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Module Title: Leading International Business


Module Code: BU5012

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Module Leader: Ian Shotton


Element Number: 1


Assessment number:


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Terms of Reference


A report submitted for the Amazons organisational behaviour for the
fulfilment of requirements for Course BU5012, Department of International
Business Management, University of Chester.






























An Analytical Report on Amazons Organisational Behaviour



Content Page


1.0       Introduction………………………………………….pg. 5


2.0       Task One ……………………………………………pg. 5 – 6

2.1       Organisational Culture…………………… 5 – 6


3.0       Task Two…………………………………………… 6 – 8

3.1       Individual needs and
motivation ……..……… 6 – 8


4.0       Task Three……………………………..…………… 8  

4.1       Functioning of effective
groups and teams……………………………………..………pg. 8 


5.0       Task Four……………………………..…………… 9 – 10 

5.1       Leadership and management
style……………………………………..………pg. 9 – 10 


6.0       Conclusion……………………………………………….pg. 10


7.0       References ………………………………….……pg. 11



An Executive



This report examines and evaluates Amazon,
considering a recent story in the New York Times “Inside Amazon: Wrestling
Big Ideas in a Bruising Workplace”. This report provides an overview of
Amazon’s Organisational Behaviour through different concepts. The overall aim
of the report is to evaluate the Behaviour of Amazon’s over all organisational
performance by analysing a range of concepts such as organisational culture,
Individual needs and motivation, Functioning of effective groups and teams and
Leadership and management style.























1.0 Introduction


This repost will consider a recent story in
the New York Times “Inside Amazon: Wrestling Big Ideas in a Bruising
Workplace”. Looking inside Amazon, going over a number of aspects of the
work, its culture and the management of the workforce. Different concepts of
Organisational Behaviour will be used to review Amazons approach to management
practice and management style.



2.1 Organisational Culture


Each organization has its own particular
culture. Since numerous employees work at least 40 hours in their working
environment, their organization’s way of life clearly influences both their
work lives and in addition their own lives. Organization culture refers to the
beliefs, standards and qualities that the people of an organization share. This
culture is a deciding element in the achievement of the organization.

Cross & Carbery (2016) defines
organizational culture “the basic pattern of shared assumptions, values,
beliefs, and practices that govern behaviour in an organization; they are
transmitted (and sometimes adapted) from one generation of employees to the
next, and observed by all new organizational members”. Amazon has
organizational culture that empowers business ability to react to the requests
of the e-commerce market. Amazon’s organizational culture pushes workers to go
past everyday points of values and traditions to grow impressive thoughts and
measures. As the world’s best performing online retailer, the organisation has
been exposed for how they treat their employees and what the workplace is like.
However, in the New York Times a significant number of employees, including
members of the leadership team, human resources executives, marketers, retail
specialists and engineers, described Amazon’s Organisational culture as high
demanding, with unmanageable pressure and employee distress. Interviewees
portrayed a consistent fight to accommodate the rebuffing, even harsh parts of
their working environment with the thrilling power of matching ambition with


Introducing Handy’s Organisational Culture
model to identify what type of culture Amazon has. Handy defines culture as the
way individuals live and follow unwritten rules and norms (Harrison &
Klein, 2007). Handy’s Organisational culture model is classified into four different
types: the power culture, the role culture, the task culture, and the person or
support culture. Power culture is focused among a few people, in the hands
of one leader or a small group of individuals only, this type of culture is
based on the work of individuals; performance and success are significant
elements of it. Role culture is control from an individual’s position; there is
strict control, and the roles inside such organisations are more important than
people. Task culture is the structure such cultures resemble as matrix, where
those people with ability pick up control as opposed to those having great
positions or strong personalities, these associations are adaptable and
versatile. Person culture is where people remain in the middle of organisations,
which fundamentally have no structure as these cultures are comprised of
non-coordinating people making a bunch (Butler and Rose, 2011).


