HNC Unit 3 Organizations and Behaviour Assignment

This is solution of HNC organizations behaviour assignment given City of london college, discusses about Zappos store.


Organisation structure plays a very pivotal role in the existence of any organisation (Diefenbach & Sillince, 2011). The report will discuss in detail about the company called Zappos which is in a middle of implementing a new structure in the organisation. The report will discuss in detail how such big and significant changes can be bought without impacting the business culture and working conditions. The report will also discuss in detail about the Holacracy which Zappos has adopted and how this structure will benefit the organisation in the long run.

Task 1

a) Discuss the advantages and disadvantages to Zappos (i) if they maintain a traditional hierarchical structure, and (ii) if they adopt a flatter structure.

Advantages of traditional hierarchical structure

  • In hierarchical structure, workers can easily visualize the defined structure and levels of leadership (Diefenbach & Sillince, 2011). They also know in advance about the authority and the responsibility being assigned to everyone.
  • The only criteria on the basis of which an employee can get the promotion is performance.
  • This structure focus on creating the experts who can perform their task well. Employees are asked to narrow their field of specialisation and focus on brushing up their skills on that specific field (Diefenbach & Sillince, 2011).
  • Employees become more loyal to their department and work for the betterment and the best interest for their area.

Disadvantages of traditional hierarchical structure

  • There is lack of communication among the departments and many times there is miscommunication among the departments due to which many organisations suffer (Diefenbach & Sillince, 2011).
  • Since employees are loyal to their specific departments because of which there is always a competition among the departments and rather than focusing on organisation performance they focus on their department success.
  • There is increased level of bureaucracy in the organisation which often come in between the growth of the organisation and increase the time spent on finishing the work which may increase the cost and clients may also complain (Daft, 2010).
  • The organisations have multiple layers of management because of which there are some designations which are not required and can be merged with other levels. These multiple layers results in unnecessary salaries distribution and unwanted increase in cost (Daft, 2010).
  • Increased cost at different levels decrease the overall efficiency of the organisation.
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Advantages of flatter structure

  • There are very few managers in the flat structure because of which the overall cost is very less.
  • There are lesser level of management so the chances of ambiguity is also very less.
  • Since there is less level, the communication is very effective and decisions can be taken very fast.
  • Communication is very effective as it is fast and clear because of less number of levels.
  • Employees are free from strict supervision and control unlike hierarchical structure.
  • This type of structure is more suitable for the standardised activities (Daft, 2010).

Disadvantages of flatter structure

  • Since this structure is very casual because of which the control of the manager is prone to more mistakes as he has to manage many subordinates.
  • The discipline also gets affected because of the casual control (Daft, 2010).
  • Many issues may arise because of teamwork because of confusion and ambiguity and there can also be issues of coordination between the subordinates.
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Task 2

Compare and contrast the leadership and management styles of Zappos with its parent company Amazon. Use appropriate management and leadership theories to underpin and justify your answer.

Leadership and management are two most important and critical steps for any organisation and plays a very important role in business success or failure. Amazon follows a completely different style of leadership and management style from that of Zappos (Northouse, 2012). The company is widely known for its CEO Jeff Bezos who is claimed to be among one of the richest CEO. Jeff is also known for its leadership and management style. People give example of him when asked about effective leadership. The company first started as website which uses to sell books online (Northouse, 2012).  But slowly the company transformed in one of the biggest online retailer in the world.

 The main reason for this giant success is claimed to be the perfect approach of the Jeff who gave the maximum importance to the customer and the company policy is pray the customer and do everything to make the customer happy. He make sure that all the complaints and feedback is directly headed towards him so that he can deal with them personally and question the concerned person about it. According to Jeff all the activities of any business revolves around the customer and meeting the needs and expectations. The direct contact with the customers by Jeff is quite terrifying for the employees and the team make sure that they meet the expectations set by them. Here if the leadership style of Jeff Bezos is discussed and analysed in detail then one will realise that his leadership style is more of a situational style of leadership. In this type of leadership, the leader first analyse the situation which is existing in the organisation and then plan his or her action plan accordingly. The style of leadership is more situations driven. In this competition, any company have to work very hard in order to meet the changing demand of the customers (Northouse, 2012). For which it is important that the leadership style is also flexible and can adjust with the situation.

On the other hand, Zappos style of leadership and management style is more of transformational as the company believe in pampering the people working for them which in turn will lead to effective services. The main motive of the management of the company is get best out of the employees and their work. Zappos organisation follows a style which is more of transformational style of leadership where management is focusing more on the people and the employees rather than on work (Northouse, 2012). The company believe in motivating the employees so much so that they perform in the best way possible.

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Task 3

a) Examine how Zappos leadership style may affect the motivation of their employees during the organisational re-structuring.

