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Organizational Behaviour and Human Resource Management

 
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Abstract

Human resource represents the most important asset for an organization wishing to build a strong foundation for the future success. Therefore, Organizational behavior and Human resource management are very necessary in managing people to ensure they remain motivated towards the achievement of organizational goals and objectives. The organizational structure of a company ensures that organizational recruitment and selection policies, performance assessment, as well as compensation are strictly adhered to. In addition, for effective management, an organization is usually required to conduct organizational analysis to identify both internal and external factors influencing its operations. This enables the organization to integrate its workforce towards building on the strengths and striving towards overcoming the weaknesses and threats. Both Apple and Virgin Atlantic have strong organizational structures that form the basic tenets that enable the following companies to be the best in their industries. Both companies understand the role that human capital plays in organization performance. Therefore, they have put in place effective management strategies that enhance sustainability of effective and efficient workforce. In addition, human resource practices are often given the highest priority in both Virgin and Apple Company. In this study, a detailed analysis of Apple and Virgin Atlantic organizational structures will be described. A comprehensive SWOT and PESTLE analysis of Virgin Atlantic and Apple Inc. will be conducted in order to assess the weaknesses and strengths of the two organizations. The study also aims at providing an in-depth comparison of the both organizational structures and HRM practices employed in both organizations. Lastly, the study will provide recommendations for the change in management to both companies in order to overcome the current weaknesses and threats.

Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management

Introduction

People are the most significant resource business has, and effective and efficient utilization of the employees’ capability is the main focus of the organizational human resource management (OHRM). With the increasing recognition of the fundamental role human capital plays in the organizational performance, there appears an urgent need for better understanding of the Human resource management (HRM) practice. As the global business changes, the HRM has become the central tenet of achieving competitive advantage and the overall success. HRM is currently viewed as the main factor that differentiates between a successful and unsuccessful organization, more valuable than finance and technology in achieving a competitive edge in the global business. It is pertinent especially in the aviation and technological sector where workers are a primary source of contact with the customers, either over the phone or internet, as well as to face-to-face in the service encounter. Even in the manufacturing firms such as Apple, the way in which human resources are managed is viewed as an increasingly essential component in the process of production, especially in terms of reliability and quality. In this study, the HRM and Organizational behavior of Virgin Atlantic Airlines and Apple will be analyzed in order to understand the underlying strategies and practices employed in management of the huge human resources in these two giant companies.

Business Background

Virgin Atlantic Airways group is a British airline conjointly owned by Singapore Airlines and Sir Richard Branson’s Virgin Group. Its headquarters is in Crawley, West Sussex, and England. Virgin Atlantic Airline is the second largest long haul airline in the United Kingdom and the third largest European carrier in North Atlantic (Balmforth 2012). The Richard Branson Group controls the largest market share with approximately 51% stake in the company, while Singapore airlines market shares stand at 49%. The operational routes for Virgin Atlantic have expanded widely to include destinations in India, the USA, the Far East, and Africa. The company reputation is ranked high in the industry, and it has won virtually all awards in the aviation industry (Balmforth 2012). The company operates from its main base in Gatwick and Heathrow airport, using a mixed fleet of Boeing and Airbus aircrafts.

The Virgin Atlantic Airline’s vision and mission statement are very powerful and compelling. In addition, they convey inspiration and confidence to the customers and staffs. Virgin Atlantic Airlines vision “The success of our three year plan needs us to build on these fundamentals by aiming at the business and leisure markets and driving efficiency and effectiveness” represents the company’s history and vision for the future (Balmforth 2012). Furthermore, it provides fundamental motivation to the company’s associates, employees and customers. In its mission statement “to become the world leading Sub-orbital commercial airline service provider, reaching an altitude of 62 miles above the earth for a modest 200 thousand dollars per ticket,” the company’s statement expresses the company’s commitment to provide quality services to the customer at most cost effective price.

