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Catherine Coffy 04.08.2009 Prof. Pappas Mgt 2301 Apple Case Study 1.

Using the three-component model of creativity, describe what makes Steve Jobs, and by extension, Apple Computer, successful. Based on the case, which components does Jobs seem to possess in the highest degree? What aspects of the case led you to this conclusion? The three-component model of creativity requires expertise, creative thinking skills, and intrinsic task motivation. At a very early age Jobs was exposed to electronics. He spent a lot of time working in the garage shop of a neighbor who worked for HP. He enrolled in the HP Explorer club, where he was exposed to engineers and new technology. In college he attended lectures at the HP plant and was even offered an internship at the company.1 According to the textbook The potential for creativity is enhanced when individuals have abilities, knowledge, proficiencies, and similar expertise in their field. All those opportunities allowed Jobs to gain expertise in the field of computers and electronics. The second component is creative thinking skills. This encompasses personality characteristics associated with creativity, the ability to use analogies, and the talent to see the familiar in a different light. It also includes risk-taking, high confidence all that Jobs posses. During the beginning of Apple computers were mainframe.2 They were huge and costly. What did Jobs see? He saw the gap in the computer market. He saw the familiar ( the computer) in a different way: a smaller personal computer that an individual could afford. His creative thinking skills also went to work with the development of the iPod. When digital music started to become popular in 2000 Apple felt they needed to develop software so customers could manage their music libraries. With that Jobs also thought to create a portable device like a walkman that would enable a customer to carry their digital music with them and with that came the iPod. Once again Jobs took something familiar, saw it in a different way, acted upon it and created something that I cannot live without. Even partnering up with Bill Gates to supply Apple with Office and Internet Explorer programs and the Apple stock was creative and risky. The average person would not think to team up with their rival. When Adobe rejected Apples request to create a video editing program Jobs was confident when he knew the company would have to complete this task alone. It was also a risk when they began developing software because they were mostly known for hardware. Creating the iPod was also a risk, but he believed and was confident it would be a success.
1

Steve Jobs Biography. NotableBiographies. 25 Mar. 2009 http://www.notablebiographies.com/HoJo/Jobs-Steve.html>


2

Ibid

From the time Jobs was young he showed an early interest in electronics and gadgets. He knew from early on that he wanted to work with computers. He possessed and still does intrinsic task motivation, which is the desire to work on something because it is involving, exciting, satisfying, or personally challenging. I am sure that when he gets up every morning to go to work he is excited and happy because he works with what he loves-computers. It is not work for him so it is easier for him to put all his creative skills into producing the next big device. I believe Steve Jobs possesses creative thinking skills and intrinsic task motivation in the highest degree. His creative thinking skills come from thinking outside the box. He loves computers. He is motivated to always keeping his devices easy and great for the customer which is also why Apple is such a successful company. 2. What leadership theories are most applicable to Steve Jobs and why? How can these theories explain Jobs recent successes? Steve Jobs demonstrates the charismatic leadership theory. The text describes the characteristics of a charismatic leader to include a vision, willingness to take personal risks to achieve that vision, sensitivity to follower needs, and exhibition of behaviors that are out of the ordinary. Steve had a vision for Apple 1) to focus on software rather than hardware and 2) to always create devices that are user-friendly. His risks to transform Apple included teaming up with his competitor, Bill Gates. Gates would supply Apple with Office, Internet Explorer programs, and purchase 150 million dollars of Apples stock. Now that the company had partnered with Microsoft they had to maintain Apple and as a result Apple would never be able to fall to Microsoft. The iPod was also a risk. He pushed his managers for innovative thinking and as result the iMac was created. The last trait of a charismatic leader is unusual behavior. Teaming up with a rival is definitely not ordinary behavior. Charismatic leaders are also very confident. Steve was confident that even without the help of Adobe to create a video-editing program Apple would be able to do it themselves. Steves vision to create devices that are easy and great for the user is reason for the companys success. The fact he has stayed true to vision makes consumers come back every time for the newest device. 3. Based on the cases description of Jobs, what can you infer about his personality? In other words, how would you describe his personality using terms from the book? The cases description of Jobs compares his personality to the Big 5 traits. From reading the case I see Job possessing conscientiousness, emotional stability, and openness to experience. A person with the conscientious trait is responsible, dependable, persistent, and organized. Steve Jobs runs a very successful company with different divisions from that one can infer that he is responsible, organized, and dependable. He shows persistence through his constant efforts to focus on the consumer. He was persistent in his quest to transform Apple from a hardware to a software company. He pushed his managers to think and create the iMac. An emotional stable person is self confident and positive, characteristics that Jobs indeed posses. As discussed previously Jobs was

