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The global market world is extremely diverse and, as a result, competitive. Corporations working in a competitive market face new obstacles that must be met with successful management. The emergence of globalization has generated new opportunities in developing markets, which corporations are capitalizing on to grow their operations. Globalization's opportunities often bring extraordinary obstacles for bosses of multinational companies. Global management has been transformed by the foreign trading climate in order to increase corporate efficiency and competitive advantage. The factors that influence management in the global environment are global management, sustainability, cultural diversity, globalization, and innovation. Cultural diversity and sustainability issues are increasingly becoming crucial for managing businesses in international settings. The purpose of this paper is to examine how those factors influence organizational performance, competitive advantage, and alignment and guiding the strategic direction of a fortune 500 company. The company chosen for this assignment is Apple Inc.
Key words: globalization, sustainability, organizational performance, innovation, competitive advantage, cultural diversity and global management
Apple Inc. management in global context
Apple Inc. was founded by Steve Jobs, Ronald Wayne and Steve Wozniak in 1976 (Johnson et al., 2012). The company’s success is credited with the leadership style and management of the former CEO, Steve Jobs. The company designs manufacture and sell Mac computers, iPods, iPads, iOS operating systems, iTunes stores, Apple Music, iOS apple store, smart watches and iCloud services (Apple, 2012). The company operates worldwide on three continents namely Europe, Americas, Asia, and Pacific. However, there is need to create a new division to sell products to Africa. It will be called Apple Africa division to take advantage of emerging opportunities on the continent. The new unit will continue with the company’s vision and mission. Apple is very successful in operating in the international environment because of its commitment to provide value to their customers.
Innovativeness is the easiest way to increase organizational performance and improve competitive advantage. Innovation entails coming up with new products that increase value to customers. Innovation goes hand in hand with creativity because it is a product of creative ideas. Corporations are encouraging their employees to find alternative ways of doing things or creating products that will satisfy the demands of customers. Innovativeness in international business operations will attract more customers and improve performance of the organization (Schermerhon & Bachrach, 2016). Technology is the primary driver of innovation. Since Apple is Technology Company, innovation in technology means that new products are created that are more durable, unique and offer great value to customers. The new Africa division will need to be innovative in the way it markets Apple products and services to customers in Africa. Innovation through new products creates a competitive advantage that increases financial performance of the company
Globalization means that people from various cultures are likely to interact on a larger scale. to discover available opportunities(Schermerhorn & Bachrach, 2016).Managing business operations internationally entails respecting other people’s values, language, and religions. Organizations are aiming to be more inclusive by incorporating workers from different races and religions to realize the strategic goals. Inclusiveness is the major driver of diversity (Schermerhon & Bachrach, 2016). Cultural diversity fuels innovation because it brings in the new perspective on alternative ways of doing things that can be very beneficial to the organization. According to Schermerhon & Bachrach (2016), organizations are training their employees to have cultural intelligence to value diversity in the workplace.. Increasing diversity of its workforce will enable Apple Africa division to realize the company strategic goals of being more inclusive.
Every organization has a strategic direction that leans towards being sustainable in future. Environmental sustainability is an important issue when operating a business in the global environment. Environmental laws are becoming more stricter on companies as sustainability becomes a major pillar of international trade (Schermerhon & Bachrach, 2016).For businesses, sustainability involves being able to produce products that satisfy customer demands while reducing degradation of the environment(Danciu, 2013). Moreover, consumers are increasingly becoming environmentally conscious and will not purchase products that will jeopardize their ecosystems. Apple Inc. is committed to producing sustainable products that increase the quality of life. Innovation is a major driver of sustainability of business (Danciu, 2013).
Managing a business in a home country is quite different from managing it from a global perspective. Opening up of cross-border trade has brought management challenges that managers have to deal with when venturing into new markets. Globalization has led to increasing in multinational companies and changes to management to address labor issues and environment, job creation, wealth distribution and the shift in economic powers (Schermerhon & Bachrach, 2016). Enterprises that engage in effective global management practices can increase their market share and revenues to establish a competitive advantage over rivals. The new Africa division will need to understand the political, socio-economic and legal requirements of operating in Africa. For instance, Africa is experiencing a growth in a middle class that has increased purchasing power to afford products and services from Apple.
The International business environment is more competitive than a domestic business climate. Companies are striving to be more inclusive by promoting diversity in the workplace to spur innovation. Moreover, massive resources are allocated to research and development to facilitate innovation to come up with new products and services that improve organizational performance. Global management practices that increase market share and revenues establishes a competitive advantage. Corporations need to produce sustainable products that do not destroy the environment.
Apple, Inc. (2012). www.apple.com
Danciu, V. (2013). The sustainable company: new challenges and strategies for more sustainability. Theoretical and Applied Economics Volume XX, No. 9(586), pp. 7-26
Schermerhon Jr., J.R., & Bachrach, D.G. (2016). Exploring management (5th Edition). Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons.
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