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Leadership Theory, Process Motivation Theory, Negotiation

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1. CASE: Steve Jobs" Apple
Fortune ranked Apple #1 on its list of America's and the World's Most Admired Companies, and Steve Jobs was ranked #1 on its Most Powerful Businesspeople in the World. But he didn't start at the top. Together with Apple Computer co-founder Steve Wozniak, 21-year-old Steven Paul Jobs developed and built the personal computer (PC) in 1976 in Jobs' family garage. The Apple II kicked off the PC era in 1977, and in 1984 the Macintosh altered the direction of the computer industry. Jobs is also credited with desktop publishing, laser printers, and for pioneering personal computer networks.

Jobs went on to create Pixar technology and a new business model for creating computer-animated feature films. More recent innovations under Jobs' leadership include the iPod, iTunes, iMovie, Apple TV, games, QuickTime Player (and other software), Apple Stores, and iPhone. He is ranked #1 for his leadership and power in influencing five industries: computers, Hollywood, music, retailing, and wireless phones. So far, no one has had more influence over a broader range of businesses than Jobs.

Apple hasn't left its PC computer roots. When most people think of Apple today, the "i"products may come to mind; however, the hottest line is actually its Macintosh business because it has the status as the company's largest revenue source. Mac sales have grown at triple the rate of the rest of the PC industry. Apple is growing faster because it improves its hardware and software more often than anyone else.

Apple and Jobs have had some problems along the way in their 30+ year history. In the late 1970s and early 1980s, IBM saw the success of the Apple PC and developed its own PC for business that was not compatible with the Apple operating system. IBM PCs were soon outselling Apple. Jobs decided that to compete he needed to bring in professional management to grow the company. Jobs hired John Sculley to replace him as CEO. Apple ran into problems, and Sculley and Jobs did not agree on how to run the company. The Apple board of directors choose Sculley over Jobs as CEO. Jobs lost control over the company he had started.

As chairman of the board, Jobs had no real power or meaningful work to do. So Jobs left Apple in 1985 to start NeXT (a computer platform development company specializing in the higher education and business markets). In 1986, Steve Jobs started what became Pixar Animated Studios and became its CEO. Jobs contracted with Disney to produce a number of computer-animated feature films, which Disney would co-finance and distribute. Films included Toy Story, A Bug's Life, Monsters, Inc., Finding Nemo, The Incredibles, and Cars. In 1997, Apple acquired NeXT to use its technology in its Apple computers and Jobs returned to Apple. Apple was still not doing well so the board appointed Jobs to his earlier position as CEO. In 2006, Jobs sold Pixar to Disney and remains on its board as its largest shareholder.

Back as CEO of Apple, Jobs led the company from the brink of bankruptcy through the most dramatic corporate turnaround in the history of Silicon Valley. Jobs changed its culture back to a more entrepreneurial atmosphere. Jobs is a visionary, and Apple's success is born of continual and artful innovation in every aspect of its business. According to Jobs, Apple's success comes from simply trying to make great products that we want for ourselves, and then hope that customers love them as much as we do. Through self-assessment, Jobs realized his strength was in developing new products. The future of Apple depends on frequent product introductions and transitions. Therefore, Jobs places his focus and time on overseeing design teams who develop new products; the design teams have input into what is designed and how.

Jobs is also among the most controversial figures in the business. People who have worked for Jobs over the years have mixed reactions to his leadership style. Some call him temperamental, aggressive, tough, intimidating, and very demanding. He has been known to verbally attack people who make mistakes and are not meeting goals and expectations. Yet, employees who perform up to expectation are well rewarded. He is outspoken and not afraid to anger employees and customers. Even many who feared him also had great respect for him as he did inspire loyalty, enthusiasm, and high levels of performance through continuous innovation. Even people who left Apple say it's often brutal and Jobs hogs the credit, but they've never done better work.

Bill Gates, co-founder of Microsoft, calls Jobs a visionary with intuitive taste. Steve makes decisions based on a sense of people and products. He does things differently, and it's magical. Jobs' ability to always come around and figure out where that next bet should be has been phenomenal. Gates and Jobs worked together in the early days of the development of the PC.

Answer the following:
1. Which of the leadership theory classifications do you see apply to this case? Which one do you consider as most relevant? Explain your choice.

2. Evaluate the Achievement Motivation Theory and the Leader Motive Profile.

3. Compare and contrast the three process motivation theories.

4. What steps would you follow in a negotiation?

5. How would you distinguish between a functional and a dysfunctional conflict? How does each affect performance?

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Solution Preview

Here you go. I hope this helps. Good luck!

1. Which of the leadership theory classifications do you see apply to this case? Which one do you consider as most relevant? Explain your choice.

Trait leadership theory is applicable in this case, as the author describes Jobs as "temperamental, aggressive, tough, intimidating, and very demanding"; also labeling him as "outspoken and not afraid to anger employees and customers". The case also mentions Jobs rewards employees who stand up to him, and that he inspires "loyalty, enthusiasm, and high levels of performance through continuous innovation". Trait theory uses personal characteristics to explain leadership results.

At the same time, behavioral leadership is also evident, stating how Jobs built a PC in his garage, and that he is "credited with desktop publishing, laser printers, and for pioneering personal computer networks". It also mentions Jobs' involvement in Pixar and NeXT, showing what Jobs actually did on the job.

The contingency theory is most relevant for the case, since it uses trait and behavior theories as the foundation for determining which leadership style is most appropriate based on the situation. Jobs shaped his behavior and traits to react to the situation at hand. When he left Apple, he poured his creativity into NeXT and Pixar. Returning to Apple, he used his intimidating and demanding nature to reform the company and poise it for success, eliminating excess product lines, fine-tuning others, and acting as a visionary for new products.

2. Evaluate the Achievement Motivation Theory and the Leader Motive Profile.

Achievement Motivation Theory is the ...

Solution Summary

This detailed solution answers questions regarding Steve Jobs and his leadership in regards to leadership theory classifications. It explains achievement motivation theory and leader motive profile, compares and contrasts three process motivation theories, explains steps to take in a negotiation, and how to distinguish between functional and dysfunctional conflict. APA references are included.

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