London college unit 3 Organizations and Behaviour

HND Business assignment help brings solution of london college organizations and behaviour assignment, discusses about the organization culture and behaviour.

Task 1

Hierarchical and flatter organizational structures are the two major types of structures which are usually followed by the organizations:

a) Discuss the advantages and disadvantages to Zappos

(i) if they maintain a traditional hierarchical structure, and (ii) if they adopt a flatter structure.

Hierarchical organization structure is one of most used structures used by the organization. In the organizations with large number of employees it becomes difficult to handle so many employees. In hierarchical structure there will be one person at the top and he will be looking on few managers. Under these managers also there will be some employees who will directly report to the manager but not to the top most executives. Zappos used to follow it from its start and now it has become old. Now Zappos want to shift itself from hierarchical structure to flatter structure. Hierarchical structure has some benefits as well as some disadvantages also. In the hierarchical structure every employee has a leader who he can contact in case of any issue (Child, 1972). He will get proper guidance and there will not be much delay in completing the tasks. All the employees will be clear of their roles and responsibilities and they will be knowing when and how to complete their tasks. Structure of the organization will be more organized. Employees will be more connected to their teams and there will be more feeling of working in team in employees. Hierarchical structure will have some disadvantages also. Employees will get very less opportunity to join other projects and they will not be able to develop their skills and competencies. Work environment will not be friendly and cordial. There will be more feeling of jealously and competition. Low level employees of Zappos will not be able to talk to the top level executives directly to put forward their concerns and issues.

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In flatter organization structure there will not be any middle level managers in Zappos and all the employees will be at same level. There will be only one person at the top. Zappos is planning to implement flatter structure in the organization and it will also have some advantages and disadvantages to the organization. All the employees will get freedom and they can think out of the box to do some innovation and can come up with new ideas which will be very beneficial for the organization. Employees will be more empowered and motivated. All the employees will get an opportunity to lead. It will also create some flexibility in the workplace. This structure will have some disadvantages also like roles and responsibilities will not be clear as employee will working in more than one project. Everyone will be empowered and thin can create conflicts and hence can stop the smooth running of the operations.

We studied various points and discussed the advantages and disadvantages of flatter structure but I believe that for Zappos flatter structure will work and it will have more benefits as compared to the hierarchical structure as it has just 15000 numbers of employees in the organization.

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b) Explain how the new organizational structure and culture may impact on both employee and organizational performance.

We discussed the impacts of organization structure on the organization and also on the employees. In this task we will discuss the impact of organization culture on the performance of employees and the organization. Organization culture includes the environment in the workplace, values and principles followed by the employees, beliefs and habits of the employees etc. (Hanges, 2004). Behaviour of the employees is also an important part of organization culture. The major organization cultures which are present in the organizations are clan organization culture, adhocracy organization culture, market oriented and hierarchy organizational culture. All the cultures have different impacts on the performance of employees and the organization. Clan organization culture can be found in flatter structure it will be suitable for Zappos. In this culture employees live like friends and family and they are empowered. Employees are always ready to help each other without any feeling of jealousy. It leads to more empowerment and motivation of the employees. Employees get flexibility in the organization. Traditionally Zappos was following hierarchical culture and structure. It has also lots of benefits for the organization as it keeps the organization more organized and structure. The other important organizational structure is market oriented structure. It helps in getting better and accurate results for the organization. Employees stay motivated to beat the competition in market oriented organization structure.

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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 style also changes with the change in organizational culture. Zappos is planning to implement flatter organization structure and it will surely have great impact on the management and leadership style. Management or leadership style is defined as the way of managing all the operations and way of leading all the team members is called leadership style (Blanchard, 1985). We have seen many leadership and management style used by the organizations and some of them are as follows:

Management or Leadership Style Explanation
Affiliative  In clan organization structure where we have friendly environment in the organization clan leadership style is usually followed. Zappos is planning to have this type of leadership style and it will be helpful in keeping the employees encouraged and motivated.  
Participative  Managers and leaders encourage the employees to participate in as much initiatives as possible. Employees are given freedom to work in their own way. It is also called as democratic leadership style.  
Pacesetting  This type of leadership style focuses on the quality of the work. Product or service should be of high standard. Managers lead from front and set example for his team members.  
Coaching  In this type managers try to develop skills and competencies of the employee for long term use. Mangers teach employees while working and encourage them to develop their strengths and work on their weaknesses.  
Directive  It is not one of the recommended leadership styles. Coercion is the way used by the leaders in this style of leadership. Leader misuses his power and try to get the job done forcefully from the employees. This type of style is not used by Zappos because Zappos believe in employee satisfaction which is not possible with the help of this leadership style. Managers monitor the work done by the employees very closely and instead of motivating and encouraging they criticize the employees.  
Authoritative  This type of leadership style is usually followed in case of hierarchical organizational culture. Managers and the leaders set up long term and short term goals of the organization and encourage employees to achieve them by giving awards and rewards to motivate them. Managers try to align employees with the mission and vision of the organization.  

