The paper 'Components of a Great Corporate Culture' is a wonderful example of a Management Assignment. Zappos’ organizational culture is best described as customer-centric and comfortable for employees. According to Colquitt, Wesson, and LePine (2008), organizational culture captures how things are in a particular organization. It includes the knowledge, beliefs, values, behaviors, and attitudes shared by people working in an organization. In Zappos’ YouTube video (ABC News, 2008), it is quite evident that the company’ s chief executive officer (CEO) underscores the need for employees to create rich customer experiences while at the same time having fun.
For example, the CEO says that his role is to create an environment that encourages employees to express themselves without any reservation. This culture is evident from the case study transcript, where employees are given a free hand to talk to customers without any pre-written scripts. It is also evident that at Zappos, having a passion for what one does is part of the requirement as is evident from the $2,000 ‘ bribe’ offered to new trainees to quit the job. Writing about the link between employees’ passion and job performance, Zigarmi et al.
(2011) note that people derive passion from several factors, which include meaningful work, fairness, connectedness to others, connectedness to the organizational leader, growth, collaboration, recognition, and autonomy. Arguably, all the foregoing factors are evident at Zappos since employees are undoubtedly able to derive meaning from work. Additionally, the CEO is not overbearing and as such, the employees have a sense of autonomy. Collaboration at Zappos is evident from the work teams that work together to attain organizational objectives. Connectedness to colleagues is also evident especially in the work teams while connectedness to the leader is evident in how the CEO interacts with the employees.
Fairness is arguably evident in the provision of snacks and (possibly) remuneration in an unbiased manner. The formal and informal elements at Zappos also seem to work perfectly together to create an overt organization whose brand and service delivery is liked by customers as is evident from the repeat purchases, and a covert organization that appeals to many employees who have embraced the organization’ s culture. According to McShane et al.
(2011), the formal organization is evident from the products and services offered by the organization, the communication channels it has adopted, its financial resources, policies and procedures, goals and objectives, and job description. The informal organization on the other hand is based on the beliefs and assumptions that prevail in an organization, the employees’ attitudes and perceptions, their values, group norms, feelings, and informal leaders. Arguably, what goes on in the informal organization affects the organizational culture and to a great degree affects what is reflected in the formal organization.
At Zappos, the CEO has underscored the importance of getting the organizational culture right. He further argues that once Zappos gets the culture right, everything else would fall into place. Evidently, some formal aspects at Zappos guide the informal organization. For example, the company’ s core value is to deliver ‘ WOW’ through service, and for that to happen, the employees who interact with customers have to have the right attitudes, beliefs, feelings, and values to enable them to deliver superior customer experiences. To use the communication channels (like a telephone) to deliver ‘ WOW’ through service, the employees need to have the right perceptions and attitudes not only about the organization but also about the customer.
From the YouTube video, it is apparent that Zappos invests a lot of resources in training its employees on how to use the telephone while communicating with customers. It can be said that the organizational culture seeks to be more helpful to customers, rather than selfish and self-serving. For example, Tony indicates to the interviewer that employees are at liberty to refer a customer to a competitor for an out of the stock product.
Through such references, Zappos may lose out on a sale, but it arguably ends up gaining in terms of customer loyalty.
ABC News. (2008). Zappos culture – the Zappos family on nightline. YouTube Video. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tFyW5s_7ZWc&feature=youtu.be
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