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Business-level and Corporate-level strategies for Apple


Analyze the business-level strategies for the corporation you chose to determine the business-level strategy you think is most important to the long-term success of the firm and whether or not you judge this to be a good choice. Justify your opinion.

Analyze the corporate-level strategies for the corporation you chose to determine the corporate-level strategy you think is most important to the long-term success of the firm and whether or not you judge this to be a good choice. Justify your opinion.

Analyze the competitive environment to determine the corporation’s most significant competitor. Compare their strategies at each level and evaluate which company you think is most likely to be successful in the long term. Justify your choice.

Determine whether your choice from Question 3 would differ in slow-cycle and fast-cycle markets.

Entrepreneurship is widely recognized as a significant factor in the survival and success of an organization in the current dynamic business environment. Defined as the identification and exploitation opportunities to develop new and existing businesses, entrepreneurship enhances the competitiveness of new and existing ventures in specific markets (Rae, 2007). While entrepreneurship is not limited to novelty, the process is mostly driven by the engagement of an individual or an organization in innovative activities. According to Johnsson (2017), an organization that engages more in entrepreneurship is likely to perform better and achieve long-term sustainability in its industry of operation. Even though entrepreneurship is associated with positive income on the entrepreneur and the organization, not all entrepreneurial activities are successful (Peris-Ortiz and Sahut, 2015). Significant barriers and challenges are encountered that deter the attainment of the perceived benefits. Taking the case of Hill Holt Wood, a social enterprise organization and Seagate Technology, a commercial-based firm, the current paper presents a comparative analysis of the enablers and inhibitors of entrepreneurial activity as observed in the two organizations. The entrepreneurial activities in the two organizations are largely influenced by the characteristics and behaviour of the entrepreneurs, nevertheless, the social and economic infrastructure for entrepreneurship also impacts on the formation and success of new ventures.
Enablers and Inhibitors of Entrepreneurial Activity
Creativity and innovative nature of the employees in an organization is a major enabler of entrepreneurship activities. According to Johnsson (2017) having a creative team will not only support the development of a new organization but will also led to the release of unique quality products. Both Hill Holt Wood and Seagate emerged as a result of the creativity of their owners and subsequently the managers. The creative nature of Karen and Nigel, the founders of the enterprise contributed to the many innovative activities undertaken by the company (Frith, McElwee and Somerville, 2009). These individuals were not only able to identify a unique opportunity in a remote area, but were also able to use their creativity to come up with unique features that changed the physical appearance and performance of the wood land, justifying the relevance of their creativity on the desirable outcome achieved. Similarly, the creativity of the innovation team at Seagate did not only instigate the production of unique ideas on storage devices, but also resulted in their involvement in constant improvement of the design features and the performance of the storage software and disc drive. The two organizations emerged and thrived as a result of the creativity and innovative nature of the founders and the relevant teams.
Knowledge and expertise is another factor that supports entrepreneurial activity in an organization. According to Johnsson (2016) the knowledge exhibited by the staff as well as other stakeholders determined the extent and quality of innovations that can be done by an organization. Hill Halt Wood involved the community in the creation and development of unique features at the woodland. The knowledge of the entire community thus played a significant role in coming up with the inimitable wooden features and recreational facilities that enriched the economic viability of the social enterprise (Frith, McElwee and Somerville, 2009). On the contrary, Seagate relied solely on the expertise of its staff to come up with unique ideas that can be developed into quality products. The vast knowledge of the company staff and their expertise in the field resulted in the many innovative products attained. Different from Hill Halt Wood, Seagate had an opportunity to conduct training and development to its staff further improving their experience to take part in more innovations. Also, the organization operates a laboratory research and development for more innovations to be realized. This explains why Seagate performs better in innovation than the social enterprise. Other than just the existing knowledge of the innovating team, constant training of the employees improves their experience and expertise to become more novel.
Entrepreneurs’ motivation is directly related to the successful outcome of any entrepreneurship activity. Different motivational categories including rewards, independence, family security and intrinsic rewards influence the outcome or the entrepreneurial activities (Johnsson, 2017). In the context of Hill Halt Wood, entrepreneurs’ motivation was rewards, family security and independence. The entrepreneurs in this case did not only desire the attainment of the economic benefits of the entrepreneurial activity, but also wanted to make the organization environmentally sustainable (Frith, McElwee and Somerville, 2009). Apart from receiving income from the woodland, Nigel and Karen were also motivated by the need to achieve independence and family security. The high level of motivation of the entrepreneurs thus contributed to the successful exploitation of the business opportunity that resulted in the creation of a higher performing social enterprise.
Motivation in the context of Seagate Technology Company was different. The company entrepreneurs are mostly employees involved in new product development. As such, this team are habitually motivated by rewards. The desire to receive higher income and incentives from their involvement in coming up with new business ideas and converting them into innovative products formed the major form of motivation to this team (Seagate, n.d). Contrary, to the case of Hill Halt Wood, where there was a high level of motivation, the innovative team at Seagate are less motivated. The organization faces stiff competition from other players in the market and has been unable to offer additional rewards or incentives to innovators and new product development employees. According to the equity theory employees will show efforts in business execution depending on their perceptions on the rewards offered (Ryan, 2016). An increasing rate of employee turnover has been witnessed in the organization due to lack of motivation that has adversely affected its overall innovativeness and performance. Even though Seagate is still considered a better innovate in computer storage devices, the loss of many employers due to lack of innovation has adversely interfered with the constant growth of the company. The lack of serious motivation amongst the staff is thus a significant barrier in the execution of innovative activities within the organization.