confident in himself and Apple when Adobe rejected his offer to develop a video-editing program for the company. He took that project into his own hands and created two video editing programs in less than a year. Even taking certain risks involves some level of self-confidence and security. Teaming up with Bill Gates, turning Apple into a software company, and creating the iPod, Steve Jobs had to be confident and remain positive that these projects would pay off some how and they did. The last of the Big 5 traits of personality I think Jobs possesses is openness to experience. Extremely open people are creative. Jobs is an innovative thinker. He took the idea of a main frame computer and transformed it into a personal computer easier for people to use, with digital music growing in the millennium Jobs began installing all the computers with CD-ROM burners, he took the idea of the walkman, elaborated on it and created the iPod, a device to meet the needs of customers during the evolution of digital music, he pushed his managers to think innovatively to create the iMac, the video-editing software he created in less than a year also demonstrated Apples innovative thinking. Creativity also includes internal locus of self control and self confidence, which constitute components of core self evaluation all of which one knows Job posses as discussed previously.
4. Are situational factors solely responsible for Apples success, or is it due to the traits and leadership skills of Steve Jobs? If both contribute, which do you believe is more important and why?

I believe that both situational factors and the traits and leadership skills of Steve Jobs are responsible for Apples success. The case states that Apples success can be attributed to their innovative thinking and keeping the consumer in mind. I think his traits and leadership skills are more important. As digital music was emerging if Steve Jobs was not an innovative thinker he would not have seen the opportunity to create iTunes, the iPod, and the music store. When his request was rejected by Adobe he took a negative situation, saw an opportunity and as a result created the video-editing program and kept Apple in the software field. Once again with that project Apple was recognized for their innovative thinking. It was when he pushed his managers to think creatively that they created the iMac. Changes always happen and it is when one sees opportunities in those changes and adapts to them that success can occur. 5. Using Lewins three-Step Model of organizational change, explain Apples development of and success with the iPod. Lewins Three-Step Model of organizational change focuses on making a successful change in an organization by following three steps: unfreezing the status quo, movement to a desired end state, and refreezing the new change to make it permanent. Before digital music became popular people were using walkmans and CD players to listen to music. With the evolution of digital music Jobs wanted to develop a small portable device like the Sony Walkman that could hold a users entire digital music library. He changed the familiar so it could adapt to new technology and consumer needs (unfreezing.) With that idea Jobs turned to Jeff Robbin, founder of SoundStep, the company that created the iTunes software. Nine months later they created the iPod defined as a small handheld user-friendly computer with an interface for navigating through ones digital music library (movement.) By debuting the iTunes Music store Jobs

kept the phenomenon of digital music alive since companies such as Napster were facing lawsuits for illegal music. The music store allowed customers to buy songs for 99 cents and download the music onto their computers and iPods (refreezing.) Jobs attributes the success of the iPod and Apple in general by being innovative and keeping all their devices user-friendly. 6. Would you characterize Apple as a learning organization? Why or why not? As a manager, what could you do to ensure that Apple continues to be innovative? A learning organization is one that has developed the continuous capacity to adapt and change. The textbook states that all organizations learn so Apple is not exception. The case demonstrated that Apple was a learning organization through the creation of the iPod. Music was changing in 2000 no longer were cassettes and CDs the rage, but now the public was able to obtain their songs via the internet. In order to adapt to this change Apple had to create their own form of digital music, hence the iTunes music store and the iTunes software. A device also had to be created to allow one to carry their digital music with them so the iPod was invented. As a manager to ensure that Apple continued to be innovative I would have people constantly studying new trends in personal computers, music, telephones, and etc. I would try to take those new trends and be creative with them. Try to see them in a different light. I would also try to notice of there were in gaps in technology and attempt to fill them with a new device.

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