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Amazon is at present a dominant ecommerce player not only in America but also globally. Jeff Bezos created it in 1994 with an aim to take up emerging opportunities from the then very docile online environment (Meyer, 2017). Since then, the very large firm has successfully ridden on successive waves of technological revolutions enabling to take online shopping experiences to the highest possible level. Its operations are currently firmly established to run on large scale computing towards keeping in line with optimizing customer-centric objectives. It has been able to realize unprecedented achievement due to continued intense action research as well as organizational development (McLean, 2006). This paper discusses a noted challenge in its corporate structure, the management’s position on the issue, and whether it is advisable to hire a consultant to assist in solving the problem.
Amazon’s phenomenal success stemmed from the fact that its leadership quickly realized the immense potential for business growth that the global market offered. It corporate structure is thus one with the capacity to exercise extensive control over all ecommerce operations on a multinational level (Meyer, 2017). It is a structure that has progressively constituted an evolution in design as well as system interactions with stakeholders to support as well as expand reach if the continually diversifying entity. This structure involves there closely interlinked subsystems. These include international function oriented group, global hierarchy and geographic divisions. A significant disadvantage emerges from Amazon’s successful business structure. According to Meyer (2017), the international function oriented groups as well as features of global hierarchy result in restrictions on flexibility and responsiveness to emergent problems of issues as they occur in the multifaceted e-commerce business.
Contracting an OD Expert
Amazon is a massive entity and its internal systems and structures are equally big. In an effort to remedy the problem faced relative to its organizational structure, it requires the inputs from an external consultant with the experience, and resources to pinpoint Amazon’s issue of concern and most importantly, propose a workable remedy (Lurey & Griffin, 2013). It is evident that managers in the institution are experiencing discomforts in restricted flexibility leading to below par responsiveness as expected. The subject matter at hand concerns responsiveness and flexibility. On the same note, an external OD consultant will be best position to exhibit the same in enabling the organization to facilitate remedy to the situation (Lurey & Griffin, 2013). An externally contracted OD specialist will seek to collaborate with the internal OD at Amazon on finding a systems focused approach which will also result in multiple changes across the organization.
The goal of any interventions deemed fit by the external OD will seek to make Amazon’s more effective, vital as an industry leader and ensure it operations ability are sustainable given the dynamics present amongst global consumers (Haneberg, 2005). The external OD expert is bound to experience challenges on a number of fronts. The first one is concerned with the massive amounts of data that he will be expected to gather and analyze in an effort to diagnose the problem’s root cause. The feedback and planning change processes will not only be resource intensive but also time bound (Haneberg, 2005). This will ensure that these two processes will be an onerous undertaking for both the firm and the consultant. However, the intervention change which will essentially incorporate these three previous processes will present the most notable challenges as it will ultimately initiate organizational change.
In conclusion, services of an OD consultant are requisite if Amazon expects to ensure it remains with an undeniable competitive advantage over other industry players. It is already on the right track as far as focus on the consumer is expected. However, its present organizational structure where the global hierarchy and the international function oriented groups are both headed in a collision course. This is unacceptable making it necessary that an intervention be sought. The intervention stage which will invoke organization wide transformation promises to present enormous to the OD specialist and by extension, the organization.
Haneberg, L. (2005). Chapter 3: The action research approach to change. Organization Development Basics. Alexandria, VA: American Society for Training & Development.
Lurey, J. & Griffin, M. (2013). Section 2: Chapter 4: Action research: The anchor of OD practice. In Vogelsang, J. (ed). Handbook for Strategic HR: Best Practices in Organization Development from the OD Network. Saranac Lake, NY: AMACOM Books.
McLean, G. N. (2006). Chapter 1: What is organization development? Organization Development: Principles, Processes, Performance. San Francisco, CA: Berrett-Koehler Publishers.
Meyer, P. (2017). Amazon.com Inc.’s organizational structure characteristics (An Analysis). Panmore Institute. Retrieved from http://panmore.com/amazon-com-inc-organizational-structure-characteristics-analysis