Disucuss about the impact of leadership and management and power and politics in the case organization Amazon.com.
The main objective of the report here is to find out the impact of leadership and management and power and politics in the case organization Amazon.com. The study will also describe the success story, sustainable business model and the effectiveness of the organization due to the transformation leadership qualities of its Founder, CEO and Visionary Jeff Bezos.
The report will critically discuss and identify the leadership management style, qualities, theories, different behaviour as demonstrated by the leadership and types of power/authority adopted by the Present Chief Executive Officer Mr Jeff Bezos to successfully lead his organization to the pinnacle of success by his futuristic vision and ability to adapt to the dynamic changing business environment. Also the report will analyse the influence of the respective power on the office politics and its overall impact on the company (Izogo and Ozo, 2015).
Overview of Organization
Amazon.com is the largest e-commerce company in the world with its headquarters at Seattle. The e-commerce giant which started off its business journey by selling books online, at present has product offering in almost all the product categories one can imagine. Amazon has millions of products listed on its website in the category of lifestyle, consumer electronics, consumer goods, home décor, kids, music, DVD, audio books and plethora of categories. The company has presence in more than 16 countries and ships its products in more than 188 countries. Amazon has been constantly bringing innovation in the ways consumers shop online with the use of its strategic and technological capabilities (O’Regan, 2015).
The company earned a revenue of $ 34 Billion in the year 2016 is rapidly expanding its market share due to its creativity and innovation. Amazon has won hundreds of industry awards for its breakthrough in improving the experience of the customers shopping online. Jeff Bezos believes that in the present day it is consistent innovation which can help amazon to be sustainable in the longer run. Amazon is highly customer centric organization, all the business process and policies are created with customer’s best interest in mind (Fan and Li, 2014).
Background of the Leader
Jeff Bezos is an American Entrepreneur and founder and CEO of Amazon.com and owner of the Washington post is the richest man in the world with earnings more than $ 100 Billion. The true facet of leader lies in his ability to inspire, motivate and influence the organization and lead the individuals to achieve their own and organizational goal. Jeff Bezos is not only an inspirational and transformational leader; he most certainly is the greatest visionary of all times. It therefore becomes important to understand the background of such leader, his educational qualification, his work history and other such qualification to understand his journey in creating the biggest e-commerce company the world has ever seen. Jeff Bezos did well not only for USA or other countries; it certainly gave impetus and wings to the aspiration of people who are looking forward to make a dent in the universe by pushing the envelope of innovation and services for the customers (Zhu and Liu, 2016).
Jeff Bezos was born on January 12, 1964 in New Mexico, he was naturally inclined towards computers which made him took computer science in his engineering. He passed off from Princeton University in the year 1990 and started working at Wall Street. He was the youngest senior vice president at one of the largest investment firm D.E.Shaw. Jeff was inquisitive in nature and wanted to do something big, something which the world has never seen, and with big hopes and aspiration in his eyes he quit his job and started off with his first ever venture, Amazon.com, the rest is history. The young entrepreneur started off Amazon at the back of his garage with his few friends. The company in the initial days was into the business of selling books online, Jeff Bezos targeted the untapped potential of Internet market and leveraged it to its business advantage (Herbert, 2017).
There are no two doubts that it was Jeff Bezos vision, and his knack at innovation which took Amazon to the pinnacles of success. The company which went public just after 3 years of its launch, at present is the biggest threat to the reigning retail giant “Walmart”. Jeff Bezos is seen as the pioneer behind numerous technological and innovative products such as Alexa, Amazon Prime and Fire Stick. Jeff Bezos has featured several times in the Time magazine and Forbes and has received numerous accolades for his vision, leadership and futuristic thinking.
Leadership and Management
Leadership is both a research area and a practical skill encompassing the ability of the individual or organization to lead or guide individual and teams to achieve the organizational and personal goals. Leadership style predominantly states the quality and the characteristic of the person in leading his team, leadership style in the true sense is the essence of the individual (Nanjundeswaraswamy and Swamy, 2014).
Jeff Bezos who is touted as the biggest transformational leader the world has ever witnessed was not the same in his early days of career. Jeff Bezos received a lot of flak for micro managing the work and not involving his employees in any kind of decision making. He was a harsh boss who was very particular about the kind of work and the perfection he wanted from his employees. The situation in the early days at Amazon was not so satisfactory and the company was facing problems of employee turnover.
