This Part Requires you to Analyse the Business Case of Apple Inc.The Purpose of this Part of the Report is to Differentiate Between the Role of a Leader and the Function of a Manager: Management & Operations Assignment, UK


Purpose of this assessment

This assignment is designed to assess the learner’s knowledge of the principles of management and operations, enabling them to identify and use fundamental tools and concepts that incentives leadership, managerial and operational improvements within organizations, in order to reap business benefits.

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Task 1 Scenario

You are a student and as a part of course requirements, you have to produce a report. The report will be in two sections:

Part A: Analyse the business case of Apple Inc. The purpose of this part of the report is to differentiate between the role of a leader and the function of a manager and to apply the role of a leader in different management contexts.

Part B: This part requires you to suggest and justify improvements in order to address some operational challenges at Apple.Recent media reports have suggested that the company is experiencing issues with fulfilling customer orders for its iPhone 12 on time.

The same reports indicate that there are some quality issues with the phone (short battery life and slow performance).

Apple is generally regarded as one of the so-called ‘Big Tech’ companies (other examples being Microsoft, Google, Amazon and Facebook). Incorporated in 1977, it now has annual revenues of over US$260 billion (2019).

The growth of Apple Inc. has been meteoric by traditional standards. During its thirty-three-year history, it has gone through the significant market, competitive and structural changes; it could also be argued that the company has been a significant contributor to the digital revolution that has radically changed how billions of people live their lives over the last three decades.

Steve Jobs was arguably the most famous CEO in Apple’s history, not least because of his personality, management style and approach to leadership. The current CEO is Tim Cook, a co-founder of the company, who has been in the role since 2011.

Task 1, Part A

Write Part A of your report, which must include the following sections:

1(a): Examine specific situations in the history of Apple, where various managerial skills and leadership qualities (or lack of them) were demonstrated by the company’s top managers.

1(b): Your analysis should focus on the actions and achievements of Steve Jobs, and his successor (the current CEO), Tim Cook.

2(a): You should identify and analyze specific strengths and weaknesses of the respective leaders in various situations, which should include examples of managing complexity and leading change.

2(b): Link specific managers’/leaders’ actions to different theories and models of approach. These should include situational leadership, systems leadership, and contingency.

2(c): You should include a critical analysis of at least two of these stated theories.

This task demonstrates fulfillment of LO1 and LO2

Task 1, Part B

Write Part B of your report, to fulfil the following requirements:

1(a): You must identify two theoretical approaches which could help address the customer order fulfilment issues AND quality issues at Apple. You should choose from Six Sigma, LEAN/Kaizen, Just-In-Time/Just-In-Case, Sales & Operations Planning and TQM.

1(b): You should clearly identify how each of your two stated theoretical approaches would address each issue and the strengths and weaknesses of using those approaches in this context.

1(c): You should explain the role of management/leadership in your recommended approaches, and explain the business value of addressing these problems.

2(a): Identify potential factors in the business environment at Apple that may impact the realistic possibility of carrying out your recommended approaches. Those factors should cover, leadership /stakeholder relationships, competing interests, and sources of conflict.

2(b): Analyse how those factors might impact the decisions managers/leaders will need to make with regard to carrying out your recommended approaches.

This task demonstrates fulfillment of LO3 & LO4

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Unit Descriptor
The aim of this unit is to help students understand the difference between the function of a manager and the role of a leader. Students will consider the characteristics, behaviours and traits which support effective management and leadership. In addition, this unit will introduce the concept of operations as both a function and a process that all organisations must adopt to conduct business. Students will be introduced to contemporary and historical theories and concepts that will support their learning for this unit.
On successful completion of this unit, students will have developed sufficient knowledge and understanding of how management and operations make a positive, efficient, and effective contribution to an organisation at a junior level. This could be in the role of a team leader or managing a specific aspect of an operation function and/or process. Underpinning all aspects of the content for this unit, you will consider topics under two broad headings: management and operations.
Week Learning Outcome(s) & Topics Covered Session Activities Reference/ Resources/ Methods



Topic: Management and Operations

Topic: Underpinning management theories


• Introduction to the unit’s content

• Introduction to the unit assignment.

• Unit overview.

• Issue Assignment


• Outline and define the concepts – leader, manager, operations.

• The importance of operations in business.

• Overview of contemporary & seminal theories of mgt.

• Classical management theories.

• Behavioural theory.

• Contingency theory.

•Management by objectives.



