News Article Review

This is a review of the article written by Victoria Shannon in The New York Times entitled “Apple to resume U.S Manufacturing”. It was published on December 6, 2012 and accessed at
The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Apple, Timothy D. Cook was recently interviewed by NBC and Bloomberg BusinessWeek and this article was based on that interview. Shannon highlighted that Apple will resume manufacturing of its Mac series of computers in the United States in the year 2014. It was not stated why Apple moved to Asia to carry its manufacturing there in the first place, but according to the interview, the company will spend $100 on this project which is a small portion of Apple`s investment base and tiny in terms of cash. Nothing is mentioned about profit margins of the company and capital investments so we have no value to compare$100 with. To confirm that Apple will partner with other manufacturers in this venture, the CEO mentioned Samsung in Texas which is manufacturing processors, and Corning in Kentucky which is making glasses. The CEO also commented on issues concerning creation of Jobs in the United States where he strongly defended Apple`s hiring record in America saying that more than 600,000 jobs have been created so far. Interestingly, a spokesman for Apple declined to provide additional information other than what the CEO gave in the interview. This is a hierarchical response indicating that Apple is operating on a vertical organizational structure.
However, Apple has good international and global connections with overseas suppliers and manufacturing companies mainly in Asia and China. It has joined the labor association so as to address outcries on labor conditions in overseas factories and suppliers. For such operations to be achieved, information must move horizontally within the departments co-ordinated by the Chief Officers or Vice Presidents of the company who are answerable to the Chief Executive Officer. Apple must be integrating a functional and geographic organizational structure in its management. We have America, Asia Taiwan and China mentioned in the article, where most of the electronics are manufactured, and the labor force is high and cheap. It is not clear how Apple is going to implement this project. It is not enough to highlight the manufacturing process without looking at the economic impact and particularly the impact on the organization`s environment. Since the objective was to report on intentions of Apple, the writer should have solicited for a clear time frame and the team players in the project.
However, the manufacturing strategy taken by Apple will be cost effective and will satisfy the demand in its local and international environments. Now that there were complains from the labor market in overseas manufacturers and suppliers, this was a great opportunity for the CEO to clarify how resumption of manufacturing in the United States would address labor issues. The purpose objective of the article would have been fully accomplished if an outline of the modalities of Apple`s manufacturing resumption in America was given. This is a weak area of the article but it has been overshadowed by the sections dealing with human resource which is a vital element in the organization`s environment.
Looking at the report, it is clear that Apple is operating on both a vertical and horizontal organizational structure. Since Apple has partners overseas through whom a lot has been invested, then their must be Chief Officers operating under the CEO. The CEO cannot work alone. He needs other people to assist in top level decision making. The Board of Directors is a common organ at the top of such a multinational or global organization. The voice of the CEO is the voice of the organization. Information and communication moves up through the CEO to the Board of Directors while crucial decisions are communicated through the CEO down the organizational divisions and departments. The fact that Apple has other manufacturers and suppliers abroad means it has a broad environment with several niches to operate from. These must be headed by regional or divisional or departmental officers of the company.
This article is valid to our organization such that it gives us ideas on how to move towards a global market and it indicates some of the challenges we would face in the multinational environment. Management of the labor market or human resource is crucial in any organization. This article has given some facts about Apple`s labor force and challenges they are facing especially in china.
Elements in an organizations external environment include the industries, raw materials for their products, human resources, financial and capital resources, market technology, prevailing economic conditions, government policies and regulations governing the products, sociocultural factors and the international environment. In relation to these elements, the article indicates that Apple spends billions of dollars every year purchasing sophisticated equipment to produce their state of the art designs. 159 million pieces of Apple products were manufactured in 2011 mainly from factories abroad. Apple has 763,000 employees out which 43,000 are in America. Such data is vital to us as an organization for managerial comparisons. Cook says, “Apple has a responsibility to create jobs in America”.
With such an output from Apple, it must encourage horizontal communication and collaboration in its structural mechanisms to enable it adapt to the never ending changes in the environment.
Daft, R. L. (2012). Organization Theory & Design. Cengage Learning, Inc.