Jeff Bezos was smart to understand the lacunae in his leadership style, thus adopted a leadership style which transformed not only him, but helped Amazon in becoming one of the most successful companies in the world. Jeff Bezos is a transformational leader, he believes to inspire people by his work, lead them by example and give numerous responsibilities and the power of decision making to his employees. By ensuring employee empowerment, he not only won the confidence of his team, but also fostered the art of decentralization in decision making. It was undoubtedly the biggest change which Jeff adopted in his leadership style; by understanding the dynamics of business he became flexible in his leadership approach (Belás, 2013).
Being a transformation leader Jeff Bezos worked more as an agent of organizational change through empowerment and strategy rather than plan and execution. Another important virtue of Jeff Bezos transformational leadership is the ability to believe in the vision and spread the vision as culture in the organization. The vision of Amazon is to always have a long term prospective and to build the great customer-centric company on the planet earth; he ensured that this vision is deep rooted in the culture of the organization. He wants to create a place where customer can come to find and discover anything and everything and buy it at Amazon. Jeff Bezos rather than being competitor obsessed he is more of a customer obsessed leader (Landau, 2012).
Being a transformation leader Jeff Bezos has always maintained a good flow of communication to both its internal and external stakeholders. Jeff believes that transparency and openness in communication helps in building trust, which can further be used to deliver unexpected results for the organization. Jeff believes that excellent communication is the key to success for the organization and also responsible for less resistance during change implementation. His flair at understanding the sentiments of his workforce, and his ability to inspire and transpire people by the virtue of leading the industry from the front makes him the greatest transformational leader in the world (Stone, 2013).
Jeff Bezos and Amazon travel together in the similar manner Jack Welch and GE and Steve Jobs and Apple. As a transformational leader it is really important to put ourselves, our people, our society, our organization and our world we live first before profits, only then can a culture of sustainability be set in the organization. Transformation leadership is not about a position, or a company, or the wealth that a person creates, it is more about the passion, humility and the vision, and Jeff Bezos complies with all these guidelines.
In a nutshell, it is clear that Jeff Bezos transformational style of leadership is an extension of his vision and innovation to be world’s largest customer-centric company in the world. Jeff not only inspires his team, but also ensures that every team member is highly motivated and works in the direction of the company’s vision. The future of Amazon is promising, which implies that more innovation will happen in the future, strengthening the leadership of Jeff Bezos. Jeff Bezos is one of the most successful leaders of the present times with a vision to enhance the experience of customers shopping online (Kantor and Streitfeld, 2015).
Importance of Leadership style as part of Management and identification of Management style
Leadership is about guiding the individual and organization to work together and move towards the path of business sustainability (Rukmani, Ramesh and Jayakrishnan, 2010). Jeff Bezos by being an inspirational and transformational leader believes in optimum utilization of the available resources at its disposal. It is the vision of Jeff Bezos that Amazon has spread into more than 12 countries and ships its products in more than 188 countries.
As an extension to leadership style of Jeff Bezos, he hires the employees who have the knack of understanding in e-commerce and believes that customers are the integral part of the business ecosystem. He hires such people who are creative, innovative in their approach and think of business ideas keeping the customers in their mind.
Jeff Bezos translates his leadership style and vision by taking good care of his employees, he is often seen sitting and discussing with the team of HR specialists on new and innovative ways to boast the motivation of tis employees. Jeff believes that it is not only the money which draws the employee to work towards the organizational goals, but it is the inherent nature of a human being to help the society by innovation. Jeff is highly focussed on creating a strong environment of learning and growth for his employee, this is ensured by various leadership development programs, and programs in consumer behaviour theory and consumer perception are at the forefront of the training programs at Amazon (Taucean, Tamasila and Negru-Strauti, 2016).
In one of the recent interviews, Jeff snubbed the concept of work life balanced and replaced it with work life harmony for the individuals. He believes that Work Life balance is a deliberating term and work life harmony in true sense generates positive synergies towards the increased efficiency at work and one’s personal space. In a bid to become the most customer centric organization in the world, Jeff ensures that while conducting meeting with his line managers, he leaves a chair vacant, and asks the team members to think of it as a customer. This technique not only helps to bring out the best ideas, but also the ideas which would benefit consumers the most (Mansor, et. al., 2012).
Thus, it can be said that Jeff Bezos transformational style of Leadership not only paves the way of success for Amazon, but also motivates, inspires and influences employees to work towards customer centricity and sustainability in the business organization.
