case study 3

Fall 2020 – Organizational Behavior and Leadership

Zappos and Tony Hsieh – Case Preparation Questions

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Read the following article with the questions below in mind. You will also want to have a copy for reference in class (whether hardcopy or electronic format).

Feloni, R. (2015, May 16) Inside Zappos CEO Tony Hsieh’s radical management experiment that prompted 14% of employees to quit. Business Insider. Retrieved from http://www.businessinsider.com/

Link:
http://www.businessinsider.com/tony-hsieh-zappos-holacracy-management-experiment-2015-5

To give you a better perspective on what you are reading, I encourage you to follow at least one of the embedded links (visible as colored text) from the article (e.g., to Zappos’ company website, to the email sent by Hsieh to employees, or other materials). You may find one or more of these materials helpful for additional background in responding to the questions below. Respond to each question with a few paragraphs each, in your own words.

Be sure to cite the appropriate references for any quoted material in your responses, using APA Style formatting for in-text citation and a reference list at the end of your responses (it need not be on a separate page but can simply appear after your last answer). Also, cite any information for sources that you reference beyond the BusinessInsider article, even if you do not directly quote material from them.

1) Using concepts from our textbook regarding Organizational Culture (Chapter 16) and Organizational Structure (Chapter 15), analyze key characteristics of Zappo’s as an organization prior to the implementation of holacracy. (Note: Do not attempt to describe “holacracy” here – focus on key characteristics of the company prior to this new initiative. You will find relevant background material in the article.) Your response should include specific evidence from the assigned article and/or related sources to support your analysis, connecting these facts with specific concepts from our course textbook in both chapters.

2) Using concepts from our course textbook and evidence from the Business Insider article, assess and analyze the response of employees to Hsieh’s March 2015 mandate regarding holacracy. What impacts has the move had on employees, and what OB course concepts help to explain their reactions? Your response should include specific evidence from the assigned article and/or related sources to support your claims as well as specific theories and concepts from our course textbook that help describe or explain the response (to respond effectively, you will need to integrate concepts from earlier chapters of the text – Chapters 2-7).

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