Please comment on the effect that alliances such as Apple and Microsoft can have on competition within the context of Operations Management.

Essay by lancslassUniversity, Master'sB, August 2006

download word file, 2 pages 5.0

Operations Management is the term applied to the correlation of activities which achieve the core objectives of an organisation.

Apple and Microsoft are companies which come from very different cultures, Apple a very steady stable environment, which non-the-less appreciates and recognizes employee input. For example at Apple computers, Cupertino, California, all employees who worked on the design of the original Mackintosh computer had their signatures engraved on the inside of the models case. Microsoft's also has a strong employee focused culture but one which really embraces change. Their employees's based at Redmond, Washington, are used to a changing work environment, at least 3 times a year people, sometimes whole buildings, are moved around to new locations to better implement the companies objectives. Microsoft has a very relaxed culture, casual attire, camaraderie and an ethic of fun, but hard work, when it decided, almost too late that the internet was going to figure highly in the future, it was this culture which enabled it to re-organise, re-structure and focus on the new company objectives.

This ever changing culture, is directly responsible for their rapid growth which was sustained by major innovations, it enhances their innovative, but casual culture and is a direct contrast to Apples more formal approach to business.

In the case study, it appears to me that these cultures clash, Apple are envious of the success and adaptability of Microsoft, but in the future will also rely on them to support their new operating system, an almost parasitic relationship. Instead of looking at this strategic alliance as an excellent way to share core competencies and reduce the cost of research and development, Apple are bickering about the integration of the system, Microsoft about the engineers employed by Apple, and the governmental stance to be successful. An...