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Political Frame Study
Zappos.com is one of a few companies that has penetrated the global market within a short period of time and has managed to establish its strong position. Organized in 1999, the company is considered to be the leading online retail distributor of clothes and shoes via Amazon.com and other Internet channels. Its pure customer-orientation philosophy has allowed Zappos.com to develop billion-dollar venture in 10 years (Shafer, 2011). Interestingly, the company never convinced consumers to purchase shoes at a higher price; rather, Zappos.com has recognized that their competitors outperformed the company in terms of the discount policy. As soon as this fact is understood, the company makes other competitors vulnerable because of the awareness of Zappos.coms worthy competitors (Shafer, 2011). To enter a highly competitive market, the company was purchased by Amazon.com, which has provided Zappos.com with a major competitive advantage.
The success of the business is also due to the political frame perspective established in the company. In order to understand how political dimension has contributed to the companys prosperity, it is necessary to address the political frame proposed by Bolman and Deal (2011). In particular, the scholars have singled out three major aspects of political action, such as management of power, conflict, and coalition, understanding managers policies like those of a politician, and considering an organization as political arenas and agents (Bolman & Deal, 2011). In this context, it is possible to consider Zappos.com as a politically oriented company, which has managed to achieve success through cooperation, global orientation, and efficient decision making. Additionally, allocation of resources is of great importance, as well because it sheds light on how effectively the company can operate in a global marketplace.
Management of Power, Conflict, and Coalition
According to Bolman and Deal (2011), organizations are coalitions of assorted individuals and interest groups (p. 192). In this respect, Zappos.com has made the right decision when being taken over by Amazon.com. In fact, acting in isolation would doom the company to failure because the global management of a multinational corporation implies active partnership and coalitions between companies to gain a competitive advantage. The situation is explained by the fact that the company is customer-oriented rather than task-oriented. In this regard, the purchase of the company has provided the potential advantage over other companies acting globally.
While considering conflict management, the emphasis should be placed on the conflict of interests because it is the leading issue that defines the success of political relations of the company with other global stakeholders. According to Bolman and Deal (2011), interpersonal [conflict] can block progress and waste time (p. 184). Therefore, the task of the companys managers is to develop a powerful ethical framework, within which efficient algorithm of conflict resolution will be introduced. For this reason, Zappos.com makes every effort of avoiding to include personal interests that prevent the company from accomplishing its goals. In order to eliminate conflicts, the company has established a set of rules. To begin with, employees, whose duty is buying goods and taking responsibilities, are limited in expressing economic interests in personal business concerns, as well as significant interests in publicly held concerns. Further, the company takes into consideration the circumstances that lead to personal judgments and ethically unjustified decisions. Overall, the companys leading position is confined to the idea that organizational objectives and mission should come to the forth, whereas employees objectives should not contradict the companys goals.
Managers as Politicians and Variations in Power
When it comes to power variations, the emphasis should be placed on the companys core values, strategies, and mission. In this respect, the company has identified strong relations in all fields, including managers, customers, both external and internal, business partners, vendors, team members, employees, and direct reports. Establishing strong relationships with the leading stakeholders contributes to an open and honest image of the company and makes Zappos.com the most honorable and respectable company in the world that has managed to gain recognition on the side of the customers (Zappos.com, 2013). Strong relationships are the key to developing emotional bonds because integrity in interaction should be prioritized to achieve excellence in managing business at an international level (Zappos.com, 2013). Further, embracing cultural diversity ensures successful communication, which shapes the platform for any relationships.
In order to establish strong relations with both internal and external stakeholders, it is essential to develop a strong power framework. According to Bolman and Deal (2011), authorities are the recipients or targets of influence, and the agents or initiators of social control (p.198). What is more important is that managers as politicians should prioritize the concepts of morality and ethics while conducting business. In this context, Zappos.com (2013) has introduced the Code of Conduct that is applied to all employees and managers in the company. The purpose of the Code is to provide a detailed explanation of standards, missions, and philosophies which are expected to be observed. The task of a manager is to take responsibilities for and control of all moral and ethical decisions taken within the organization. To have a better understanding of the political map, it is purposeful to address the companys organizational chart (see Appendix 1). The figure shows that the orientation in the company is vertical and, therefore, the company should organize subsidiaries all over the world by reporting to the Directors Board.
Organizations as Political Agents
In order to become a recognized political agent, the company must conduct business with integrity to maintain good reputation in the global marketplace. At this point, federal, state, and local regulations should be observed because compliance with governmental standards promotes core value of building honest relationships (Zappos.com, 2010). When it comes to an organization as a political agent, the company should act in an organized eco-system (Bolman & Deal, 2011). Specifically, as soon as the company has entered the global space, it has to consider new group of players, such as investors and competitors. Being politically-predetermined actors, Zappos.com has to stand a moral dimension because it focuses on a range of strategies that provide an access to public policy and most important political goals. In addition, the company should be interested in managing political environment in a country it operates. Therefore, Zappos.com must have a deeper understanding of the political system to be able to penetrate politically diverse environments.
The allocation of resources at Zappos.com is closely associated with efficient supply chain management. In its turn, the supply chain system identified the cultural environment in the organization because employees should communicate effectively to ensure constant exchange of information and resources among the departments. According to Bolman and Deal (2011), scarce resources trigger context about who get what. Interdependence means that people cannot ignore one another; they need each others assistance, support, and resources (p. 195). In this respect, the company should not ignore other stakeholders interest because it can threaten the success of the production process. For instance, while producing clothes and shoes, it is essential to establish strong relations with local suppliers of raw materials. In such a manner, it would be possible to gain trust and respect on the part of the local consumers.
In conclusion, the political frame of Zappos.com embraces a range of philosophies and ideological system that ensure strong relationships with the leading stakeholders, such as clients, suppliers, governments, and employees. Both internal and external aspects of conducting business are important for improving the companys image and performance. Moreover, the cultural dimension contributes to the success of political action because the company should be perceived as both political agent and a globally-oriented producer who prioritizes moral and ethical values.