Apple Inc., formerly known as Apple Computer Inc., is an American based multinational corporation with its headquarter in Cupertino, California. Apple Inc. is the world second largest information technology company by revenue; the first place is taken by Samsung Electronics. In the mobile manufacturing sector, it is the third largest phone maker after Samsung and Nokia. The company operations involve designing and development of electronics, personal computers, and computer software (Gilbert 2012). The company is widely known hardware products include: Ipod music player, Mac computers, Ipad tablet computers, Apple TV, and IPhone smartphones. The Company portfolio also provides a variety of accessory, services and supports to the consumer of its products, such as Iclound computing. Apple Company was founded in 1977 by its co-founders: Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak, and Ronald Wayne (Gilbert 2012).

In it vision statement, Apple is committed to providing the best personal computing experiences to educators, students, consumers and creative professionals around the globe through its innovative software, hardware, and internet offerings. The vision statement explicitly states the company’s long term goals of providing quality services. This is achieved through heavy investment in its employees who conduct extensive research that produce new customer orientated products (Gilbert 2012). In its mission statement, the company is dedicated to promoting the health and safety of employees, environment, customers, and the global communities in its business operation.

Virgin Atlantic and Apple Inc. share similarities in their development, with both starting as a small entity to dominant economic giants in their respective industries. For the years, Virgin Atlantic Airline Company has enjoyed enormous popularity, winning virtually all top business awards in the industry, as well as consumer and trade awards from around the world (Balmforth 2012). Alike, Apple Company has been rated as one of the most respected companies in both the USA and most parts of the world by The Fortune Magazine. This is despite company receiving a lot of criticism in its contractor labors and environmental practices.  At the end of 2012, Apple Inc. had more than 394 retail stores in different countries in the different parts of the world (Gilbert 2012). In terms of capitalization, Apple Inc. is the second largest publicly traded company in the world market. In January, 2013, it has had an estimated market value of US$414 billion. In addition, the company had approximately 72,800 permanent full time employees and 3,300 temporary full time employees all over the world (Gilbert 2012). The Apple Inc. Company annual revenue amounted to $156 billion at the end of 2012. This performance had been attributed to the presence of efficient and effective HRM practices in the company.

Organizational Analysis

Organizational analysis is a business appraisal that identifies areas of business inefficiency and opportunities for reorganization and streamlining. Organizational analysis assists a manager to understand how employees interact with the public and within their departments. It is through organizational analysis that a company reinforces its long term and short term strategic visions (Benson 2008). The analysis reviews the corporate ethics, culture, governance, human resource, and labor. There are numerous criteria used to conduct organizational analysis, but the most applied criteria include strength, weakness, opportunities and threats (SWOT) analysis, as well as political, economic, social, technological, legal and environment (PESTLE) analysis (Benson 2008). In this case, both SWOT and PESTLE will be used.

Virgin Atlantic SWOT Analysis

The SWOT analysis for Virgin Atlantic reflects the company’s main business structure and operations history, as well its products. The analysis provides the crucial information that enables the company to build on its strength and opportunities, and to eliminate its weakness and threats.

Strengths

Virgin Atlantic has numerous strengths that it can build upon because it has been in the aviation industry for more than a decade.

Brand Quality

The company has a unique brand of product as services that attract a large number of the customer to the company. Virgin Attract also enjoys a global brand image and always provides quality services to consumers.

Increased Travel Destinations

Over the last few years, Virgin Airline has expanded its international destination almost to every continent from transatlantic destinations. This has made the airline company become one of the preferred choices for many consumers, due to the quality of its service.

Good Input of Technology

The company has been at the forefront in embracing new technological advancement that promotes service delivery to consumers. For instance, the company has established a business economy class that is fully equipment with office tools, such as the internet, computers, and phones. Technology has also enhanced the consumer relations with the company due to easiness in the services delivery. The company has also purchased planes equipped with modern latest technology; this has enhanced consumers’ confidence (Balmforth 2012).

