Title: Organisational ambidexterity, hard power management and smart power management at Amazon, a case study

Authors: Andrew Schein

Addresses: Netanya Academic College, 1 University Street, Netanya, 4223587, Israel

Abstract: This paper examines the management practices of Amazon one of the most successful companies in the world in the last 20 years. The paper presents first hand reviews from Amazon workers on working at Amazon. The employee reviews indicate that with regard to its blue collar workers, the workers in the fulfilment centres, Amazon follows a hard power management approach. With regard to its white collar workers, the workers in the high-tech units, Amazon attempts to implement smart power management by giving workers the ability to innovate and develop their ideas. This dichotomy is an example of organisational ambidexterity separation at Amazon. However, even by some of the white collar workers, the management practices are hard power management and not smart power management. Most likely, Amazon would be better served if it implemented a smart power management style throughout the company.

Keywords: Amazon; exploration management; exploitation management; smart power management; Jeff Bezos; organisational ambidexterity; hard power; soft power.

DOI: 10.1504/GBER.2020.10026683

Global Business and Economics Review, 2020 Vol.22 No.1/2, pp.27 - 40

Received: 11 Jan 2018
Accepted: 29 Jun 2018

Published online: 11 Feb 2020 *

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