Bringing structural change in the organisation is not a cake walk and the company has to work very hard in order to bring change in the organisation in the effective manner. The company has adopted Holacracy structure which is a unique style of structure. It focuses on eliminating the unnecessary layers in organisation by removing the need of designations and job title in the organisation (Jansen, 2011).

The initial challenge that the company can face while implementing this structure is that when employee doesn’t have to report to anybody and feel directionless. Instead they have to take responsibility of every task they undertake and it can be quite an issue to accept because they will be ultimately responsible for all the success and failure of the task (Jansen, 2011). This is the reason due to which the motivation level of the employees could be low and the company will have to address to this problem. Also the company will have mentors to guide the employee and the role these guides will be very significant since they will be one who can motivate the employees and boost their confidence.

Also, since the company follow a transformational style of leadership so it can be very beneficial in the time of brining the structural change in the organisation because of the relationship between the employees and the leader or mentors (Jansen, 2011).

b)     Critically discuss the alternative approaches Zappos can use to motivate their staff.

In traditional hierarchical structure, companies have managers for different department and those managers focus on getting the work done by the employee and in case anything goes wrong then they will be held responsible for the failure. So the managers have to work very hard and make sure people working under them performs. For this purpose they have all the freedom to use any method for motivating the employees (Farndale et al, 2011). It can be extra monetary incentives or non-monetary incentives or it can be punishment of any type. In this type of structure there is less possibility of having an interpersonal relationship between the employee and the manager. They follow a strict professional repo with the employees and nothing more than that.

Source of motivation is usually incentives and appraisal which they receive after a fixed period of time and which is completely dependent on the will of manager for whom they are working. The employee needs to follow the targets set by the managers and strictly stick to the targets because that will be the benchmark for their good performance (Farndale et al, 2011). Quality is not given much importance because the main motive of the manager is get the work done as soon as possible which may also requires compromising on the quality.

While one the other hand the new structure Holacracy which is discussed in the case has a completely different approach and the system usually work on the quality of the work (Lumley et al, 2011). In this structure, need of any job titles completely eliminate and each employee is a boss of his or her own task. Every employee has to work and take their work in a way as if they are the owner of that task. In this type structure the employees are put into a circle where employees work as a group and they get a lot opportunity to perform better. This kind of approach makes the employee responsible and accountable towards the work they are doing. This will also motivate them to push their limit and give the best performance (Dzokoto et al, 2013). In addition to this, the organizational structure is more of adaptive and participative. So the group dynamics are very important and the company adopt all the steps to make it strong and efficient. The company focus on achieving the employee empowerment and pushing the employees to handle multi-tasking at the same time.

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Team working and group dynamics are very crucial in this case and work like a core area for this type of organisation. In this type of structure employees get the complete freedom to choose any nature of work and series of work according to their comfort which motivates them to perform in the best possible way. The company tries to induce a culture which free from any type of bad politics and can adapt any type change quickly (Lumley et al, 2011). The group efforts to achieve the success by working effectively automatically take the level of energy to perform in the best possible manner.

c)      Evaluate the benefits of motivation to both Zappos and its employees.

Motivation plays a very crucial role in performing the task in the best manner in any organisation. Companies spent a lot to make sure that the employees working for them are self-motivated or can be motivated by the efforts of the company so that they can perform in best possible manner in order to achieve the goals set by the company (Säfvenbom et al, 2014). A motivated employee can bring a lot of change in the organisation which can be boon for the company. Since the confidence of a self-motivated employee is very high and they are up for any type challenge, the company become capable to achieve the best results. This makes the process of achieving the set goal very easy as the employees have the zest and the zeal to perform in best possible manner.

Organisation these days adapts a lot of methods to motivate the employees in different manner. Motivating the employees in the right direction is very important as it help the company to guide the employee in the right direction and this way the company can achieve the best results. One way is to give the needs and want of the employee’s top priority and address them immediately (Säfvenbom et al, 2014). This way the company will be in touch of every employee on a personal level which results in boosting level of motivation of the employee to the very high level.

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This is a long term process and helps the company in the long run but if in case the company tries to adopt some temporary solution for motivating the employees, then it will be big loss for the company in the long run. Companies who follow this approach usually complain about the high turn-over rate and low working environment and also low motivation level in the long run.

Therefore, the biggest benefit of the motivated work force that it improves the quality of working culture which is prevailing in the organisation. The improved work culture will result in high level of productivity and achieving the goals in best possible manner. Motivation also helps in improving the overall efficiency of the organisation which help in achieving the effective result and getting the best out of the employees. The resources are also utilised in the best manner and the company can easily achieve the success in achieving the goal set for them.

Task 4

a)      Explain the behaviours and dynamics of groups, including the factors that may inhibit effective group formation and teamwork.