Good Relations with Key Stakeholders

Virgin airline has maintained good relations with main stakeholders such as Boeing and Airbus that supply the spare parts to the company. In addition, the company has a strong relationship with main stakeholders, which reduce corporate organizational disputes that would otherwise slow down the operations of the latter. For instance, the recent merger with Singapore Airlines has opened the Asian market for the company.

Strong Management Team

Virgin Atlantic has a strong management team that has contributed to the expansion of the company in the internal market. The management team shapes the moral values that have resulted in the expansion and growth of the company. The HRM practices in the company are term to be one of the best in the aviation industry and play a vital role in bridging the gap between customers and employees.

Weakness

It is often hard for the consumers of Virgin Airlines products and services to know everything about the company. This is because the annual reports are not published due to the lack of openness. In addition, the company lacks a corporate image that attracts high class customers. Its efforts are often targeted at attracting young generation because of its cool images. The company’s fleet is quite less than most of its main competitors in the aviation industry (Gregory 2007). 

Opportunities

The tremendous improvement in the global tourism sector in the recent years has served as an excellent opportunity for Virgin Atlantic to enhance its profitability both in the UK and in the whole world. The Virgin brand is recognized worldwide. Consequently, the company has an opportunity to use its reputation to its advantage. The emergence of new markets in Africa and Asia is a new opportunity for the company to expand its services to the new regions. Africa and Asia have enormous business potentials for the company to explore.

Threats

Competition is the main threat facing Virgin Atlantic Company. Big companies, such as Emirates, British Airways, and Delta Airways, have a substantial grip in the aviation market. Domestic and international insecurity issues also may be considered a main threat that curtails the operations of the company, especially as a result of the rise of global terrorism. There has also been an increase in unfair regulation by the British government that led to increased cost of operation (Gregory 2007).

Apple Inc. SWOT Analysis

Strengths

Strong Brand

Apple Company has a strong brand that guarantees the return of customers. The brand perception provided by Apple has significantly contributed to increase its products and services sales. Product diversification is strength since it allows the company to enter to other segments of the market and, thus, purchase other products. In addition, the recent launch of the revolutionary IPad has made the company sell over 3.27 million Ipads all over the world (Gilbert 2012).

Strong and Reliable Operating System

The company produces one of the most reliable operating systems that are reputed as being virus free. The boost for the Mac sales in the market has been attributed to flops in other operating systems.

Strong Management Team

Apple has a highly trained professional team headed by its Chief Executive Officer Tim Cook who followed the legendary Steve Jobs. Tim Cook is a genius in supply chain management; this has led to the development of the strong and well-coordinated business operations in the company. The company’s organization team has played a significant role in directing Apple Company to new global heights (Gilbert 2012).

Strong Financial Performance

Apple’s financial performance is one of the best among technological companies. At the end of 2012, the company held about $10 billion in cash, which Apple Company can be used to make new entity procurements and buy shares. The company has also high gross margin profits than its main competitors, which equals to 43.9% (Gilbert 2012). The company has no market debts, and it is not affected by the interest rates in the market.

Weaknesses

High Product Price

The company has been criticized for the high price of its product, especially at the time of fierce global market competition. Apple’s product prices are a weakness because consumers can opt to purchase a similar product at a lower price.

Software Incompatibility

The OS X and IOS are quite different from the OS that are commonly used in the market, and uses software’s that are unlike that of Microsoft. As a result of such differences, most people often opt for other products without incompatibility issues, such as Android products. Thus, it has led to decrease in the Apple’s market share as competition is rather stiff.

Increased Competition on the Mobile Market

The number of companies selling products similar to IPhones, such as Blackberry, Android, and Samsung, has reduced Apple’s exclusivity. Since customers play a significant role in a competitive market environment, the presence of competitors puts Apple Company in a tight situation since customers are often very sensitive to price changes in the market.

