Zappos Case Study

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Zappos’ culture is one that we all dream about, one that promotes friendship, equality, and happiness. Bauer and Erdogan define culture as an organization’s personality, which refers to a system of shared assumptions, values, and beliefs that show employees what is appropriate and inappropriate behavior. Zappos’ culture was considered an outlier to say the least, one that was driven off of “inspiration rather than motivation” according to CEO Tony Hseih. It was the goal of the organization to empower their employees and make them feel apart of something “bigger than themselves” an organization that went against the grain of “normal” corporate culture. Zappos’ leadership viewed the company culture as the key differentiator between their peers. It was this school of thought that would give them a competitive advantage over their peers. It was the organization’s goal to help build a “better world and happier place” and in order to do so they established their “10 Core Values.” Now normally, senior leadership would normally create these values themselves however, Zappos' acted differently. They asked their employees to decide on the core values. These “organic controls” helped ensure Zappos achieve their future success. Bauer and Erdogan believe that organic controls help shape employee behavior through shared values, and developing a common understanding of strategy. By letting the “people” have ownership over their own destiny led to a tremendous amount of employee commitment. Zappos’ developed these extraordinary levels of commitment by focusing on what our text describes as “common design elements.” One of the common design elements found within the Zappos culture was their clarity of organizational goals. Their focus on employee morale and building a better place helped build their foundation on future success. They focused on teamwork and their ability to coexist with their peers both inside and outside of work help build comraderie amongst peers. Zappos

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