On June 7, 2007, the Economist published a special issue on the American corporation Apple. The article described how the firm's co-founder Steve Jobs reinvented Apple as a consumerelectronic company after the company almost went bankrupt more than a decade ago. Jobs made the company into one of today's most innovative global firms (the iPod music-player and iPhone are examples of its products). Mary Guy (1989) calls this phenomenon the Phoenix Syndrome. As a metaphor, the Phoenix Syndrome describes an organization's decline to its virtual dissolution, followed by its transformation and renewal, rising from its own “ashes” to thrive again. This process is initiated by a downward spiral of decline, bringing an organization to the edge of self-destruction. However, rather than failing, the organization rises from the dead to flourish once again. As the Apple example indicates, some firms even come back stronger and more successful than they were before.


Research Objective Restructuring Process Organizational Slack American Corporation Corporate Restructuring 
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© Gabler | GWV Fachverlage GmbH 2009

Authors and Affiliations

  • Achim Schmitt

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