Leadership Gaps

The company has enjoyed the market success, due to the presence of Steve Jobs’ strong management control. Steve Jobs was a visionary who had mastered every  product and operations of Apple. The company is in short of excellent people who have obsessive and impulsive personality such as Steve Jobs had.

Opportunities

Product Diversification

Apple has an opportunity to collaborate with many software developers instead of solely relying on Windows. Product diversification combined with price reduction while maintaining a high quality brand standards will permit Apple Company to increase its market share.

Competitors Negative Publicity

The negative public perception of its major competitors, such as Nokia and Microsoft Vista, is an essential opportunity. The company needs to utilize this opportunity by intensifying its campaign for its wide range of products. This will greatly be enhanced by the good reputation it has in the market.

Acquisition of Competitor Business

Apple’s huge financial base provides an opportunity to make acquisitions that will sustain its future competitiveness. In 2012, the company had $23 billion in term of cash and near cash assets (Gilbert 2012). These assets can be used for future acquisitions without seeking external financial support. The company’s strong financial base offers an opportunity to embark on online music and advertisement companies that market its product.

Threats

Price Pressure from Samsung

Being the manufacturer of the key application processors for Apple, Samsung has asked the company to pay a higher price for components. Apple Company is expected to be made to pay more for the components obtained from Samsung, due to stiff competition and lack of substitutes.

Dollar Value

In 2012, Apple earned more than half of its revenue from the markets outside the USA. Therefore, appreciation of the Dollar’s value against other currencies will reduce the potential profits earned from those countries. In addition, due to economic volatility, consumers are losing the purchasing power. Thus, they are unable to purchase Apple’s smart products that are usually associated with higher prices (Gilbert 2012).

Android OS growth

The android OS has grown as a major challenger of the Apple’s iOS in the mobile phones market. The command of the global market with android products has reduced iOS power to influence consumers to join the Apple.

Virgin Atlantic PESTLE Analysis

Political Analysis

In the few years, the tax policy has considerably influenced the company. The tax paid to the British government every year keeps on increasing, hence resulting in the high cost of production. The increased pressure from environmental groups to reduce pollution has also affected the operation of the company (Benson 2012). Political instability affects the operations of the company, especially when travel bans are issued by envoys (Gregory 2007).

Economic Analysis

The annual GDP per capita in most countries has been reducing, due to the economic recession. This is as a result of an increase in cost of living and illegal immigration, as well as high levels of unemployment. This has reduced the purchasing power of the consumers, especially in the airline industry (Gregory 2007). In addition, an increase in cost of spares, insecurity and cost of oil has reduced the profit margin for the company.

Social Analysis

Social factors, such as religion, have greatly affected the consumer’s product and service needs. Variations in religious belief have made the company train its staff to adapt to consumers needs. With age variation among consumers, the company has undertaken initiatives to enhance each client’s satisfaction. The company also funds various charity organizations, especially in Africa and Asia.

Technological Analysis

The company has also introduced office equipment, such as internet facilities, fax machines and DVD screens in the plane. It is worth noting that the company has introduced new online ticket booking services that reduce the consumer’s cost. The use of technology has enabled the company to offer quality services.

Legal Analysis

There are many barriers and restrictions that have been imposed by a different nation where the company operates. This adds a huge cost that slows down the expansion strategy of Virgin Airlines. Other countries have imposed high tariffs to foreign investors, hence slowing down the entry of Virgin Airlines.

Environmental Analysis

An increase in air pollution has prompted Virgin Airline to undertake research on the use of bio fuel instead of crude oil. The company has provided resource to the research program, including donating two aircrafts to the researchers. The company has also reduced the aircraft and cargo weight in order to reduce air pollution impact from its planes.

Apple Inc. PESTLE Analysis

Political Analysis

Apple Company’s operations are executed worldwide. According to the recent financial report, half of the revenues were obtained from markets outside the USA. However, a political factor has a great influence on the operations. Geo-political issues, global terrorism and sanction issues in different countries have affected the sale of Apple’s products around the globe (Benson 2008). Since the company has outsourced its manufacturing and logistical service to different countries, political instability will essentially result in the delay in its operations.

