London College Unit 3 Organizations and Behaviour 2

In this london college organizations behaviour assignment, all the concepts of organization behaviour described with the help of two major organizations which are Zappos and Amazon.

Task 1

Discuss the advantages and disadvantages to Zappos

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

Traditional hierarchical structure is usually used in the organization with large number of employees. In this type of structure there is one person at the top who is usually called as Chief Executive Officer of an organization. Under the CEO there will be layer of some managers who will be handling their teams. Each employee will have someone to report (Child, 1973). This type of structure has some advantages and disadvantages for Zappos which are as follows:

Advantages of Hierarchical structure for Zappos:

  • All the operations management in the organization will be standardized and organized. Projects in the larger organizations can be delivered with the target timeline.
  • Roles and responsibilities of the employees will be clearly defined and they have to work according the already set rules and criteria. These roles and responsibilities will be aligned with the goals and objectives of the organization.
  • There will not be any confusion because one employee will be working in one project and he will be accountable to one manager.
  • Employees will have more feeling of team work.

Disadvantages of hierarchical structure for Zappos:

  • Employees will not be able to focus on their self personal and professional development as they will be working in one project at a time. Employees will not get opportunity to work in more departments.
  • There will be more feeling of competition and jealously as everyone will try to go one step up in the hierarchy.
  • Employees will not be able to raise their concerns and problems directly to the higher management.

Flatter organizational structures are those where wed don’t have any middle level managers. All the employees work in groups, circles or teams and all of them will be at the same level. There will not be any job titles and levels (Pfeffer, 2009). There will be only one executive at the top. Flatter structures are usually successful in the organizations with lesser number of employees like in Zappos.

Advantages of flatter structure for Zappos:

  • Employees will get freedom and they will be empowered.
  • Employees will be allowed to take decisions without approval from higher management and it will save time.
  • Employees will get flexibility and they will be motivated and will work for the better performance of the organization.
  • Employees in Zappos will be able to think out of the box and will get new ideas which will be very beneficial for the organization.
  • Employees will be able to develop their leadership qualities as they will get opportunity to lead.
advantages of flatter organization structure

Disadvantages of flatter structure for Zappos:

  • There will be confusion as roles and responsibilities of employees will not be decided beforehand. Employees will be working in more than one departments and it will create chaos in Zappos.
  • All the employees will be at the same level and everyone will try to put his points forward and it might lead to conflicts and fights in Zappos.
disadvantages of flatter organizational structure

After studying both the structures I believe that Zappos is doing right by implementing flatter structure in the organization as they have lesser number of employees in the organization.

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

Following are some of the points which explain the impact of organization culture on the performance of employees and also on the organization’s performance:

  • Zappos is trying to implement flatter structure and the types of initiatives they are planning to implement are signs of clan organizational culture. In this type of culture employees live like friends and family which is very motivational for all the employees in the organization.
  • Culture changes the attitude of the employees which makes them more motivated and encouraged towards the goals and objectives of the organization.
  • The other culture is adhocracy where managers give order to the employees and there is no sympathy between employees and also between employees and the managers.
  • Adhocracy culture leads to demotivation and it leads to increase in attrition rate in the organization.
  • Employees will not work for the organization but they work for their own benefits.
  • Market-oriented organization culture is one of the other important cultures followed by the organizations. This culture can get better and accurate results for the organization. Employees are also motivated in this type of culture.

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.

Motivation in the employees comes from his leader. Leader has to encourage and appraise his employees for better work in future. There are various qualities like communication skills, analytical skills, dedication etc. which needs to be present in an individual to be a better leader (Wilson, 2006). Leadership or management style is defined as the way of doing work with your team members or way of assigning tasks and getting 100 percent from the employees. There are various leadership styles which are usually followed by the organizations. We will try to study these styles and will try to find put the leadership style used by Zappos and Amazon:

  • Very friendly and cordial leadership style - This type of leadership style is usually found in clan organizational cultures and it is also called as affiliative leadership style. Employees and the leaders are very friendly with each other. Employees can anytime go to the leader and take suggestion. It creates very healthy environment in the organization. Zappos is planning to implement flatter organizational structure and in this structure affiliative leadership style will be helpful for both organization and employees’ performances.
  • Democratic leadership style - In this leadership style employees are given flexibility and freedom and they can decide on the way of doing work in the organization. Zappos is also planning to give freedom and flexibility to its employees in the new structure. It is also called as democratic leadership style.
  • Lead by example - I this type of leadership style managers take up the responsibility and show how to do the work. It brings better quality of work and it is also called as pacesetting leadership style.
  • Mentoring - In this type of leadership style managers or leaders give coaching to their employees of how to finish the job. Managers focus on developing skills and competencies of the employees for enhance employability skills.
  • Coercive and threatening leadership style - In this type of leadership style managers just want to get the job done without getting involved in the ground level work. They sometimes threaten employees to motivate but it leads to dissatisfaction among the employees. This type of leadership style is not recommended for Zappos because Zappos wants employee satisfaction which is not possible with the help of this leadership style.
  • Authoritative leadership style - Managers and leaders have authority to take decisions for the employees working under them. It is usually found in hierarchical organization structure. Rewards and award are used to keep employees motivated.
types of leadership styles - london college organizations behaviour assignmentClick for Nelson College Organization and Behaviour Assignment