Zappos was started its online shoes business in 1999 and it has been following the traditional leadership style since its exception. Authoritarian leadership style can also be considered as one of the traditional styles followed by Zappos.

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Amazon acquired Zappos and organization got its new CEO (Ozlen, 2012). New CEO is Tony Hsieh and he is in the planning of introducing new leadership or management style in the organization. He is planning to covert hierarchical structure into flatter structure. Holacracy is the new style and it is very different from the traditional style followed by Zappos. In the new style power will be given to employees to take their own decisions. They will be allowed to choose the department they want to choose depending upon their interests. There will be flexibility for all the employees. This type of structure can come under participative leadership style which is like democracy in a country. It might have some disadvantages also for the organization. There will be some free riders who don’t want to work and it might lead to decrease in the productivity.

CEO of amazon, Jeffrey Bezos introduced this leadership style. Organization has lesser number of employees so it is easy to implement this structure in the organization. He was not afraid in taking risks and this could be seen in one of his brave strategies where he allowed to other vendors to put their products on website. It might have led to loss in revenue for Amazon but it was successful strategy in keeping the customers satisfies. Customer service was the main agenda of Jeffrey and he was successful in it with the help of his leadership style. It is not just the customers but employee satisfaction is also very important for the success of any organization. This can be done by giving flexibility and freedom to the employees. Zappos is planning to do that with the help of flatter organization structure.

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Task 3

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

Leadership or management style is very important part of organizational behaviour. As we discussed above that Zappos is planning to implement flatter structure and democratic leadership style in which all the employees will be having some leadership responsibilities and employees will be empowered. They will be able to take decisions without consulting with the senior. It will surely have a positive impact on the motivation of the employees. Organization and also the employees will be benefitted from the new management and leadership style. Employees will be able to choose the departments according to their own wish and it will give them more opportunities and hence they will stay motivated and encourages towards their goals and objectives. Employees will be more confident as power will be equally distributed. There will not be any case of discrimination on the basis of job levels. No one will be able to misuse his power. All the decisions and operations in the organization will be transparent without any conflicts and issues. Organization will be politics free. We have seen that politics happen to keep your senior happy and when all the employees will be at the same level there will not be any politics. It will also help in reducing problems like fights, conflicts, discrimination on the basis of caste, religion, sex, race etc. Employees will feel safe and they will know that there is one way of progress and that is performance and no politics. New structure will also have plans for awards and rewards for the employees and tis will also motivate employees for better performance for themselves and also for the organization. Traditional system focused on just performance without considering the issues and concerns of the employees. New Holacracy style will surely help in motivating and encouraging employees as compared to the traditional method (McGregor, 1966). It will give employee freedom to raise their concerns and issues directly to the top management. This method will also focus on training and developing employees personally and professionally to be competent in this high competition. Organization will focus on self-managed learning and employees will be motivated to develop a plan for their development. SWOT analysis of the employees will be done to find out their weaknesses and then proper trainings and sessions will be arranged to get rid of their weaknesses and to develop their skills and competencies. It will make employees motivated and confidant.

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b) Clearly defined job titles, responsibilities and authority have traditionally been used as a means of motiving employees. Under the new organization structure there are no job titles or managers. Critically discuss the alternative approaches Zippos can use to motivate the staff

In the new holacracy style of management in Zappos there will not be any job titles as they are planning to implement flatter organization structure where we don’t have any middle level managers. There will be some circles and all the employees will be at the same level. All the initiatives Zappos is planning to implement will be motivating for the employees in the organization. We know that job titles, roles, responsibilities, power etc. are motivating factors but Zappos need to find out some other ways also to motivate its employee force as these titles will not be there. Below are some of the other ways which can be used to motivate the employees in Zappos:

  • Human resource management is a very important part of any organization. It needs to focus only on the employees concerns and issues. Zappos need to have experienced staff in the human resource department who is able to take care of any type of issues and they can make the employee happy and satisfied. It will lead to employees’ motivation.
  • There need to be a proper appraisal system which will be able to measure the performance of the employees at the end of certain period of time. Good performers should be awarded and rewarded and bad performers should be given some training and help them in improving the performance (Campbell, 1988).
  • Other way is to empower the employees and give them freedom to take their own decisions. It will help in motivating employees.
  • Other way is to add a bonus component in the salary of employees. Employees will be paid that bonus on the basis of performance or rating in the appraisal cycle. Best performers should be given 100 % of that bonus component and lowest performers should not be given that bonus.