Economic Analysis

In the last few years, oil price has been high due to inflation in the global economy. As a result of such economic factors, the consumer purchasing power is reduced, making them unable to purchase smart products from Apple Company. High unemployment rate observed in Europe and the USA caused a sharp fall in the sale of Apple’s products. Furthermore, economic volatility during the recession has led to drastic change in Dollar values, an aspect that reduces Apple’s foreign revenues.

Social Analysis

In countries where Apple operates, health and safety and environmental protection are major issues. Numerous regulations and laws imposed by those countries are unfavorable to Apple Company. Such regulations are common in Canada and Europe where Apple Company has a large market influence. Apple’s products, such as IPods, face social rejection in some areas because of their design (Gregory 2007).

Technological Analysis

The rapid technological change has forced Apple to spend a lot of resources on development and research of novel products. There is also an enormous demand of continual improvement in Apple’s product performance and design. For instance, the establishment of i7s has made Apple Company strive hard in order to produce goods that outdo those of competitors in performance.

Legal Analysis

Apple Company has been involved in a series of Legal Battles with its competitor. The Company had filed a lawsuit against Samsung Company for infringement of patent rights. Although Apple Company has won a big victory, the sale of Samsung products is hindered every day.

Environmental Analysis

Apple Company has been striving to minimize the impact of company’s products on the environment. The company has continued to make a product that are energy efficient and has eliminated toxic substance at the product manufacturing stage. The company has also embraced the use of renewable energy in its facilities.

Organizational Structure

The organizational culture of a company reveals the company’s culture, leader’s attitude, management style and environment in which it operates. Virgin Atlantic and Apple Inc.’s organization structures differ in two aspects, the size and culture. Apple’s organizational policy normally focuses on innovation, the company policy aims at keeping things confidential (Balmforth 2012). The culture of secrecy is highly valued in Apple, and the internal organization affairs are rarely opened to the public. The secrecy culture has been maintained since inception of the company and tight control of information has been exercised. This has been viewed by analysts as a competitive strategy.

The organizational structure of Apple is composed of products and marketing divisions that manage and market its products. The company has five product divisions that are tasked with product development and evaluation. It has also formed marketing distribution, distribution and post-sale product support divisions (Gilbert 2012). Furthermore, the company has administrative departments in charge of managing Apple’s operations, such as the Finance and Human resource department.

It is worth noting that the Apple and Virgin Atlantic’s organizational structures are mostly dictated by the operational needs and characteristics of each company. Both Apple and Virgin Atlantic have a more formalized structure with the defined procedures and rules, due to their sizes and scopes of activities in the globe. In the last few years, Apple Company has made a major reduction of the management layer between the frontline that interface with the customer and the chief executive. However, Virgin Atlantic Company is a more conscious, mean and lean organization. The company has established small, dynamic and networked structures. In addition, the company relies more on individual staff initiatives. Virgin Atlantic is one of the best delegated organizations in the aviation industry.

Organizational Culture and Behavior

The organization culture often described as a self-sustaining system in an organization. Those companies that need effective organization culture are often required to hire the right staff. In addition, it is necessary to equip companies with right skills, manage the skills, select and promote values to be shared, as well as install right systems, such as appraisal performance system to improve the structure. In Apple Company, the organization tends to follow two contrasting cultures in order to remain successful (Gilbert 2012). The first culture is service orientated, and the other one is very competitive and politicized to deal with external competitors. In Apple, the middle management is often governed by separate functions while the chief executives oversee almost all aspects of the company.

