Organizational Analysis of Zappos

free essayEstablished in 1999, Zappos has developed into a leading online shoe and clothing company. The company’s growth remained attributed to the increasing need in the market for the localization of products from one provider. In this essence, the company sought to provide a platform, whereby customers could access shoes and apparel from various designers in one shop. The concept adopted by the firm attempted to promote the level of efficiency experienced in the purchasing process through the utilization of online platform. Even though this concept was considerably new and foreign at the time of the inception of the company, the firm’s growth remained attributed to the overall development of the internet and consequent adoption of the construct by the majority of the population in the USA. In 2009, the company developed into a large online company, leading to the proposition of acquisition by Amazon that was completed in 2009. The company was sold for $1.2 billion.

The growth of Zappos remains influenced by the existence of a vibrant organizational culture that integrates all components of the firm. These include the adopted leadership and organizational structure and processes together with employee management structures that facilitate the company’s growth and performance on the market as a subsidiary of Amazon. The study provides a review of the processes adopted in the company and the consequent impact on business growth, employee productivity, and organizational culture (Liggins).

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Organizational Structure

The organization chart involves the adoption of departmentalization construct, whereby the existent departments in the firm facilitate the operational needs of the company. This adoption remains essential to the company as it promotes the development of specific work roles for the individual units (Liggins). The provision of departmental goals facilitates the identification of personal goals concerning the department and organizational needs. The development of a corporate structure promotes the development of a link between employee roles, corporate objectives, and company goals. The central departments adopted in the firm include facilities, finance treasury and accounting, help desk, human resources, IT, legal, pipeline, development, project management, content, creative services, marketing, and user experience.

The departmental structure in the firm has employed a centralized approach that maintains a limited span of control. The process remains centralized as all the team and individual roles are geared towards meeting the department and organizational goals. However, the agencies have a limited span of control as employees are provided with different tasks to be completed within the provided period (Bakkers and Schaufeli 147). The existence of the limited span of monitoring gives an employee a role autonomy, which remains critical in the development of an engaged employee base as employees have an opportunity to stay creative and integrate creative constructs that may promote role completion.

The departmental construct improves work specialization and the adoption of teamwork. The process is established, whereby the development of employee skills remains critical in meeting individual roles that are enhanced by the existence of work specialization. However, the organization and individual departments place emphasis on the development of the team functions that promote efficient achievement of departmental activities (Liggins). Similarly, the organization supports inter-departmental teams that involve the development of a link between departments and necessitate the integration of expertise from employees across departments.

Organizational Culture

Organizational culture identifies a critical construct within organizations as it promotes the adoption of values, norms, and processes that remain unique to the group and they are upheld by employees, thus supporting growth and competitive capacity of the firm through the development of an organizational identity. The creation of an organizational culture promotes the development of a sense of belonging and cohesion within a company (Youssef and Luthans 774). This process remains instrumental in the elaboration of an engaged workforce as the work environment is perceived as the communal place that provides creative challenges that may be addressed by individuals and teams.

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Zappos places emphasis on the development of an organizational culture that promotes a sense of inclusiveness through the development of employee identity within the firm identity. The company CEO, Tony Hsieh, insists on the creation of a work environment that promotes work and play. The CEO maintains that the adoption of this system creates a strong sense of balance, which develops the basis of human resources through the work-life balance construct (Liggins). The adopted organizational culture is taught to new employees through stories and rituals that promote employee understanding of the culture and importance of maintaining the adopted culture.

Zappos revels on the existence of an active and responsive customer care team. The provision of quality customer care develops the basis for the firm’s services, and employees remain actively engaged in adopting processes geared towards facilitating the level of efficiency. For instance, the company informs customers that their packages will be delivered within three to five working days. However, the company makes surprise deliveries earlier geared towards promoting the firm’s customer service capacity (Liggins). The adoption of a responsive and timely customer care process develops into an organizational culture component that supports the competitive capability of the enterprise on the market, thus leading to the growth of a large customer base.