Power and Politics
Identify the Power/Authority reference to leadership style
It is important to understand the way Jeff Bezos acquired power at Amazon using his transformational style of leadership and his ability to influence and motivate his employees. Jeff Bezos is a dynamic leader who is flexible in his approach and adapts to the changing situation, this is one of the best abilities of Jeff Bezos which made him earn respect and power at Amazon.
All the shareholders and stakeholders comply and agree with Jeff Bezos vision about Amazon. The focus of entire organization is towards improving the lives of its customers, and providing them a great shopping experience. At Amazon special emphasis is given on data analytics, understanding the journey of the consumer online to give him customized shopping cart and exclusive deal is the USP of the company (Lunenburg, 2012).
Jeff Bezos communication and interpersonal skills help to derive referent power by high level of interaction and engagement with the employees of the organization. Jeff Bezos makes it a point that he addresses the entire organization on important days using video conferencing and inspires and motivates them to push themselves beyond their limits. It is his transformational style of leadership which makes him earn the power at Amazon, and his ability to envision the future of e-commerce which has established his supremacy as one of the greatest leaders of his times.
Impact of Power on Office Politics
It is an understood phenomenon that politics originates in situation where a power is exercised to control tasks, results, decisions and processes which improve or reduce different type of individuals, groups and organization as a whole in implementing such control over them. The beauty of transformational style of leadership is to create positive synergies in the work place by working with the employees.
At Amazon decentralization in decision making is followed, which gives the employees a lot of scope and responsibilities to make and take their own decision for their own project. This, high level of decentralization allows the company to stay away from the harmful effects of politics in the business organization. At Amazon a 360 degree balanced feedback system is followed, which ensures that employees receive constructive feedback from their subordinates, peers and managers throughout the year. This sets the base for performance development plan at Amazon (Faherty Huang and Land, 2017).
Organizational culture and effectiveness
Impact of Leadership/Management and Power/ Politics on the culture of the organization.
Exercising the higher degree of Transformational leadership, Jeff Bezos is able to inspire, influence and motivate it employees to achieve excellence in their individual roles and work effectively within the boundaries of the organization to achieve the business goals. Jeff Bezos with his clear bounded vision creates a culture of high trust, sustained innovation and customer centricity in the organization.
Jeff Bezos by the virtue of holding great expert power is highly trusted by his managers and employees as a source of wisdom and knowledge. People look up to Jeff Bezos and his knowledge when they are stuck on some project; they are in constant awe of the energy levels and his charisma in solving the complex problems at great ease. Thus, it can be easily said that leadership and management and power and politics at Amazon have set up a culture of innovation, customer centricity, and respect for individual and higher excellence (Lashinsky, 2012).
Impact of Leadership/Management and Power/Politics on the efficiency of the organization.
In order to measure the effectiveness of the organization, plethora of parameters or criteria can be used, however in the case of Amazon, the growth, increase in its revenue, market share, profitability, diversification will be considered to study the effectiveness of the organization (Bratton and Gold, 2017).
Amazon which was started in the year 1994 at the back of the garage now boasts of offices in over 16 countries, with its headquarters at Seattle. The company which started selling books online, at present sells millions of products in the single day. The company earned revenue of $ 34 billion in the year 2016 and made a whopping profit of $ 857 Million. The company’s earning is growing at an annual rate of 30.2 percent and its shares are trading at 1603 USD.
The company which at present employees over 100,000 people has been on upward trajectory of growth and progress as seen by its promising numbers and its promising future and vision. Amazon is doing fantastic not only in highly saturated markets like USA and Europe, but it has gained a remarkable market share in emerging economies like India, and is giving sleepless nights to its biggest rival Walmart. It is the inept vision and the transformational leadership style of Jeff Bezos which has ensured that the company moves on the path of effectiveness and achieves sustainability as its long term business approach (Levy, 2011).
In the case organization Amazon, it can be easily concluded that it is the transformational style of Leadership adopted by Jeff Bezos which is the foundation of the company’s success. In the present day scenario transformation style of leadership is the appropriate fit to lead the company on the basis of sustained vision by empowering its employees.
To summarize, understanding the contributing factors of Amazon success, it can be said that the transformational leadership style of Jeff Bezos and cogent use of power and politics has paved the path of the organization towards sustainability in its business momentum.
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