The term group is used at multiple places and in a society people often see different type of groups. When more than two numbers of people work together or connected with each other socially then it can be defined a group (Tohidi, 2011). In case of a company employees work in one large group and they are associated with each other because of their work. So in a group, the basic attitude of the employees is very important since they have to work together and the behaviour pattern needs to similar on a specific level (Tohidi, 2011). The group should also be formed keeping in mind the basic structure of the group which should be defined on the basis of the function. Not only this, group dynamics also play a crucial role when it has to deal with the interaction among the employees. Group dynamics can be significant topic for the functioning of any type of group whether it is a formal group or an informal group (Forsyth, 2010). There are so many factors which can determine the success and the failure of the organisation and effective group dynamics is one of them. The efficiency of a group is dependent on so many factors like a group can have a great impact of the structure of the organisation or resources on which group depends or it can be the process which the group has to follow. Some of the reasons are discussed in detail as follows: -

  1. Efficient resources: a group usually dependent on the basic capability of the group as a whole. Capability comes from the knowledge and the skills the company possess. Past experience and the overall personality also play a very crucial role (Forsyth, 2010). Any organisation where employees possess such features in a group can be successful in future.
  2. Structure of the group: it includes so many features like size of the group, role which a group has to perform, basic norms which a group follows and the level of cohesiveness in the group culture. The most important feature of any group is the size of the group which impact the overall performance of group. Number of employees in a group also plays a very crucial role as far as effectiveness of the group is concerned (Forsyth, 2010). More the employees in a group, the effectiveness of the group will be low and vice-a-versa. Role of group is also very important and every group should have a clear set of role and responsibilities. Group norms also play a very significant role in the structure and cohesiveness which is resulted from the bond that the people of the organisation share with each other. This brings unity in the group and the group members can work in the best way because of the bong and coordination they have.
  3. Basic process which the company follow: process is also very important factor which determine the effectiveness of a group (Forsyth, 2010). The process followed by the group results in efficient decision making because of the source of information is vast when people are working in a group. This in turn results in so many different alternatives in front of the group which they can adopt. Effective process also results in proper leadership and conflict and the differences can also be managed in much better way. Communication which is one of the best factors also improves in lot of ways.
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b) Discuss the strategies that Zappos can use to develop and promote effective teamwork. Examine the impact of technology on teamwork.

Zappos can adopt a lot of different type of business strategy which can improve the team work in the organisation. Teamwork is an important aspect of the business since people work a lot in a team. Following are some of the methods which a company can use to promote effective and efficient teamwork: -

  1. Goals and objectives play a very important role in a business and it is very important that the group has a common goal to follow. At the same time clarity of the goal is also very important (Levi, 2013). Communication should be very effective in an organisation for the clarity of goal in the mind of the group members.
  2. Level of commitment also plays a crucial role because this will result in efficient results since the commitment towards the work will be very high.
  3. Specialisation of work is being followed since ages because it help the team member as well as company to divide the work properly and the company will be satisfied that the work can be done in an effective manner because it is done by a group of people (Levi, 2013).
  4. Attitude and behavioural pattern also become an important aspect which a team has to consider because it is not about the individual anymore; it is about the overall group. Attitude of all the team members collectively plays a very important role.
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Now technology also plays a very crucial role in the business since these days the business has gone global and many a time people have to work at the same time sitting in different time zone. This becomes possible because of the technology which allows different people with different capabilities and different location to work together and that too at the same time (Levi, 2013). This way lot unnecessary cost is saved and efficiency and the effectiveness of the work are increased. There are many technologies which play a crucial role like emails, video conferencing and many more. Cost is saved in term of traveling and time can also be saved at the same time (Levi, 2013).


The report has discussed different aspects of organization and behaviour. The case mentioned in the case follow a unique type of structure that is Holacracy. The report has discussed in detail about how the change is adapted in any organisation and how Zappos can effectively implements the structural change in the firm. The report has also discussed the importance of group and group dynamics.


Diefenbach, T., & Sillince, J. A. 2011. Formal and informal hierarchy in different types of organization. Organization Studies32(11), 1515-1537. Daft, R. L. 2010. Organization theory and design. Cengage learning. Northouse, P. G. 2012. Leadership: Theory and practice. Sage Publications. Jansen, E. P. 2011. The effect of leadership style on the information receivers’ reaction to management accounting change. Management Accounting Research22(2), 105-124. Farndale, E., Hope-Hailey, V., & Kelliher, C. 2011. High commitment performance management: the roles of justice and trust. Personnel Review,40(1), 5-23. Dzokoto, F. K., Edum-Fotwe, F. T., & Demian, P. 2013. Information behaviour characteristics of project actors in organisation management.

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