Leadership identifies a pivotal construct of organization growth as the adopted form of leadership directly impacts the operational construct and employee performance within the organization. The adoption of a command structure and process remains influenced by nature of operations adopted by a firm (Gelfand et al. 479). For instance, the majority of manufacturing companies use an autocratic structure at the supervisor level as it provides a sense of guidance attributed to the existence of procedural tasks within the work environment. The adoption of an effective leadership structure remains essential in developing a link between the organizational goals and employee input and productivity in the firm.

Zappos has adopted a democratic leadership structure that involves an informal chain of command headed by the CEO and assisted by the COO. The selected structure includes departmental heads and supervisors charged with overseeing the daily operations of departments and employees. The organization uses a supervisory structure, whereby the directors act as team members as opposed to subordinate leaders, which creates a sense of teamwork and employee engagement in the process. Similarly, the adopted structure compounds on the development of an organizational climate since the leader and, in this case, the supervisors and departmental heads work in correlation with theie employees (Liggins). The creation of an engaging work environment promotes the level of employee participation and identification of measures that may be adopted to enhance the viability of the process.

The company leadership emphasizes employee development, which promotes the adoption of teams within the majority of firm’s activities. The approval of teamwork encourages the identification of individual employee capabilities, which may be enhanced to facilitate employees, working in different capacities in the business (Liggins). For instance, engagement in collaboration will promote the identification of leadership qualities or analytic skills among employees, which will improve the adoption of a coaching and mentoring program geared towards preparing the employees for their future roles in the firm.

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The communication process in the firm remains critical as it facilitates the provision of information to employees, departments, and customers concerning organizational processes and potential changes that may be accepted within the organization. The adoption of an effective communication strategy promotes the level of organizational efficiency since possible business processes are communicated from the business objectives and well-implemented in the organizational construct (Luthans and Youssef 321). The use of efficient communication methods enhances the degree of customer loyalty as customers remain aware of any potential changes that may be introduced to the organization and the resulting impact on organizational operations.

The growth of the organization has led to the development of numerous departments and customer segments on the market. The existence of a vast number of agencies has facilitated the adoption of downward, upward, and lateral communication processes. Downward communication emanates from the management and involves the communication of organizational objectives and goals together with the proposed changes to the organization and the resulting impact on business processes and employees (Liggins). At the same time, the adoption of downward communication remains essential as it ensures that timely communication is transferred to the staff and customers concerning potential firm changes. The passage of an inclusive organizational structure promotes the adoption of upward communication, whereby employees communicate directly to supervisors, departmental heads, and management. Furthermore, downward communication remains critical in facilitating the level of employee engagement as it provides employees with an opportunity to communicate on the ideas and innovations that may promote the firm’s overall efficiency and growth (Liggins). The existence of inter-departmental operations encourages the integration of lateral communication across the organization. Lateral communication promotes the exchange of ideas from one department to another, and it is considered critical in improving operational success across departments.

The company compounds on the adoption of interpersonal communication as it improves the level of clarity concerning the information relayed and facilitates the provision of feedback. For instance, the company maintains that the adoption of an inclusive business environment remains influenced by the communication processes geared towards promoting overall business growth through the provision of employee feedback (Liggins). Therefore, communication identifies a critical component of the firm between the management, employees, customers, and stakeholders on the market.

How It Works


The development of an organizational environment that promotes diversity remains critical in improving the level of corporate growth and development on the market and global industry. The diversity element involves the development of an employee base from different races, cultures, ethnicities, genders, sexual orientations, and nationalities (Bakker and Schaufeli 148). The adoption of a diverse environment improves the level of interaction with different cultures, ideas, beliefs, and constructs that may directly impact the operational processes experienced in the organization (Gelfand et al. 480). The interaction with diverse cultures and processes remains critical in promoting the development of an organizational environment that analyzes the varied cultures and the integration of some cultural stipulations at the workplace.

The prevalence of diversity at the workplace ensures that the firm provides all individuals with an equal chance to employment. The process facilitates the development of an equal opportunity environment that perceives diversity as a crucial element in the exchange of ideas, concepts, and elements of different cultures and nationalities that may promote the level of efficiency experienced in the organization (Liggins). Therefore, the company maintains that diversity identifies a critical construct of the organizational processes adopted and promotes its overall organizational growth and effectiveness.