Effective collaboration amongst the entrepreneurs has vital effects on the implementation and successful outcome of entrepreneurial activities. According to Ucbasaran, Westhead and Wright (2009) the success of an entrepreneurship is more than just recognizing an opportunity or an idea. Rather, collaboration with other employees and various stakeholders can speed up the connection of the ideas to release an innovative product. Also, collaboration creates harmony amongst the stakeholders to result in the effective implementation of the entrepreneurial activity. Collaboration between the management and employees of Seagate Technology contributed to their success as an innovator in the release of storage devices (Seagate, n.d). Speed is the major factors that assist the company achieve a higher competitive advantage, through collaboration, the organization has not only managed to release innovative devices into the market but has also obtained a high competitive advantage in the market due to its fast release of the devices, before they are imitated by other manufacturers.
On the contrary, not much has been realized from the collaboration observed between the management and other stakeholders of Hill Halt Wood. While the company managed to involve the community in their entrepreneurial activity, they were not able to successfully bring the government and other major stakeholders on board (Frith, McElwee and Somerville, 2009). These authorities saw the activities of the entrepreneurs as a mockery to their failures, thus were reluctant to offer any support. Also, the stakeholders were not motivated to be part of the enterprise since there were no foreseen economic benefits. The failure to achieve a proper collaboration with various stakeholders was a major challenge in securing the future and success of Hill Holt Wood. While collaboration amongst stakeholders contributed to the increase in the innovative performance of Seagate Technology, it was a major barrier to the success of the Hill Holt Wood due to the presence of uncooperative stakeholders.
Opportunity recognition and information search are regarded as the vital steps in entrepreneurial activities. Identification and exploitation of the right opportunity mark the first step in the success of any entrepreneurship (Ucbasaran, Westhead and Wright, 2001). Hilt Holt Wood emerged as a result of a problem-based opportunity while Seagate was created as a result of significant developments in human creativity (Westall, 2007). According to Frith, McElwee and Somerville (2009) Hilt Holt Wood, at the time of purchase was a waterlogged and unreachable 34-acre piece of land. The entrepreneurial activities executed in the region were therefore designed to restore the region to its ancient or a better state. On the other hand, Seagate Company deals with the production and sale of computer storage devices including disc drives, software and tape drives. The company was formulates as a result of an existing gap in the market and the enhanced creativity of the inventor (Seagate, n.d). In essence, Hilt Holt Wood was not just created as an asset for wealth creation but also focused on solving environmental problems. On the contrary, Creation of wealth and maximum profitability is the sole purpose of the organization.
Experience and traits of an entrepreneur can either promote or retard appropriate opportunity identification. According to schema theory, highly experienced entrepreneurs have enhanced opportunity identification and development schemas (Ucbasaran, Westhead and Wright, 2009). Through appropriate direction of attention and effective interpretation of information, the entrepreneurs can support the generation of new ideas. Nevertheless, highly experienced schemas are not without some biases due to their familiarity with the undertakings or over-confidence that can negatively affect their ability to effectively identify an opportunity (Ucbasaran, Westhead and Wright, 2015). Hill Halt Wood was formulated by directors who had vast experience in forestry management having worked for the Forestry Commission. Besides having gained knowledge on woodland management, the placement also made the entrepreneurs more resilient and patient making it possible to consider venturing in the business (Frith, McElwee and Somerville, 2009). Similarly, the founders of Seagate had a vast experience in technology, specifically, Alan Shugart, had worked for different technology-based organizations including IBM and Memorex Corp that enhanced his experience in the field. The familiarity of the entrepreneurs with their respective business environment contributed to the proper identification and exploitation of opportunities that proved to be successful.
Adequate information search also has significant influence on opportunity identification. The extent through which individuals get access to adequate information depends on various dimensions of human capital. The cognitive behaviour of the entrepreneur, level of knowledge and skills are some of the factors that influences the information search process and consequently impact on the opportunity identification process (Esterhuizen, Schutte and Du, 2012). Search behaviour is also bounded by the decision-making behaviour of the entrepreneur or the innovating team. Limited knowledge and lack of experience are factors that inhibit entrepreneurship activities due to its negative effects on information search and opportunity acquisition.
A look at the process of information search in the two organizations indicates that the knowledge and experience of the entrepreneurs contributed to effective identification of opportunities. The success of the new organizations created justifies the effectiveness of the opportunity identification and implementation process (Rae, 2007). Besides the knowledge and experience of the entrepreneurs, the effective identification of opportunities can be attributed to the novice nature of the teams involved. According to Hockerts (2017) experience may not strictly improve the opportunity identification ability of an entrepreneur, chances of over-confidence, illusion of control or blind spots subject to experience from past businesses may hinder effective information search and consequently entrepreneurial activity. As such it’s most likely that the experience and knowledge of the entrepreneurs were coupled with their innovativeness thus the effective information identification observed.
Networking is also an important factor in the process of entrepreneurship. According to Pittaway et al (2004) networking supports knowledge enhancement amongst entrepreneurs, promotes effective opportunity identification and improves access to vital information. Also, entrepreneurs are capable of dealing with business obstacles through networking. Companies that are owned by team of partners have a wide business and social networks that are likely to support entrepreneurial activities. Hall Halt Wood was formulated by two directors thus had a limited business network at its inception. However, along the developmental stages of the organization, the local community was involved in the business that further enhanced the business and social networks of the company. The implications of such networks were an enhanced performance of the social enterprise through the many innovations undertaken by the company.
Similarly, Seagate technology was formulated by a group or partners that enhanced the size of its social and business network. The company had more diversified skills and expertise that enhanced the ability of entrepreneurs to identify the right opportunities and effectively execute the same (Seagate, n.d). The production of unique and high quality storage devices is attributed to the large networks within the business and in the social cycles of the entrepreneurs. As much as networking is considered an enabler of entrepreneurial activities, the effectiveness of the networks in assisting the entrepreneurs gain access to the right opportunities and resources remains unclear. Also, the desired nature of the networks that will promote entrepreneurship has not been clearly outlined. Additional studies focusing on the effectiveness of the networks is desired to evaluate their performance in supporting entrepreneurial activities.