Zappos has a plan to change the structure and culture of the organization. It will also impact the type of leadership style. A new term named Holacracy has been come up in the picture and it is related to the flatter organization structure which Zappos is planning to implement. Zappos started its business in 1999 and since then it is following traditional hierarchical structure and leadership style. In this traditional style employees had to work according to their seniors. There was no flexibility and freedom. Employees were nor getting much opportunities to develop themselves personally and professionally. Authoritative leadership style can be part of traditional organizational structure followed by Zappos. Roles and responsibilities were clear. Employees have to finish them without any fun activities and motivation in the organization.

But now after the merger happened between Amazon and Zappos new CEO Tony Hsieh is planning to bring a change in the organization. He is trying to have new structure, culture and leadership style in the organization. Actually there will not be ant layer of managers between the CEO and lower level employees. All the employees will be at the same level without any job titles. Employees will work in teams and circles. In fact all the employees will be given a chance to lead and employees will be able to develop their skills and competencies. Employees will be given freedom to take decisions and they will be given opportunity to choose the team where they want to work. This leadership style will be directly opposite to the traditional leadership style followed by Zappos. Employees will be empowered and thy will participate in as much initiatives as possible. This gives us a sign of democratic leadership style in Zappos (Dager, 2014). Employees will also be encouraged to stay like friends and family in the organization and hence I will help in having clan organizational culture in the organization. All the credit for this new initiative or leadership style should go Amazon’s CEO Jeffrey. He is very dynamic and intelligent in his approaches. He never fears of taking risks. He believes in customer satisfaction that’s why he allowed vendors from other organization to put their products on Amazon’s website. This strategy worked in favour of Amazon and increased the number of customers and revenue for the organization.

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Task 3

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

As we have already discussed that leadership or management style can change the behaviour of the employees. Organization has to do something to keep their employees motivated and to align them with the goals and objectives of the organization. This can be done by having positive leadership style in Zappos. We will discuss which leadership style can lead to motivation and how re-structuring of Zappos will help in increasing motivational level among the employees of Zappos. Following are some of the points explaining my view on this:

  • If the leader is liberal and encourages employees to select their own departments to work with, it will definitely motivate them towards their goals and objectives.
  • If the leader gives more power to the employees it will increase the confidence of the employees (Morrison, 1997).
  • Leaders should give proper time to all the team members. Leader should be easily approachable for any issues. There should not be any hesitancy among the employees while talking to the leader.
  • Leader should stay like friends and like another employee. There should not be any feeling of higher individual in the leaders as compared to the team members. It will definitely motivate and encourage employees to perform better for the organization.
  • Leadership style in Zappos can assure that there will not be any politics in the organization and all the employees will be judged on only one thing and i.e. performance. It will be totally opposite to traditional style where employees having good relationship with the leaders get higher ratings as compared to the better performers.
  • New leadership style in Zappos will also focus on giving awards and rewards to the employees for better performance.
  • Employees will be given opportunity to develop themselves personally and professionally with the help of self-managed learning in Zappos. It will help in making employees future better.
  • Leaders will help the employees in finding out their strengths and weaknesses and will suggest them the ways to get rid of their weaknesses.
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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 traditional hierarchical structure we used to have clearly defined job titles, responsibilities and authority. It was because of the hierarchy. Next level hierarchy will have new job title, responsibilities and also authority. With the increase in job title salary and incentives also increase. It really motivates employees to perform better to reach at the higher level in hierarchy. But in Zappos new structure i.e. Holacracy there will not be any job titles and all the employees will be at the same level. There is a strong need of some other ways to motivate employee to perform better for their own success and also for the success of the organization. Employees’ salary and incentives should increase after regular intervals of time and in Zappos there will not be any scenario of promotions so these salary hikes should be higher as compared to the industry standards. All the initiatives like empowerment and flexibility which Zappos is planning to implement will be very helpful in motivating the employees as they need not work under pressure of any authoritative leadership and they can choose their own ways to work. Employees’ performance should be evaluated at the end of every six months which will help in finding out the strengths and weaknesses of the employees and Zappos should have proper training plans to make their performance better and to work on the weaknesses of the employees. It will help in retaining employees for the longer period of time (Campbell, 1998). Human resource management involves things like organize some fun activities or games in the organization to change the mood of work in the workplace. It will help in creating healthy environment in the organization and will give a chance of refreshing employees. All the facilities like swimming pool, games, food courts, grocery shops etc. can also be provided in the campus. It will also help in motivating employees.

