Analysis Of Amazon's Organizational Culture

707 Words 3 Pages
‘Employees are not a priority at Amazon’ was a statement made by the recent New York Times article exposing the dehumanizing, backstabbing, and competitive environment of Amazon.
If employees are not the centre of the organization’s culture, who is?

Organizational culture refers to the values, beliefs and norms, which governs how people behave in an organization (Jeanes, 2015) and the driving force behind it guides a company to success. This essay will explore the culture of Amazon’s white-collar employees and their interactions within the hierarchy, through various theories to determine the ultimate driving force of the company. The overarching theories used include Schein’s Iceberg Model, focusing on whether Amazon’s culture is transparent
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Firstly, it is important to acknowledge Bezos’ career began in computer science on Wall Street, which greatly influenced his leadership tactics and visions of Amazon’s culture (NYT, 2015). He created the 14 Leadership Principles (Amazon, 2015), the values that employees must incorporate in their working habits in order to fit the culture and working environment, and completely disregard human interaction and emotional intelligence. Similarly, when Bezos receives customer complaints through his public email address, he forwards it to the corresponding team with a question mark, creating a ‘ticking time bomb’ (Bloomberg, 2013) for the employees. This is Bezos’ way of enforcing one of his core principles of customer service/obsession. Even though these principles align employees standards with the standards of Amazon, this creates constant tension, the ranking of employees and intimidation from the top because they have to live up to constantly evolving …show more content…
Fundamentally, these are difficult to verbally identify and explain as they relate to Deal and Kennedy’s (1982) definition of culture: ‘it’s the way we do things around here.’ The unconsciously embedded assumptions are the most difficult to measure and evaluate, especially when Amazon’s employee turnover is at an ultimate high. According to former employees, the underlying assumption that guide behaviour and how members perceive Amazon are based on the idea that their hard work would pay-off, in hopes of becoming wealthy by the stocks awarded (BBC, 2014). Another underlying assumption is based on Amazon’s ‘Survival of the Fittest’ environment, where competitive employees battle amongst each other, to stay in the company, progress and succeed. The power of Amazon’s culture dominates through this almost forbidden assumption that is shared and mutually reinforced (Schein, 2004) through various tools implemented by higher management. Employees are expected to re-interview for their job, while in that position and receive constant reminders that people outside want their job (Gawker.com, 2015) which underlines that competitiveness is a dominant trait which characterizes a generic Amazon white-collar employee; the nature of the office is an unconscious act built around these natural

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