The multi-national company, Apple Incorporated constantly undergoes extensive organizational change and transformation on an annual and in many cases, monthly basis. The reason behind this is solely focused on intense competition in the Information Technology industry. Since the context and background of Apple Incorporated has been established, the application of the Nadler Tushman Congruence Model to Apple Incorporated is completely justified and provides the perfect opportunity to analyze the model and the company in further detail.
With regards to the first stage of the Congruence Model, Input, there are a number of different factors that can be applied to Apple Incorporated. The environment of Apple Incorporated is such that it relies heavily on the use of innovation and the production and design of highly technical yet easy to use products that make the lives of customer’s that much easier (Tan, 2013). For example, the release of the new IWatch and Ipad series in 2014 and 2015 by Apple is an example of the effectiveness of environmental factors throughout the input stage of the congruence model. These respective product introductions are representative of Apple’s responsiveness to heightened levels of competition in the IT industry and the fact that other companies such as Samsung and Sony are constantly releasing new products, which make up the majority of the IT environment and significant competition pressures. Resources is also another large component of the Input stage of the congruence model. Resources that Apple focuses on include its innovative Apple Stores (both online and in various shopping malls), the use of its geniuses and technical experts as well as the numerous other employees of the company that provide worthwhile contributions on a daily basis (Mercer, 2003). Apple also centers many of its resources at offshore sites such as in Malaysia and Singapore where some of its largest manufacturers and suppliers are based. This all highlights the emphasis that Apple Incorporated is placing on resources and various inputs, which assist the company in maintaining its respective levels of competition and appeal to a broadening customer base (Mercer, 2003).
The next stage of the Congruence Model is the Transformation Process and this is a major part of Apple’s philosophy as one of the largest IT companies worldwide. With respect to Apple’s strategy, it is dual streamed and focused on two main aspects including the customer experience and better employee conditions. Apple believes that it can continue to transform its ideals and competitive nature by firstly focusing on how to better please its customers. This is achieved through respective improvements to its products as well as the level of service provided at its Apple Stores and worldwide. For example, its use of bi-annual conferences to introduce new products and software is ingenious as it draws in customers, satisfies the efforts and minds of employees and most significantly, assists in establishing firm lines of communication (Gulati, Puranam & Tushman, 2012). All current and potential Apple customers can be expected to be updated with regards to new products through these renewed and refreshing conferences, which are broadcasted worldwide. Developers can also capitalize from these conferences and there is a certain level of re-assurance from the company that it is trying to satisfy the needs of its key stakeholders rather than solely its own interests. Inevitably, the bi-annual conferences and firm lines of communication support the transformation phase of the congruence model and highlight how it forces companies, irrespective of their ideals and focuses, to devise new and highly innovative strategies (Gulati, Puranam & Tushman, 2012). In this case, a consistent focus on communication is essential in sustaining customer loyalty and ensuring that the company can continue to grow and develop into the future. It must also be noted that the transformation process applies to highly successful companies as they need to change to maintain these levels of success and integration and succession with their respective audiences and customers worldwide.
The final step of the congruence model, output, looks at how companies provide particular incentives and benefits to their customers, as a final result or outcome from their various input and transformation stages within the model itself. In the case of Apple, it ends up providing customers and clients with a better quality technology that meets an everyday need or in most cases, a number of different everyday needs (Mercer, 2003). For example, the IWatch is designed to provide a highly convenient device that can easily synchronize into particular schedules of every person, irrespective of their jobs or lifestyle.
In assessing the success of the model with respect to Apple Incorporated, it is highly effective in promoting success and innovation. This is particularly pertinent to the IT industry and Apple since it is highly competitive and so heavily relies on the thoughts and feedback of customers rather than on employees or other larger or smaller corporations (Falletta, 2005). Furthermore, it allows external parties to better analyze the many strategies being employed by Apple Incorporated such as improved customer experiences and diversification of the business overall. The only flaw associated with the model is its focus on the process and potential areas where it may be inflexible. It provides a very direct and well structure approach, which may not be effective in every instance or with every other organization overall (Falletta, 2005).
I learnt on a personal note, how the use of such models as this Congruence approach can be effective on both a theoretical and practical level. I also learnt that the congruence model is ideal in assessing the various strategies and processes of large organizations such as Apple Incorporated and this is useful when determining the direction and focus of many organizations.
- Falletta, S. V. (2005). Organizational Diagnostic Models: A Review & Synthesis. Leadersphere, Retrieved from http://www.iei.liu.se/fek/frist/723g16/files/1.120328/Orgmodels.pdf
- Gulati, R., Puranam, P., & Tushman, M. (2012). Meta-organization design: Rethinking design in interorganizational and community contexts. Strategic Management Journal, 33(6), 571-586. doi:10.1002/smj.1975
- Mercer. (2003). The Congruence Model: A Roadmap for Understanding Organizational Performance. Mercer Delta Consulting, LLC, Retrieved from http://ldt.stanford.edu/~gwarman/Files/Congruence_Model.pdf Accessed on 31st December 2015.
- Tan, J. (2013). A Strategic Analysis of Apple Computer Inc. & Recommendations for the Future Direction. CS Canada, Retrieved from http://www.cscanada.net/index.php/mse/article/viewFile/j.mse.1913035X20130702.Z001/4304 Accessed on 31st December 2015.