Evaluate the benefits of motivation to both Zappos and its employees

Motivation is always beneficial for the employees as well as for the organization. If the employees are motivated they will give their 100 % and will work towards the goals and objectives of the organization. Product or service provided by Zappos will be of higher quality and it will lead to better customer service and loyalty which will help in the increase in revenue and profit for the organization and hence motivation of employees is beneficial for both employees as well as for the organization. Following are some of the other benefits of motivating employees in Zappos:

  • Attrition rate will be lower as compared to in the organizations having lesser employee motivation. If the employee can see growth opportunities in Zappos he will not think of joining any other organization and hence he will stay for longer period of time in the organization. Zappos will be able to use his skills and competencies and will be able to cover any cost of recruiting and training that employee. Lesser attrition rate also saves the cost for the organization (Huselid, 1995).
  • Motivation of the employees will lead to better quality products from the organization which will increase the number of customers and hence market share will increase.
  • Organization will be able to deliver all the projects in the right time and brand value of Zappos will increase in the market.
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Task 4

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

An individual cannot work alone in any organization. Team work is very important for the success and growth of the organization. Zappos will be having flatter organization structure and it will follow Holacracy model. Employees will be at the same level and will work in teams, groups and circles. As there will not be any authority and job titles it will definitely have some impact on the team work in the organization. It will have some positive as well as negative impacts on the effectiveness of the team. There will not be any authority in the lead so it may lead to conflicts and fights in the team. All the team members will try to put their points forward and no one will listen to each other’s inputs in the team. There might be some people in the team who are more dominant as compared to others so they will always try others to agree with their points so it will lead to non-selection of the best solution provided by anyone in the team. Zappos told that all the employees will be given chance to select their teams according to their wish and compatibility. It will reduce the risk of fights and conflicts in the team as employees will be compatible to each other. There will not be any politics and biasness in the team as all the employees will be seen equally by the CEO of Zappos. Employees will also be encouraged to stay away from any kind of discrimination on the basis of caste, religion, race, sex etc. in the team (Major, 2002). Team will be able to come up with better ideas and solutions for the problems as there will not be any fear and everyone will be free to put forward his concerns and suggestions. There will be transparency in the team and team will be able to take decisions fast and will be able to implement them also in shorter period of time as they don’t need approval from seniors.

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Discuss the strategies that Zappos can use to develop and promote effective teamwork. Examine the impact of technology on teamwork.

Flatter structure might lead to some conflicts and issues in the team work but there are ways to promote to effective team work in Zappos. Technology plays a very important role in promoting effective team work in the organization. Internet access to the team members will help in having information in lesser time. Employees in the team should have email access so that they can share their view points in the email to each other. All the employees should be provided with landline phone facility to connect with their team members. Employees in a team can also connect with the help of chat communicator. Video conferencing also makes team work effective as team members from different locations also can join and they can see each other’s faces (Duarte, 2011). It will save lots of cost for the organization as employees need not travel from one location to another for just one or two hours meeting. All the employees in the team should be motivated and should be given opportunity to put forward their points. Team’s performance should alsoTeam encouragement - london college organizations behaviour assignmentbe evaluated and the entire team should be rewarded for its performance. It will encourage all the team members to work for a common goal.

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Zappos is planning to shift to new organization structure. It will be following flatter organization structure and clan organizational culture. It will be very helpful for the organization. Leadership style will be democratic where all the employees will be empowered and will be given opportunity to develop themselves in the organization. Employees will be given opportunity to lead which will improve their leadership qualities. Zappos will also various techniques to increase the motivation level of employees and also to improve the team work.


Argyris, C. 1960. Understanding organizational behaviour. 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. Duarte, D. L., & Snyder, N. T. 2011. Mastering virtual teams: Strategies, tools, and techniques that succeed.John Wiley & Sons. Child, J. 1973. Predicting and understanding organization structure. Administrative Science Quarterly, 18(2). Dager, J. 2014. Holacracy, Zappos and Standard Work. Hanges, P. J., Javidan, M., Dorfman, P. W., & Gupta, V. 2004. Culture, leadership, and organizations (pp. 9-28). R. J. House (Ed.). Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage.

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