• Tutor-led delivery of unit overview and content.

• Small groups research, supported by the provided article: Are leaders born or are they made?

· Small groups research: Assessment Workshop: Apple CEOs discussion

· Small groups research: Assessment Workshop: Management vs Leadership exercise


Online resources posted in Moodle, including small group activity resources




Topic: Management functions
Topic: Leadership vs management
• Definition of a Leader vs manager.

• Debate overlaps and similarities.

• De Bono’s ‘Six Thinking Hats’ based on manager functions.


• Group activity: qualities of leaders vs qualities of managers: small group discussion

· Group activity: Edward de Bono’s Thinking Hats: scenarios and workshop

Group Assessment Workshop.

• In groups, discuss the pros and cons of two Apple CEOs. Convince the other groups of your view.

Homework: watch two Ricardo Semler/SEMCO videos in support of group activity next week.


Online resources posted in Moodle, including small group activity resources





Topic: Leadership theory and skills

LO1 recap and assessment check

• Theories of leadership traits, style and contingency.

• Transformational and transactional leadership.

• Action-centred leadership.

• ‘Hard’ management skills and ‘soft’ leadership skills.


· Small group discussion on Ricardo Semler’s leadership style

· Assessment workshop: task to discuss how leadership topics discussed so far can support the assignment


Online resources posted in Moodle, including small group activity resources

Case Studies





Topic: Leaders and the management function application

• Situational leadership theory.

• Hersey-Blanchard situational leadership model.

• System leadership.

• Task- or relationship-orientated approaches.

• The application of chaos theory.

• The concept of management by objectives.


• Small group discussion on the suitability of various leadership approaches (Hersey-Blanchard model)

· Small group discussion on case studies relating to Chaos Theory in leadership


Online resources posted in Moodle, including small group activity resources




LO1 & LO2

Topic: Academic report writing

• Review of student progress on the formative submission (which will be a draft of their summative submission)


Quick Review:

• Different report formats – formal, informal, essay, memos

• Structure and paragraph planning.

• Referencing and bibliographies.

• Brief tutor-led overview of assessment requirements.

• Open question and answer activity to address general

questions and concerns.

• Review of academic requirements and submission format.

• Individual student queries and questions.

Assessment workshop

Formative Feedback Improvements


Online resources posted in Moodle, including small group activity resources





Topic: Theory of operations management

Topic: Operations management approaches

• Six Sigma principles

• Lean production.

• The principles of total quality management (TQM).

• Just-in-time (JIT) / Just-in-case (JIC) inventory management.

• The concept of continuous improvement (Kaizen).


• Small group discussion on Lean at Amazon (supported by provided article)

· Small group discussion on TQM implementation (supported by provided case study)


Online resources posted in Moodle, including small group activity resources




LO3 &LO4

Topic: Operational functions to manage:

Supply Networks

Value Chain

Capacity Management


• Raw to finished product – transformation process (value chain).

• Capacity management.

• Logistics, resources and inventory management.

• Scheduling and time planning.


• Small group task: Value Chain case study (Starbucks), supported by provided case study

· Small group task: Supply network/capacity planning

Assessment Workshop: Update Review


Online resources posted in Moodle, including small group activity resources





Topic: Operational functions to manage

Inventory Management

Scheduling and Time Planning

Sales & Operations Planning

• Inventories defined

· Different inventory configurations explored

· Advantages/disadvantages of holding inventory

· Scheduling and time planning

· Sales & Operations Planning


· Small group discussion: inventory case studies

· Sales & Operations Planning: participative workshop


Online resources posted in Moodle, including small group activity resources





Topic: Corporate Sustainability Leadership

Topic: Stakeholder relations

• The Triple Bottom Line

· Corporate social responsibility (CSR).

• Organisational culture, values and business ethics.

• Sustainability and Shared Value

• Leadership/management relations with stakeholders.

• Stakeholder analysis and expectations.


· Group Task: Sustainability and Shared Value (read provided article, then consider the given scenarios. How is shared value being created?)



LO1, LO2, LO3, LO4


Topic: Student assignment preparation

Assessment Review Session

• Brief tutor-led overview of assessment requirements.

• Open Q & A activity to address general queries and concerns.

• Review of assessment requirements and submission format.

• Individual student questions.

• Recap of topics highlighted and requested by students.

• Opportunity to discuss progress and review completed research and work to date.



Online resources posted in Moodle, including small group activity resources


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