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

In marketing we have studied that customer satisfaction is the most important thing. All the marketing activities should be towards providing quality products and services to the customers. But in Human Resource Management and in Organization Behaviour employee satisfaction is given the most importance. It says employee satisfaction lead to motivation and motivation lead to better performance and better performance lead to customer satisfaction (Latham, 2004). With the increase in employee’s motivation his performance improves and the organization’s performance also increases. Following are some of the benefits of motivation to both Zappos and its employees:

Lower attrition rate: There are huge opportunities in the market that after working for some years employees try to look for some other organization and this is because of un-satisfaction of the employees with the current organization. But if Zappos will be able to keep employees satisfied and motivated and provide them opportunities for growth and development it will lead to lesser attrition rate in the organization.

Lower cost: Recruitment and training of new employees require lots of money and time and it costs the organization a lot. But if Zappos is able to motivate employees for self-managed learning it will reduce the cost and time on these activities.

Better Workplace Environment: Motivation will lead to positive attitude among the employees. Employee will stay friendly and cordial with each other and Zappos will become one of the best organizations to work with. Employee morale will be higher and he will be motivated.

Task 4

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

An individual cannot run the entire organization and there is a strong need of team work in any organization for its success. Zappos is implementing new flatter structure where employees will be divided into groups and circles i.e. teams. There will be some changes in the behaviour and dynamics of groups. New structure will definitely lead to some impacts on the team behaviour in Zappos. When all the employees in a team are at the same level then everyone will get a chance to raise their concerns and points. There will not be any fear of seniors and hence it will also lead to chances of getting new ideas which can be very helpful for the performance of team and of entire organization. It will also lead to reduction of conflicts and fights in the team (Bowers, 1994). There will be cases of discrimination on the basis of caste, religion, sex, race etc. There will not be ant biasness in the organization as the top executive will see everyone equally and all of them will get equal opportunities of growth and development in the organization. Employees will be able to perform better and it will lead to increase in the efficiency and effectiveness of the team. Employees will get opportunity to choose any of the department he wants to work. He can choose any of the 400 circles in Zappos. Teams can also be chosen by the employees. It will make employees comfortable with other team members. Friends can stay in one team and they can have fun while working and will be able to co-ordinate well. Attrition rate in the team will increase which will help in the reduction of cost for the organization. There will not be anything secret in the team. We have seen that sometimes seniors do not share all the information with the team but in Zappos there will be transparency and information will be shared with everyone. Teams will be politics free and there will not be any biasness in the organization. Employees will be rated only on the basis of performance and there will not be any space for politics in Zappos.

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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.

New flatter structure will be very helpful in the success of the organization and also in making the teams more effective and efficient. But just changing the structure is not sufficient Zappos gas to implement some more strategies to develop and promote effective team work. Technology can play a very important role in making team’s effective (Lovelock, 1995). Communication channels should be set up for proper sharing of information. All the employees should be given personal computers and all of the employees should have access to internet. There should be intranet in the organization with the help of which employees can interact with each other. Emails, chatting, phones, notice boards etc. are some of the communication channels which can be implemented in the organization. Skype or video conferences can be used for team meetings. It will help in meeting between the team members from different locations. Employees need not come to the other location for just a half an hour meeting. It will help in saving lots of cost and money for the money. All the employees in a team should be given opportunity to put their points forward. Teams’ performance should also be rewarded. It will encourage employees to work together for a common goal.

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Organizational structure and culture is very important for any organization’s success. Zappos has been using traditional hierarchical structure since its inception but now it is planning to implement flatter organization structure which will be very helpful for the better performance of the employees and the organization. It will give employees more flexibility and employees will be empowered. Employees will stay confidant and motivated. It will also help in better team work and all the team players will work together for a common goal. 


Blanchard, K. H., Zigarmi, P., Zigarmi, D., & Blanchard, K. 1985. Leadership and the one minute manager: Increasing effectiveness through situational leadership. New York: Morrow. Bowers, C. A., Baker, D. P., & Salas, E. 1994. Measuring the importance of teamwork: The reliability and validity of job/task analysis indices for team-training design. Military Psychology, 6(4), 205-214. Campbell, D. J., Campbell, K. M., & Chia, H. B. 1998. Merit pay, performance appraisal, and individual motivation: An analysis and alternative. Human Resource Management, 37(2), 131-146.

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