Amazons current Organisational culture based
on the New York Times is Power. There is strong power culture in amazon when it
comes to firing staff, as only a small group of people are authorised to make
decisions. Kantor & Streitfeld (2018) explains “Performance is debated in
front of higher-level managers. As the hours pass, successive rounds of
managers leave the room, knowing that those who remain will determine their
fates”. In such a culture the employees have no alternative however to entirely
take after their manager’s instructions. Employees have no control of this
situation and have to hear everything they are told, they don’t have the
freedom to express their views or offer their thoughts and need to take after
what the managers says.



3.1 Individual needs and motivation


One of the most important tasks in making a
high-performance culture is dealing with employee’s individual needs. At the
point when employee needs are met, and employees feel lined up with the
mission, vision and values of the organisation, they react with large amounts
of engagement and responsibility: They come to work with excitement and will go
the additional mile to help the association in its undertakings.


Kantor & Streitfeld (2018) state in the
New York Times article “Amazon, though, offers no pretence that catering employees
is a priority”. This piece from the article states that amazon have no clear
intentions of looking after or treating their employees the way other major
organisations look after their employees. However, Amazons competitors Google
and Facebook motivate employees with gyms, meals and benefits (Kantor &
Streitfeld 2018). If Amazon’s employees are aware of this information it can
demotivate them and this can cause Amazon to lose employees too. Demotivated
employees can lead to decreased productivity and allow an organisation to not
achieve higher levels of output. This can lead to employees not wanting to work
or even come into work. “Motivation is defined as the psychological processes
that drive behaviour towards the attainment or avoidance of some object” (Clegg
et al). There are several reasons why employee motivation is important.


According to Herzberg, two kinds of factors
affect motivation, and they do it in different ways: Hygiene Factors and
Motivators. Herzberg had close connections with Maslow and had confidence in a
two-factor hypothesis of inspiration. He contended that there were sure factors
that a business could present that would specifically persuade employees to
work harder (motivators), however, there is another factor that would de-motivate
employees but rather would not in themselves really persuade employees to work
harder (hygiene factors) (Harrison & Klein, 2007).

Amazon have both of these factors within
their organisation. An interviewee in The New York Times article states “If
you’re a good Amazonian, you become an Amabot” (Kantor & Streitfeld 2018).
Becoming one with the system for Amazon’s employees is vital for them to fit
in. This is a brilliant motivator for the employees of amazon as it gives them
something to look forward to. The fact that employees are able to step up in
their workplace and become and ‘Amabot’ is a Hygiene factor, this will make
them want to turn up to work as that is the only thing required for them to be
able to become a Amabot. By improving the nature and content of the actual job
through certain methods Amazon will continue to succeed. A positive workplace
is the basic element that will get Amazon to the top. It can be difficult to
encourage employee motivation at the workplace, however, in order to achieve a
high level of employee productivity, management needs to encourage a positive
workplace environment.



4.1 Functioning of effective groups and teams


Groups and teams are different but they both
can have the same effect on employees and even the Amazon itself. “Feeling part
of a Group or team can be motivating, energising and rewarding, and
collaborating is a great way of sharing resources and getting things done”
(Cross & Carbery 2016). Mindful effort is needed to help groups of
individuals work together as a team. Teams can experience difficulties working
together at times, but this is a normal aspect of group or organisational
life. “Psychologist Bruce Tuckman first came up with the memorable phrase
‘forming, storming, norming, performing and adjuring’ in his 1965 article, Developmental Sequence in Small Groups. He used it to describe the path that
most teams follow on their way to high performance. Later, he added a fifth
stage, adjourning” explained by Jackson (2018). Amazon tend to skip the first
four stages of this model focus on just the Adjuring stage as there is no sign
of employees at amazon being advised to work as a group or team, instead they
are encouraged to tear apart one another’s ideas in meetings (Kantor &
Streitfeld 2018). An issue had occurred with one of the member of staff at
Amazon, “A former Army Captain who served in Iraq, joined Amazon to manage
housewares vendors and was thrilled to find that a large company could feel so
energetic and entrepreneurial. After she had a child, she arranged with her
boss to be in the office from 7 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. each day, pick up her baby
and often return to her laptop later” (Kantor & Streitfeld 2018). This made
the rest of the team angry as they didn’t see how early she arrived at work to
start her shift, this lead to her team forwarding negative feedback to her
manager. The article clearly states the employees at Amazon make their
employees feel like they are in competition with their colleagues, which can
make them feel like they are incapable in working in groups and teams.