Team Work and Innovation

Apple Inc. is known for its hand working employees, and in some instances, it is said that they are overworked. In both companies, a team is highly emphasized and has been used to develop a reputation associated with each company. In addition, employees’ innovation is highly valued as both companies are dependent on innovations in their business operations. Failure in innovation means failure of business. Both companies maintain a strong team that nurtures innovative cultures. Innovation in both companies is highly characterized by strong teamwork across business units, disciplines, and functions. This is a result to shared sense of common and consistent teamwork (Gilbert 2012). Business solutions in both companies are developed through collaboration between marketing experts, operations specialists, engineers, designers, as well as other managerial departments.

Social Structure

In addition, Apple’s social policy is always aimed at providing best working and living conditions for its employees. For instance, in 2011, the company introduced its plan to establish a new campus to house more than 13,000 employees. The new campus will also be equipped with all social services, such as a fitness center, auditorium, and R&D facilities (Gilbert 2012). However, the working conditions of employees in Apple’s factories, in China, have been reported to be unfavorable. Employees used to earn extremely little on a monthly basis, and the working conditions were unacceptable. However, after the Apple had launched an inquiry concerning the issue, the working conditions were improved considerably.

Compensation and Motivation

In Virgin Atlantic, it is evident that the company focuses a lot on the personal initiatives regarding the development of the new customer oriented services. An employee may essentially be shifted from one department to another. However, in Apple, employees are often not exposed outside their area of expertise. Furthermore, Apple has a relatively simple but well-structured compensation plan for its employees, especially when compared to Virgin Atlantic Airlines. However, the compensation plan does not include incentives that CEOs enjoy, such as the use of private aircrafts. Instead, the company provides its executives with grant stocks options. On the contrary, the compensation plan in Virgin Atlantic is very competitive, but it does not include the grant on stock as it is in Apple Company. The provision of a comprehensive compensation plan that is full of benefits keeps the employs motivated in both organizations.

Technology

Apple and Virgin Atlantic have embraced technology advancement in their management structures and operations. Apple is considered to be a technological hub since the company used the most advanced technology the world has in its manufacturing processes. Therefore, this makes the company to edge its competitors in the market. Similarly, Virgin Atlantic also occupies a leading position in the aviation industry. In 2009, it became the first company to provide flight internet services to its customers. In addition, the customer provides a touch screen seatback menu that permits to place an order during the flight.

Human Resource Practices

Recruitment and Selection

When the need for people in the company is ascertained, the next task is always to ensure that the right people are selected and recruited for the organization. Recruiting wrong people could eventually lead to difficulties in achieving organizational goals and objectives. Employee may be either overqualified, under-qualified and hence might not be able to perform adequately. The company uses both Psychometric and IQ tests in order to test the intelligences quality as well as problem solving skills (Robbins & Campbell 2010). The company understands that recruiting wrong people could lead to serious implications for the passenger’s safety and the ultimate reputation of the company.

Whenever there is an establishment of a new venture, the recruitment process in Virgin Atlantic is often structured on the getting the talented and sophisticated people. The company mainly focuses on behavior and capability rather than just academic qualifications. The behavior and communication skills are classified under the soft skills of a candidate. In addition, the candidate technological skills are often evaluated because they enable an employee to perform the job efficiently. On the contrary, the recruitment process in Apple Inc. is highly robust and hence promotes the company with a greater chance of selecting the right people for job (Robbins & Campbell 2010)

In both companies, the human resource department advertises the new positions through the mass media. However, in Apple Company, internal employees with required skills are often given an opportunity to apply as it is a part of the process of staff development strategy. In both companies, structured interviews are used to all applicant, especially when evaluating the applicant’s behavioral and communication skills. In Apple, an applicant is subjected to a series of interviews before being hiring (Gilbert 2012). However, an engineer in Apple Company is often subjected to rigorous interviews in comparison to other administrative positions. Virgin Company is more concerned with the individual capabilities. Therefore, n applicant is often required to write curriculum vitae from scratch. Both companies use IQ testing in order to determine the mental abilities that include verbal reasoning, numerical ability, general intelligence, and visual spatial relations.

