In spite of the aforementioned similarities, the three companies have significant differences, which become particularly obvious in their management and leadership style as well as marketing policies. In such a way, differences between the three companies define substantially the difference in their business development and peculiarities of each company in terms of their management and organizational culture. Therefore, differences are still important because they reveal different aspects of success of each company in their target markets.
Google tends to experiment and to try new products and services, regardless of the risk of failure. The company is ready to make errors and to fund projects that fail eventually.
In this regard, it is worth mentioning the fact that Apple focuses on specific projects, which must be successful and put the company into an advantageous position in the market. In fact, unlike Semco and Google, Apple focuses on specific projects, which must be successful. In actuality, Apple has proved to be quite successful with its major projects, such as iPhone or iPad. At the same time, such relatively narrow specialization allows the company to improve its position in the market and take the lead in the industry, due to its major innovations.
At the same time, Semco does not disperse its funds and human resources on the work on multiple projects as does Google. However, Semco is still different from Apple because it focuses on specific projects but the company can live through the failure of such projects, whereas Apple develops must-have projects. This means that Semco offers products that customers may need but they will not necessarily buy these products. Nevertheless, products offered by Semco to its customers are of the high quality and are attractive for customers.
In addition, unlike Google and Apple, Semco readily uses products developed by other companies to expand its market share. What is meant here is the fact that Apple and Google focus on the development and introduction of their own, original and unique products, which can put the companies into an advantageous position in the market. In contrast, Semco uses products developed by other companies along with its own original products. In such a way, the company accelerates its business development using products that are successful and attract customers. Therefore, the company can count for stable return on investments and profits, although, when the company uses products developed by other companies, it cannot count for exorbitant profits.
At the same time, each company attempts to be entrepreneurial, while operating in a highly competitive market. In fact, each company operates in a highly competitive market because contemporary high tech markets are characterized by the high level of competition. The introduction of innovations allows companies operating in high tech industries to make a considerable lead in their business development forcing their rivals to focus more on innovations, which, in their turn, accelerate business development of their rivals. As a result, high tech industries progress fast and so do companies operating in these industries and this trend naturally increases the competition in high tech industries.
On analyzing entrepreneurial trends of each of the three companies, it is worth mentioning the fact that Semco focuses on three fundamental principles, including democracy, information and profit sharing, which have brought the company to success in its business development. In this regard, the company attempts to accelerate its business development through stimulating the autonomous work of its employees and the maintenance of projects managed by its employees. At this point, information sharing within the organization becomes particularly important because it allows the company to share positive experience between all employees. At the same time, profit sharing provides employees with a stable and relatively high income, regardless of the success or failure of their projects. What is meant here is the fact that employees feel certain in their future because they can count for stable income, even if their project fails. In such a situation, employees tend to work on daring, difficult, but very prospective and profitable projects.
Google attempts to attract perspective employees and let them work on projects they are interested in. The company provides funding and high earnings for employees in exchange for prospective projects and substantial benefits and high return on investments. In such a way, Google attempts to work on multiple projects, among which even a few successful projects can bring the company considerable profits. Moreover, while working on different projects and employing a large number of talented employees, the company attempts to become an organization generating new, innovative and prospective ideas, which, being shared within the organization, can boost its business development and stimulate the fat introduction of innovations.
As for Apple, the company introduces new must-have products, which are created by highly-qualified professionals and are 100% successful in the market. Similarly to Semco, Apple focuses on specific projects but Apple is very concerned with the overall success of each project. As a result, the company has a few projects but, when the company completes the project, Apple creates the product that customers cannot keep from buying. In fact, the company attempts to use the full potential of each project to complete it successfully and to take the lead in the industry.
At the same time, leadership styles used by companies are different and have a considerable impact on the marketing performance of each company. Today, diverse companies use different leadership styles, such as autocratic, participative, and laissez-faire. In this regard, it is worth mentioning the fact that Semco, Google and Apple use different leadership styles, which affect consistently their marketing performance and determine, to a significant extent, the difference in their management style and operations. In such a way, the leadership style of each company affects consistently its marketing performance.