After identification of the right opportunity, the next step in entrepreneurship is the acquisition of resources and their effective management to exploit the opportunity presented. A number of factors exists that can either support or retard the full exploitation of the opportunity presented. Resource acquisition is one of the factors that can either enable or hinder the execution of an entrepreneurship activity. According to Thompson and Downing (2007) assets and resources to an organization such as human, physical, social, organizational and physical resources are accumulated throughout the entrepreneurial career of an individual. According to the resource-based theory quality and adequate human resources is believed to result in an enhanced probability of venture success (Alvarez and Barney, 2017). Financial and social resources are also believed to have direct positive impacts on the successful outcome of any entrepreneurial activity (Phillips et al., 2015). The involvement of the entire community in the operations at Hill Halt Wood ensured provided the adequate human capital needed in the social enterprise. As much as Hill Halt Wood is a social enterprise, the founders focused on achieving an economically and socially sustainable organization. The financial resources available thus enhanced the entrepreneurial activities undertaken within the organization.
On the other hand Seagate Technology had adequate human resources that supported the execution of the innovative activities. Besides the founders of the organization, an innovation team existed that was charged with the responsibility of new product development (Seagate, n.d). The adequate human capital available at Seagate supported the attainment of a positive outcome from the entrepreneurial activities. However, the limited financial resources inhibited further execution of innovative tasks. Even though Seagate was profitable in its first years of operation, the company growth stagnated due to the limited financial resources at its disposal, justifying the importance of resources to any new venture. Nevertheless, resources alone cannot be sufficient to support the attainment of a successful outcome. Entrepreneurs are expected to improve their skills and knowledge to achieve a sustainable competitive advantage in their entrepreneurial activities.

