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Donna Dubinsky and Apple Computer, Inc. (A) Case Solution

Solution Id Length Case Author Case Publisher
1221 1113 Words (4 Pages) Mary Gentile Harvard Business School : 486083
This solution includes: A Word File A Word File

Apple Inc. was faced with a conflict in the distribution system. This conflict arose because of the discussion about the implementation of a new distribution system in the company that would decrease the costs for the company. With the market share decreasing, maintaining six distribution systems was very costly. Dubinsky had previously implemented this system that had formalized distribution in the company. Her efforts had made her an important asset to the company. With the new distribution system under discussion, Dubinsky felt her power being challenged and she defended the old model. The recommendation was to assess the current distribution system to resolve the problem that was created because of personal bias.

Following questions are answered in this case study solution

  1. What are the strengths and weaknesses of Apple Computer’s culture, vision, organizational design and structure at the time? What is your diagnosis of the situation?

  2. Why was Dubinsky so successful initially? What are the real problems?  

  3. What actions should be taken and by whom? Be specific.

  4. What is your prediction as to what Campbell will decide to do and why?

Case Analysis for Donna Dubinsky and Apple Computer, Inc. (A) Case Solution

1. What are the strengths and weaknesses of Apple Computer’s culture, vision, organizational design and structure at the time? What is your diagnosis of the situation?

The major strengths of the Apple computer included the increasing sales of the Macintosh. Furthermore, the company had a highly trained sales force that was a factor that influenced the sales of Apple products. The marketing was also established with the procedures formalized and systemized. A unified sales and marketing approach was also a strength of the company since it would help the company in developing a clear message for the dealers and using the same combined with the sales force to increase the market share of the company. The structure was simplified which added to the company’s effectiveness. The job roles were defined, and the company delivered because the job roles were not confusing.

The weaknesses of the company were majorly based on the fact that the growth of the company meant an influx of employees in the company. The increase in the employees could have had an influence on the culture of the organization and led to the development of a culture that did not complement the efficiency requirements of the company. Furthermore, the simplicity of the design as a strength was not sustainable because the growth in the company would mean additional products. Product development to a single team would limit the level of innovativeness that the company could offer in its products.

This situation shows that the company’s growth is one of the major factors that would change the company in the long term. This ambiguity is a weakness as well as the strength of the company as it would help it grow as well as require the managers to be proactive in modeling the company according to what would best suit the long-term vision.

2. Why was Dubinsky so successful initially? What are the real problems?

Initially, Dubinsky was successful because of a combination of her ways of management and her characteristics. She was confident in her beliefs and ideas and carried them out with intelligence. Her direct attitude was what made her distinct from others and let her carry out her plans and become a decision-maker. Also, as a team, she had developed honest relationships with her subordinates. As a result, her group performed well and delivered results that the company required. Also, she constituted risk-taking abilities that further increased her confidence in her beliefs and ideas. She carried out her ideas with determination and exploited every opportunity at Apple Inc. because of her intelligence and her determined attitude.

However, with the discussion of the implementation of a just-in-time inventory system, Dubinsky’s six distribution units and the formalization of the distribution of Apple Inc.’s products would be replaced. Her attitude of believing in her ideas was what made her think that the just-in-time inventory system was just another measure to reduce the costs for the company. However, she remained firm and determined in her beliefs that were the real problem. However, the implementation of a just-in-time inventory system was being discussed because the share of Apple phones had declined and maintained six distribution systems was costly for the company. These problems combined lead to Dubinsky to feel defensive against her formalized system.

3. What actions should be taken and by whom? Be specific.

Dubinsky should have established a rebuttal with concrete data. This rebuttal would show the positive points of the continuation of a distribution center system to the company.

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