In fact, Semco develops the participative leadership style, while management people set their salaries and bonuses. Basically, the company uses an effective management and leadership style, taking into consideration the fact that the company provides its employees with a large autonomy. As a result, they are free to manage their salaries and bonuses but they do it responsibly because they also manage the company. They are aware of the importance of the overall organizational development and positive marketing performance because the deterioration of the marketing performance of the company will inevitably affect their profits. Anyway, they work within the framework set by the company and its leaders.
Google uses the laissez-faire leadership style, which is quite different from that of Apple and partially from that of Semco. In fact, Google is probably the most liberal company among the three companies discussed above. Google provides its employees with the large autonomy, whereas the leadership of the company focuses on managing the strategic development of the company and the selection of the most prospective and successful projects employees are working on. In fact, leaders of the company encourage their subordinates to work on innovations, to develop new products and offer new ideas. As a result, the company is generating ideas and the task of leaders is to sift through the most successful and prospective ideas. The selection of best ideas and their successful implementation brings Google considerable benefits and enhances its position in the market.
In contrast to Google, Apple used the autocratic leadership style, while Jobs was the leader, who generated ideas and led the company to the introduction of must-have products. In fact, this leadership style has brought Apple a tremendous success. In this regard, it is worth mentioning some of the most successful products introduced by Apple under Jobs’ leadership, such as iPhone, iPad, iPod and others. The authoritarian leadership style allowed the company to focus all its efforts on specific projects, which the leader of the company considered to be the most prospective and which have proved to be the most successful. However, the personality of the leader becomes particularly important in case of such company as Apple. For instance, before Jobs return to the company, Apple faced considerable problems, whereas Jobs return to the company was marked by the revival of Apple and its breakthrough in the high tech market.
Sectors companies are operating in are quite different, although, as companies grow, they face a risk of intersection, for instance, Google enters the smartphone market challenging the position of Apple with its iPhone. As for Semco, the company focuses on the production of sophisticated products, such as marine pumps, digital scanners, and others. In such a way, the company can reach a considerable progress in its sector due to the work on specific projects.
Google operates in IT industry focusing on the search engine and related services as its major sector, although the company attempts to expand their presence in other sectors and industries, such as smartphone industry. In such a way, the company attempts to expand its market share through entering new sectors and markets.
As for Apple, the company operates in the high tech industry, focusing on information technologies, smartphones, and computers, with its renowned products, such as iPad, iPod, and iPhone. At the same time, the most successful products are the result of the hard work of the company and the company is highly dependent on them and their marketing success. Therefore, any changes in the position of its major products may challenge the position of the company in the market and its further business development.
In such a context, it is worth mentioning the fact that the management style of each company and its business development should take into consideration the nature of employees. In fact, the nature of employees of each company has a considerable impact on the leadership style of each company. For instance, Semco employs well-qualified professionals, who are capable to work autonomously and work on different projects to maintain the steady business development of the company. The company is concerned with the employment of well-qualified employees because they provide the company with the possibility to take the leading position in the market and to keep progressing.
Google is looking for young and prospective employees working in the field of computer science and information technologies. In such a way, Google is looking for employees, who can generate new ideas and develop them into new projects. In such a way, the company attracts prospective employees and manages them to develop and implement new projects.
Finally, Apple employs well-qualified professionals, who are capable to polish new products to perfectness. Apple is interested in employees, who are able to reach the set goals. This means that they need well-qualified professionals, who can work effectively within the set framework. They should be creative and innovative but they should be able to work under the authoritarian leadership style.
Thus, taking into account all above mentioned, it is important to place emphasis on the fact that the management style of Semco, Apple and Google vary consistently. At the same time, the three companies have certain similarities. At any rate, they operate in high tech industries and focus on the introduction of innovations. However, their main differences reveal the huge difference in their management style. Semco tends to the participative management style, which encourages the autonomy of employees and their self-management. Apple tends to autocratic management style, when the leader takes the full control over the company and leads it to success. Finally, Google uses the laissez-faire management style, which provides employees with large autonomy but maximizes the effectiveness of their creative work. In such a way, each company uses its own management and leadership style but all of them are successful that proves that the difference in management style may be effective if the management style matches the organization.
Kahney, L. “How Apple Got Everything Right by Doing Everything Wrong,” Wired Magazine, 16(4), 2008, 1-4.
Lashinky, A. “Where Does Google Go Next?” CNN Money, 2008.
Semler, R. “Managing without Managers,” Harvard Business Review, 1989.