Conclusion and Recommendations
Entrepreneurial activities in Seagate Technology and Hill Holt Wood were largely influenced by the behaviour and characteristics of the entrepreneurs. The creativity and innovative nature of the founders of Hill Holt Wood and the Seagate’s innovative team resulted in the creation of the organization and their consequent involvement in the provision of unique products and services. Also, the high level of knowledge and experience exhibited by the entrepreneurs supported the entrepreneurial activities. While motivation was an entrepreneurship enabling factor in the case of Hill Holt wood, it was an inhibiting factor in the context of Seagate since the product development team were less motivated.
Collaboration amongst the stakeholders was an entrepreneurship enabling factor in the context of Seagate Technology. However, it was a major challenge to the success of Hill Halt Wood due to lack of proper collaboration between the entrepreneurs and other relevant stakeholders. Other factors such as appropriate opportunity identification, adequate information search and networking evident in both Seagate and Hill Halt Wood promoted the entrepreneurial activities observed in the organization. While resource acquisition and management was not a major challenge in the case of Hill Halt Wood, the inadequate finances in the context of Seagate was a major barrier to the successful implementation of the entrepreneurial activities.
Despite the challenges experienced by Hill Halt Wood and Seagate Technology in their entrepreneurship process, the organization still managed to report some level of success. However to improve their competitive advantage, it is recommended that
Hill Holt wood improves the creativity and innovative abilities of its workers. Instead of relying on the innate creativity and innovative abilities of the community, the organization should support the novelty of individuals through constant training and involving them in research and development. This will not only enhance their information search ability, but will also improve their capability in opportunity identification. Better outcome in innovation and performance of the social enterprise is likely to be reported.
Hilt Holt Wood should also communicate the benefits of its services and products to various stakeholders to convince them to take part in the entrepreneurial activity. Improving its collaboration with the stakeholders, especially the government will improve the performance of the enterprise
Seagate Technology should offer additional rewards to its product development team, to enhance their motivation and consequently improve their efforts towards innovation.

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