Zappos, an online retailer in Las Vegas that sells shoes, handbags, watches and other accessories online is challenged to be online service leader. Sustainability in the global market is one of the biggest challenges for Zappos. The call center employees need to have a lot of imagination skills, and the HR in Zappos recruits people who can convince the customer to buy different products. Human resource systems develop organizational competencies, such as managerial, input-based, and transformational, which yield sustained competitive advantage for a firm (Lado, Wilson 1994). In my opinion, the HR practices can meet these challenges by recruiting the suitable employees who can contribute to the core values, to achieve its vision.
I believe that employees of Zappos have high-levels of engagement, and also minimum levels of engagement, but as a company it is always reinforcing the importance of its ten core values. The Deliver WOW through service core value raises the spirits of the employees, and instills individuality in the employees. A customer wrote on Zappos website, “if you buy shoes online, get them from Zappos, with heart like theirs, they are good to do business with” (Barlow 2009). Depending on the status reports of the employee’s performance, the managers identify the training needs. Customer experience also personifies high level of employee engagement.
I believe the highly influenced HR practice is the third core value “Create fun and a little weirdness”, as the company believes in having an exceptional and impressive personality. In my view the last core value “Be Humble” affects the HR practices the least as humbleness is a character, and a responsibility of an individual and it varies accordingly. The fourth core value allows employees to be adventurous. The fifth core value emphasizes endless learning for the employees to pursue career growth. Zappos expresses their open team spirit and non-hierarchical culture by assigning equal workspace to all - from the CEO to the call center reps (Slater, 2011).
When a limited amount of authority is delegated in an organization, it is characterized as centralized (Montana, Charnov, 1993). To characterize the traditional organizational structure at Toyota in terms of centralization, I realize that, the President Katsuaki Watanabe handled many decisions, all by himself. Watanabe quickly decided on where to build factories, and increased production overseas when Yen value was strong. Departmentation can be functional or divisional subject to the organizational structure. In terms of departmentation, Toyota used the functional method, where the quality control inspectors, polished every door of the car in soft circular motion to remove any dents before moving them to the production line. Functional structures are very effective, if an organization does not have unique products and services.
Toyota had been following a traditional approach since its inception in 1938, and followed the same strategy for many years, till it was hit hard by recession in 2008. Toyota has abandoned many of its highly successful systems at peak of its success (Basu, 1999). The company recalled millions of vehicles due to mechanical failures that attributed to many deaths. The fast-paced expansion was changed by streamlining jobs, training programs and increasing the quality rather than quantity. The customers also had horrible buying experiences with the sales-men who forced them to buy cars that were over produced.
In my opinion tradeoffs are unavoidable when the organizations make irreversible promises in expanding plants, building infrastructure and equipment, and abilities to implement a plan. Job analysis is required in such situations, as Job Analysis does not consider “how” a job is done, just “what” is done (Franklin, 2005). The tradeoffs between quality and quantity of production can be reduced by Job design as it decides the job duties and responsibilities that organize an autonomous job in the organization. An example job redesign is Toyota sending five person SWAT team to the sales unit where the customer satisfaction was low.
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