performance culture. Since the formation of Apple Inc., the company has developed the value and mission guiding the company. Apple value is to provide the best and quality products to its customers while the company mission is to "bring the best personal computing experience to students, educators, creative professionals and consumers around the world through its innovative hardware, software and Internet offerings." (Apple 2010 P. 1). Apple needs to maintain its value and mission to improve its high performance culture.

Communicate: Apple needs to improve on its communication strategy to strengthen and sustain the company culture. Typically, communication is…

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