5. 1 Leadership and management style


There is a reasonable difference between
management and leadership, the differences are in how they are shown. In any
case, for each association or authority advisor or administration master, there
is an alternate definition. One thing is clear in the management and leadership
issue, however: solid management and solid leadership are vital for
performance. Cross & Carbery (2016) stated “Management is a systematic way
of making people and technology work proficiently. Leadership is creating those
systems and looking for opportunities to improve”. Since Amazon’s workplace has
been describes as an intense place to work, they still run the organisation on
high management styles.

“Employees often say their co-workers are the
sharpest, most committed colleges they have ever met, taking to heart
instructions in the leadership principles like “never settle” and “no task is
beneath them” (Kantor & Streitfeld 2018). Leaders at Amazon have
relentlessly high standards, many people may think these standards are
unreasonably high. Leaders are continually raising the bar and driving their
teams to deliver high quality products, services and processes. Leaders ensure
that defects do not get sent down the line and that problems are fixed so they
stay fixed. Mr. Bezos’ management style is to a great extent affected by his
marginal rough personality, including an eagerness to tell others how to
behave; an instinct for bluntness bordering on confrontation; and an
overarching confidence in the power of metrics,” (Kantor & Streitfeld
2018) wrote.


From its initial years, Mr. Bezos drove
Amazon to oppose the powers he thought shackle organizations and furthest point
potential: “Bureaucracy, profligate spending and lack of
rigor,” as indicated by the report. Consequently, Mr. Bezos classified
a significant number of his counterintuitive workplace ideas into a simple
instruction manual called The Articles of Faith. These rules help enrol and
build up a detachment of world class workers. They also helped workers to
constantly prove their worth, outperform their colleagues and even sabotage
their careers. Amazon’s management style can also be seen as insensitive.
Employees who were affected by personal hardship, including cancer,
miscarriages and other personal crises, said they were unfairly judged or pushed
out without sufficient time to recover and perform at their highest ability,
explained by Kantor & Streitfeld (2018). The mother of a stillborn child
told The New York Times “I had just experienced the most devastating
event in my life.” She was soon after informed her performance would be
monitored “to make sure my focus stayed on my job.” She soon left the



6.0 Conclusion


In conclusion Amazon’s Organisational
behaviour doesn’t make it the greatest place for anyone to work. Especially
when considering that their competitors are able to fulfil their employee’s
individual needs, something that Amazon won’t do due to managerial decisions.
Amazons Organisational culture is high demanding, with unmanageable pressure
which has caused a big amount of employee distress. The organisation has made
their employees believe that working as an individual is more appropriate than
working within or as a group or team, as Kantor & Streitfeld (2018)
mentioned “More than few who fled said they later realised they had become
addicted to Amazon’s way of working”, this can be something to fear as it can
ruin employee’s thoughts when working for a different organisation. Since
Amazon’s Organisational culture has been exposed they have ignored all bad press
and feedback, as Mr. Bezos believes in his ‘organisations’ culture and that is
the reason for it being so successful today














7.0       References


Butler, M., & Rose, E.
(2011). Introduction to Organisational behaviour. London: Chartered Institute
of Personnel and Development.


Clegg, S., Kornberger, M., & Pitsis, T.
(2011). Managing & Organisations an Introduction To Theory &
Practice (3rd ed.). London: SAGE Publications.


Cross, C., & Carbery, R.
(2016). Organisational behaviour. New York: Palgrave.


HARRISON, D., & KLEIN, K. (2007). WHAT’S
ORGANIZATIONS. Academy Of Management Review, 32(4), 1199-1228.


Jackson, K. (2018). Forming, Storming,
Norming, and Performing: Understanding the Stages of Team
Formation. Retrieved 6 January 2018, from


Kantor, J., & Streitfeld, D. (2018).
Inside Amazon: Wrestling Big Ideas in a Bruising Workplace. The New York
Times. Retrieved from


Stone, M. (2018). Here are the 14 rules
behind Amazon’s brutal workplace. Business Insider. Retrieved 3 January
2018, from


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