The company places emphasis on the diversity of employee skills, knowledge, and expertise. The organization contends that the development of a wide range of competencies, awareness, and knowledge among employees promotes the level of creativity, innovation, productivity and efficiency experienced in the firm (Liggins). The adoption of skills diversity enhances the operational capacity of the business as individuals with enhanced skills may promote the adoption of business processes that support the level of firm efficiency through the new processes.

The company maintains that the development of a diverse environment encourages the creation of an inclusive environment as employees can associate with different cultures and ethnicities at the workplace. Similarly, the existence of cultural diversity supports the development of the organizational culture that incorporates the diversity experienced in the workplace (Liggins). Additionally, the development of a diverse workplace supports the competitive advantage accrued to the firm in the market as the company develops into the preferred employer in the market.

Perception and Individual Decision-Making

The decision-making element of an organization remains instrumental in promoting the adoption of organizational decisions geared towards continued corporate development and growth. In most organizations, the management remains charged with the decision-making process as the decisions aim to influence the overall operations of the firm. The decision-making process seeks to promote the development of a link between the firm objectives and employees’ work roles in the organization (Gelfand et al. 79). Therefore, the decision process improves the level of role understanding and execution experienced by the employees.

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In Zappos, the decision element remains critical as it facilitates the adoption of processes that enhance the level of operational efficiency from the individual to departmental and organizational levels. The company employs a democratic structure, which promotes the standard of employee autonomy concerning the adoption of decisions within the organization (Zapos 1). The provision of employees with decision-making autonomy concerning the approval of procedural decisions enhances the level of organizational efficiency as the employees do not have to wait for the supervisors of management to adopt decisions.

The passage of decentralized decision-making processes at Zappos has increased the level of resolution efficiency experienced at the firm as employees remain engaged in the decision-making processes that support the overall organizational growth and development. Similarly, the involvement of employees in the process improves the level of their engagement as they perceive themselves as part of the organization through participation in various processes (Liggins). The existence of an engaged employee base remains instrumental in promoting the level of organizational productivity as they will participate in the adoption of decisions geared towards improving the level of operational efficiency (Gelfand et al. 480). The developed decision-making construct reduces the need for employee supervision as the adopted processes remain in congruence to employee roles in the organization; thus, employees choose decisions geared towards promoting the overall efficiency concerning individuals and groups.

Attitudes and Job Satisfaction

Employee identify a critical component of the organization, leading to the identification of employees as human capital, thus identifying a logical construct of the team. The development of an engaged workforce remains influenced by the existence of favorable work processes that promote the development of positive employee attitude that enhances the level of job satisfaction them employees (Gelfand et al. 480). Therefore, employee attitudes remain instrumental in the development of their engagement as the existence of positive attitudes promotes the standard of engagement while the availability of negative attitudes leads to the poor level of engagement and consequent loss of productivity (Gelfand et al. 480). Job satisfaction develops from the illustration of a work environment that promotes the provision of clear roles and organizational processes that facilitate the level of employee capability within the organization.

Zappos makes sure that the development of high levels of job satisfaction remains crucial to the firm as it improves the level of operational efficiency and the reduction in employee turnover, thus leading to the elaboration of an engaged workforce. Zappos has adopted a competitive salary structure that meets and exceeds the provided industry standards. The provision of an excellent salary and benefits coupled with the delivery of healthcare identify components considered critical by Zappos (Liggins). The management is sure that the existence of a healthy and stable employee base increases the level of employee engagement as the personal needs are met through the compensation provided by the firm.

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The adoption of the departmental structure ensures that employees are provided with clear individual and group roles. The stipulation of different functions remains essential in limiting the prevalence of role ambiguity and promoting the level of employee engagement at the workplace. Similarly, the explicit requirement of roles ensures that employees engage in the provided functions and develop the degree of employee creativity attributed to the increased involvement in individual activities (Gelfand et al. 480). Therefore, precise role stipulation together with the provision of an engaging environment improves employee attitudes at the company while promoting the level of job satisfaction experienced by them.