Training and Development

In order to get the best output from the employees, they need to be trained. Training is done in order to impart the new skills and knowledge the organization wants in order to fulfill the set goals. In Apple Company, training and development are structured in a way that ensured that employees are equipped with skills that enable them to perform the needed standards. Apple Company’s employees are often subjected to induction programs in order to be knowledgeable about a new culture and working methods the company intends to integrate in its operations (Robbins & Campbell 2010). Furthermore, the company has a specialized training program for professionals, such as engineers. They are given further training to ensure they provide services and products that will be modest and competitive in the market. As part of its job staff development, a new CEO of Apple Company, Tim Cook, has established a program that gives the employees free time to work on their private innovation project. It is essential since it inculcates the culture of creativity among the staff (Gilbert 2012).

In Virgin Atlantic Airlines, staff training and development are on-going processes that begin when a person is recruited by the company. This ensures that the employees are considered the long term objectives of the company. Employee’s training and development in the company is considered to be an investment since an employee is often expected to deliver quality services. The company has new state-of-art training centers where employees are subjected to a series of different training programs that enable them to deliver quality compliant services. Similar to Apple Company, Virgin Company provides induction, operational and management training. It is evident that both companies aim at creating an environment where ideas, feedback and enthusiasm among the employees lead to the best corporate outcomes (Robbins & Campbell 2010).

Employees Compensation

Employees are supposed to provide services to the company. Remuneration should be equitable and adequate. In most company, money is not the only reward provided to motivate employees to be productive; other benefits are also provided.  The compensation plan currently being used by Apple Company has had some far reaching effects. Apple executive compensation strategies consist of three packages (Gilbert 2012). The long-term term equity awards are given in the form of restricted stock units. The second package is cash compensation. The third compensation plan involves base salaries. The main goal of executive or employee compensation platform is to attract and retain a gifted, entrepreneurial, and an imaginative team of executives.

In Virgin Atlantic Company, the employees are not only given monetary compensation, but also other benefits than keep employees motivated to be more productive. Virgin Atlantic has wide a range of non-financial incentive, such health care, pensions, and other financial incentives. Such incentives are often aimed at empowerment and job satisfaction (Robbins & Campbell 2010). The company has managed to address different needs of employees through the compensation plan. For instance, Virgin Atlantic offers flexible benefits, such as flexible hours, childcare vouchers and pensions as a part of the reward package while the aged employees prefer pension.

Employees’ Performance Assessment

Performance assessment is an important practice in Human resource management. It aims at improving the overall productivity and effectiveness by maximizing the staff individual potential and performance. In Apple Company, the employee’s appraisal is done to assist an employee to sharpen his/her career prospects through recognition and rewarding for performance. HR in Apple uses performance appraisal as a tool for motivating employees to have a continual improvement that brings new standards of performance (Robbins & Campbell 2010). This is done through the provision of positive feedback, and passing on of feedback to more senior manager, as well as letting the other staff know the person responsible for the performance. In Apple Company, assessment is usually done applying the holistic analysis method. This approach allows the manager to analyze performance instead of assessing it.

In Virgin Atlantic, the performance appraisal is done against the employee expectations created during the job analysis. It is often aimed at enabling the Virgin management to identify individual strength and how to assist the employee in overcoming personal weaknesses. In addition, assessment in Virgin Atlantic is used as a tool for assisting the management to plan for transfers, promotions, and postings. In addition, the mangers in the company are often required to figure out the strengths and weaknesses of staff behaviors. This is done through the use of non-quantitative techniques, such as the essay evaluation method.

Staff Relations

It is essential to maintain a healthy relation between employees to ensure the development of a productive workforce. HR should ensure there is effective communication between the management and staff. This secures maximum cooperation from the staff and motivates employees to work hard. In Apple Company, healthy atmosphere is maintained, and when a dispute arises in the course of business operations, it is often solved in a way that ensures win-win outcomes. In both companies, a HR manager is responsible for the external developments, such as change in technology, legislation and politics in areas that can strain staff relation with the organization.

