Steve Jobs’ and Tim Cook’s Leadership Styles

Provisional topic

The degree to which different leadership styles influence the quality of organisational performance concerning the Apple Incorporation: A case study of Steve Jobs and Tim Cook.


Insufficient information exists concerning different leadership styles and their influence on effective organizational performance. The study will be a magic bullet in the leadership style and effective organizational performance proposal by scrutinizing the leadership behaviour of Steve Jobs and Tim Cook. It will provide structures that combine the values and goals within the Apple organization culture to ensure effective performance as a leadership strategy. This study will attempt to define that leadership behaviour as quite essential in companies when related to organizational performance. In this study, the Apple Incorporation company will be examined to determine how it grows towards success and how it achieves its goals and targets and how the role of Steve Jobs and Tim Cook related to its organization’s performance. This study will also look into different leadership behaviours and their impacts on the organizational culture concerning the Apple Company. The outcome of this research may also help in improving the performance of employees and in motivating employees to accomplish their goals through the application of different leadership styles of Steve Jobs and Tim Cook.

Organizational leadership style effectiveness determines the level of performance of an organization and business sustainability amidst competition. This research will assist other companies to implement effective leadership styles that promote efficiency and sustainability of organizational performance. It will be a compilation of best leadership style practices as implemented by Steve Jobs and Tim Cook with effective organizational performance. The study will also provide recommendations on how companies can effectively manage their organizational performance to guarantee employee and customer satisfaction through appropriate leadership behaviour.

According to Montana and Bruce (2008), each type of leadership style serves a purpose grounded in the kind of operations and business environment and the situation. The highly efficient leadership styles are those that can help the managers to develop a good operating environment for all the individuals involved and motivate employees to put in their maximum efforts (Davidson, Wood & Griffin 2009; Male et al. 2007). Moreover, it is believed that leadership styles also have an impact on the quality of organisational performance within distinct industries such as retail, food, information technology, and electronics (Montana and Bruce, 2008).

According to Andreadis (2009), leadership style has a strong impact on employee motivation and ability to learn in an organization. Besides, highly effective managers differ in leadership styles based on knowledge and skills, the type of task, and time restrictions among other factors. These actions inspire and encourage optimal performance among employees (Andreadis 2009). On the other hand, Davidson, Wood & Griffin (2009) note that leadership styles differ in different sectors and industries. In union, Vaccaro et al. (2012) are categorical in stating that different operation systems determine the type of leadership style a company is practising. Irrespective of the leadership style, the authors conclude that leadership styles have an impact on organizational communication (Vaccaro et al. 2012; Andreadis 2009; Peterson et al. 2003).

The part of principles in an effective organizational leadership model encompasses laid down rules to enable the organization to be more efficient. This is in the form of a well-organised hierarchy of workforce from management with administrative roles in service providing workers (Persily 2013). Managers are empowered by the organization’s constitution to perform the role of prefects and offer leadership solutions upon consultation with one another. To control group behaviour, desirable leadership attributes are necessary, which are possessed by the managers gained over time in experience (Janus 2008; Wang, Tsui, & Xin 2011). Therefore, “strategic leadership planning consists of one overarching principle and three separate strategies, or practices: contain, cope, and construct” (Modaff, DeWine, & Butler 2008, p. 21). Whenever there is a strong professional relationship nurtured on the values of appreciation and respect within an organizational performance model, hidden talents are easily displayable for business sustainability (Youngs & King 2002; Eriksen 2009).

This research topic will not only apply the above concepts of leadership but also explore their application through the leadership styles of Steve Jobs and Tim Cook.

Problems/difficulties anticipated

One major weakness of this quantitative analysis, especially for secondary data, is that it tends to transform the data into semi-quantitative data by giving it labels and tags. In this case, the qualitative data from secondary sources will be tagged and labelled according to the research question and research objective they address, thus limiting the scope of analysis (Blaxter, Hughes, & Malcolm 2005). However, a major strength of the methodology is that it helps in analysing all themes, which have implications on the research questions; hence the bias will be minimal. Despite its inability to highlight themes that are external to the research questions conclusively, the methodology is appropriate for this study (Collis & Hussey 2003). In other words, the researcher will study the texts from the data collected trying to identify the concepts that relate to the research questions and objectives to minimize any bias. Besides, content analysis and thematic analysis are closely related, especially in the context of the current study (Mason 2005). Fortunately, both of them are hinged on the research question for this research case study.

Reference List

Andreadis, N 2009, “Learning and organizational effectiveness: A systems perspective”. Performance Improvement, vol. 48 no. 1, pp. 5-11.

Blaxter, L, Hughes, C, & Malcolm, T 2005, How to research, Open University Press, Berkshire, UK.

Collis, J, & Hussey, R 2003, Business research. Basingstoke, Palgrave Macmillan.

Davidson, P, Wood, S, & Griffin, R 2009, Management, John Wiley and Sons, Milton, Australia.

Eriksen, M 2009, “Authentic Leadership: Practical Reflexivity, Self-Awareness, and Self-Authorship.” Journal of Management Education, vol. 33 no. 1, pp. 747-771.

Janus, P 2008, Pro performance point server 2007: Building business intelligence, Apress, Alabama, Al.

Male, S, Kelly, J, Grongvist, M, & Graham, D 2007, “Managing value as a management style for projects.” International Journal of Project Management, vol. 25 no. 2, pp. 107-114.

Mason, J 2005, Designing qualitative research, Sage, London, UK.

Modaff, D, DeWine, S, & Butler, J 2008, Organizational communication: Foundations, challenges, and misunderstandings, Pearson Education, New York, NY.

Montana, P, & Bruce, H 2008, Management, Barron’s Educational Series, New York, NY.

Persily, A 2013, Team Leadership & Partnering in Nursing & Healthcare, Springer Publishing: New York.

Peterson, R. S, Smith, D. B, Martorana, P. V, & Owens, P. D 2003, “The impact of chief executive officer personality on top management team dynamics: one mechanism by which leadership affects organizational performance.” Journal of Applied Psychology, vol. 88 no. 5, pp. 795-796.

Vaccaro, G, Jansen, P, Bosch, J, & Volberda, H 2012, “Management Innovation and Leadership: The Moderating Role of Organisational Size.” Journal of Management Studies, vol. 49 no. 1, pp. 28-51.

Wang, H, Tsui, A. S, & Xin, K. R 2011, “CEO leadership behaviours, organizational performance, and employees’ attitudes.” The Leadership Quarterly, vol. 22 no. 1, pp. 92-105.

Youngs, P, & King, M. B 2002, “Principal leadership for professional development to build school capacity.” Educational Administration Quarterly, vol. 38 no. 5, pp. 643-670.

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