Motivation Concepts and Application

Employee motivation remains essential to any organization as it promotes the level of employee engagement, corporate citizenship, work efficiency, and reduced employee turnover. Employee motivation involves the adoption of organizational and operational processes that place emphasis on the level of employee development through the provision of a favorable working environment, competitive benefits, career advancement, and an opportunity for employee participation in the organizational and decision-making constructs (Yussef and Luthans 774). The motivation element remains essential in promoting the level of employee growth as it facilitates the adoption of processes that support their involvement, thus leading to increased productivity, operational efficiency and organizational growth.

Zappos has adopted a great structure that promotes the level of motivation experienced by employees in the organization. The company’s democratic form of leadership supports the degree of employee engagement in the decision-making regarding the activities that directly relate to employee roles, departmental, and inter-departmental tasks provided. The integration of high levels of employee engagement remains instrumental in ensuring that employees offer their input regarding the adopted decisions as they directly impact the operational roles of employees. Zappos has employed a firm culture that is based on work-life balance. The maintenance of such a balance creates an organizational environment that ensures employees develop a certain balance, which limits their potential for burnout and develops an engaged and active workforce. The provision of free in-house meals and subsidized restaurants at the premises offers an interactive element to the firm through the provision of basic needs to employees (Gelfand et al. 480). Similarly, the additional facilities and services, such as gym, massage, and game room, promote the level of employee relaxation at the workplace, which only helps develop an engaged workforce.

Foundation of Group Behavior and Understanding

The development of group behavior emanates from the existent organizational culture. The promotion of the culture that compounds on the importance of group formation provides a regulatory environment that enhances operational efficiency and group cohesion through employees working together to meet the stipulated organizational goals (Bakker and Schaufeli 147). The adoption of group behavior in a firm influences numerous aspects of business that may involve the operational construct, decision-making process together with the inter-relations experienced in the organization.

Zappos promotes group behavior as it enhances the level of teamwork and efficiency attached to the operational processes of the firm. The development of group practice remains essential to the business as it improves the adoption of group decision-making techniques that integrate high levels of employee analysis considered instrumental in promoting employee growth, development, and engagement in the work processes (Liggins). Similarly, the adoption of group decision-making ensures that the adopted decisions meet the needs of the entire group and they are selected to facilitate the existent group processes and structure. Zappos maintains that the development of a team mentality promotes the problem-solving capacity of the firm as the group adopts the decisions that remain influenced by different viewpoints and skill sets, thus advancing the adoption of effective decisions within the organization.

The approval of the group construct promotes the identification of the existent group needs in regards to employee skills and knowledge. This process supports the development of training programs geared towards meeting the existent needs presented by the employees (Gelfand et al. 480). The provision of employee training improves career development efforts of the firm through the adoption of a structure that identifies the most vital skill set, thus improving the level of individual growth and development (Gelfand et al. 480). The group environment enhances the level of cohesion experienced among employees in the organization, which lead to the reduction of conflicts and increased employee engagement in the organization.

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Personality and Values

Zappos emphasizes the development of every individual’s uniqueness by maintaining that the level of uniqueness promotes the individual’s performance in the organization (Liggins). The company contends that different employees present various personalities and values, which may be harnessed to improve the level of organizational efficiency through the integration of different skills sets and operational methods in the firm.


In conclusion, Zappos has supported the development of an organizational environment that increases the level of individual growth and development not only to the organization itself but also to the employees. The adoption of a corporate culture that encourages employee capacities has led to the elaboration of an engaged workforce, and this leads to increased workforce productivity and reduces employee turnover. Essentially, when the employees feel and realize that the firm cares for their social wellbeing, they tend to work extra hard, thus improving overall positive growth and development of the firm. The development of an organizational structure that promotes the level of employee engagement involvement remains critical to the organization as it offers a system, whereby employees participate in decision-making processes that impact the overall organizational growth. Notably, inclusion and respect of employees and general staff opinions and ideas prove to be the essential tools to the overall production and maximization of profits to the firm. The importance placed on employees at Zappos promotes the adoption of organizational structures that increase the level of employee involvement and development in the organization. The development of an organizational culture improves organizational cohesion and the development of a sense of belonging. Therefore, the company’s organizational structure ensures continued business growth and development.

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