In order to maintain good staff relations in the organization, the HR managers in both Apple and Virgin Atlantic Companies should ensure that issues related to the job design are adequately addressed (Robbins & Campbell 2010). The health and safety of the staff are highly maintained in both companies. Employee’s welfare and compliance with the labor and social laws are highly valued by both companies. In regards to staff relations, the HR ensures that the company develops an approach to manage people in a way that enables the organization to achieve its goals without compromising the welfare of its staffs.

Change in Management

In order for both Virgin Atlantic and Apple to maintain its global market share and competitiveness, changes in the management process are inevitable in their management process. The changes of the management process will enable both companies to overcome their weaknesses and threats posed by the internal and external environments. In Virgin Atlantic Airways, it is evident that it cannot serve all customers in the broad market. Therefore, the management needs to identify the target market to provide effective and efficient services to consumers. Virgin Atlantic needs to realign its mass market strategy in order to develop a common product package for a market segment with similar needs (Robbins & Campbell 2010).

As a result of globalization and constant market innovation, both Virgin Atlantic and Apple need to undergo a complete technological transformation in order to achieve modern standards that enhance efficiency in the service delivery. The evolving business environment and phenomena, such as social media, have essentially revolutionized the business operation in these two companies. Therefore, this has resulted in an increasing need for change in management in order to adapt to these changes.

In the future, Both Virgin Atlantic and Apple Company will have to change their corporate information provision strategies. In the recent year, the company has been accused of lack of accountability and openness in publication of its annual reports (Gilbert 2012). Change in management is inevitable, due to the issue of the shareholders’ accountability. The companies need to enhance ease of accessibility of information to the stakeholders and media for scrutiny. In addition, both Apple and Virgin Atlantic should increase their organizational transparency and accountability.

Conclusion and Recommendations

According to the following report, it is evident that Virgin Atlantic and Apple have built their products and services on a strong management foundation that has enabled them to be ranked high in their respective industries. In both companies, there is an organizational belief that their products, services, leadership style and culture are directly driven by the staff employed. Therefore, hiring and retaining right people lead to the high market performance. In addition, both companies face challenges in recruiting highly skilled personnel, due to the competitive nature of their respective industry. Therefore, it is evident that these two companies need to recruit highly talented, self-motivated employees in order to survive the global market competition. In addition, both companies will be required to strengthen their Human resource practices, particularly in the area of staffing, training, improvement, as well as compensation as it will reduce the overall employee’s turnover. It is of great significance to Apple Company that relies on individual capability of its staffs. Virgin Atlantic needs to rebrand its corporate image in order to attract high class customers. The management structures in the company need to strive towards making Virgin Atlantic’s name respected and recognizable not only in the US but also in the UK. It also needs to capitalize on the market that feeds value by pushing its brand as the consumer champion. However, this can only be achieved through reorganization of the company’s management structures in the globe.

As technology continues to grow, both Apple and Virgin Atlantic need to adopt new technologies that increase their operational efficiency. For instance, Apple Company keeps on repeating same mistakes with compatibility problem with its gadget (Robbins & Campbell 2010). Even if, the company strives to maintain uniqueness of its product, it should introduce new technology in the product development in order to ensure software compatibility issues are eliminated. Virgin Atlantic needs to adopt new technology, such as new Oracle systems, that lead to the improvement of service delivery in its Airlines. Furthermore, both companies need to identify opportunities that are available in the market (Robbins & Campbell 2010). This can be achieved through the staff training and development, as well as the formation of product partnership with prospective business partners. In addition, both companies need to utilize the result of organizational analysis to build on their strengths and opportunities. The implementation of the abovementioned recommendations and reorganization of the management structure in a way that suits current market demands will result in economic sustainability in both companies.

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