Inspirational Leaders Who Have Changed Some Organizational Cultures: Jeff Bezos
Northern Illinois University
24 March 2012
Jeff Bezos is unarguably one of today’s most inspirational leaders. He was born in Albuquerque, New Mexico, in 1964 and attended school in Miami Palmetto. After graduating from Princeton University, with a bachelor’s degree in electrical engineering, he worked in several jobs (Inc. 2009). In 1994, the internet was fresh in the market, and it did not incorporate commerce in its operations. As a result, he saw an opportunity for a new business network, and after doing research, he made a decision of creating a space in the internet where books could be viewed by the public. This led to the creation of Amazon in 1995. Today, Amazon is widely successful and has had a great impact on the organizational culture of internet business. Jeff Bezos is considered to be the founder of e-commerce, remains a pioneer in the industry (Inc, 2009). This paper will discuss how the culture of Amazon has changed as a result of Jeff Bezos presence; today, among many things, the public can view full book lists on Amazon, a mission that was impossible before the early 1990s.
Organizational culture can be related to how an organization organizes itself based on its rules and beliefs; therefore, culture gives an organization an identity. The behavioral patterns of an organization are represented in their norms; according to Kratschmer (2011, p.2), organizational culture includes values that are shared among the members of an organization. Needless to say, organizational culture can be changed. Kratschmer (2011, p.3) adds that, organizational culture can be changed and lead to success, only if well managed. In addition, resistance to change is expected in any organization mainly because the employees are already attached to the existing culture; hence, they may resist change for fear of the unknown.
Needless to say, changes in organizational culture can be of great benefit, for instance, it may contribute to new knowledge and skills for the employees, and productivity is achieved through motivating employees. Finally, as employees adapt to change, flexibility is achieved, which leads to improvement. However, for organizational culture to be successful, effective leaders must be in place. Culture is very important, as it promotes healthy competition at the place of work, hence motivating employees to perform. A healthy culture promotes employees’ interaction at the place of work, therefore uniting them despite their different backgrounds.
Providing employees with a favorable working place increases their productivity. Schein (2010, p.80) adds that, the shared values and beliefs in an organization are important, as they determine how goals are met. Moreover, a strong culture retains talents, engages employees, creates energy, changes how work is viewed, and contributes towards cooperation at the place of work. Jeff Bezos is one of the few inspirational leaders who have contributed to change of culture in Amazon, leading to the success of the business.
Amazon and change in organizational culture
When Jeff Bezos discovered the potential of the internet in 1994, nothing held him back from introducing commerce in the system; he abandoned a well-paying job and concentrated on Amazon. Today, amazon.com is one of the internet giants, fostering online retail and an e-reader. Indeed, he is among the founders of e-commerce (Inc, 2009). Within 30 days, he had sold books in all the American states and in 45 countries, with sales worth $20,000 weekly. Since then, the growth of Amazon continuously accelerated, but it 1997, he announced that the company would be unprofitable for some time. However, in 2003, Amazon...