Donna Dubinsky and Apple Computer, Inc Harvard Case Solution & Analysis

Problem Statement

Donna Dubinsky, the distribution manager of Apple Computer is against the newly proposed decision of Steve Jobs regarding the implementation of Just in Time inventory management system. This new distribution strategy will be quite effective as par stated by Jobs but Donna Dubinsky has other ideas. According to her, this new strategy is not needed as it is not viable neither financially nor practical.

Secondly, she also believes that this strategy will take the power away from her and her role in the organization will be minimized. This entire scenario resulted in a conflict which has occurred within the organization and keeping the conflict aside, Donna needs to decide on her future goals and the decision she needs to take regarding her future.

Situation Analysis

 To address the issues and to find out the major causes that are breeding the issues will be highlighted and addressed in this portion. The diagnosis of the issues is important in order to grab the idea that what are the real causes of concern for Donna and how she can overcome those issues.


Donna Dubinsky, the director of distribution and sales at Apple Inc., is facing a critical challenge in safeguarding her role in the company to the extent she is currently working. The chairman of the board Steve Jobs, who is also the general manager for the Macintosh Division, is not satisfied with the current distribution system and wants to replace it with a new method.

This new method has emerged recently on the scene and is known as just-in-time, which is a new phenomenon that will reduce the role of distribution team. The current situation indicates that Donna, who is handling the distribution quiet effectively, is afraid of the implementation of this new method as it will take some of her responsibilities away from her. In such scenario, she is not ready to accept this deal as she is of the view that the distribution is her domain, and she should have the right to make decisions and plans for it.

With the implementation of this new method, the role of manufacturing department will increase, and they will be in direct contact with the retailers. On the other hand, the need for the six distribution networks that the company has will reduce and in the future might lead to the elimination of these centers. Therefore, Donna Dubinsky is seriously worried about her future and is not even satisfied with her new role that will bring a serious decline in her importance as Director Distribution and Sales Administration. The scenario has turned into a conflict for which Donna has decided to resign and quit her job and seek for other opportunities. Donna firmly believes that the new approach is not feasible and will not be a good option for the long run.

Donna Dubinsky and Apple Computer, Inc Case Solution

Role Analysis

The issue is regarding the role of an individual in an organization and defining her responsibilities which are leading towards a conflict. After assessing the situation, it is assumed that a collaborative effort is required to implement a new method in the organization. However, this has not been implemented correctly, and an individualistic approach has been used. The purpose of the organization is to bring a significant organizational change by changing the distribution system and implementing a new approach that is according to the director of the board Steve Jobs is more effective.

Although the distribution system is working properly and is not showing any signs of distress and meeting the deadlines effectively, however, the objective is to cut the time short and establish stronger relationships in between the manufacturers and retailers. With this change, the company will eliminate the present distribution centers that will no longer be required and will impact the financial position in a positive manner.

However, the purpose is leading to a conflict as the director of distribution and sales administration Donna Dubinsky is not taken into discussion while designing this strategy. Although the objective of Jobs is quite clear and is aiming to benefit the organization but Donna’s views are different. On the other hand, the purpose of the organization, as described, aims to achieve cost effectiveness and save time simultaneously by decreasing the role of distribution team and brining more effectiveness in distributing to the retailers.....................

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