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Amazon Company: Organization and Leadership

Since Organization and Leadership Review (OLR) has two goals – finding and preparing future leaders, and identifying the least effective employees and making them improve on their skills – it might present a good motivation for the workers. It devises a system of promotion based on assessing actual skills of the workers, so those who show exceptional results get ahead and grow professionally, while those who cannot perform well enough get a chance to correct their mistakes and come up to the others’ level. Such an approach increases the overall productivity of a working unit. However, the one-way communication approach might be a drawback.

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There might be some inconveniences regarding the use of rater bias, stereotyping, and traits appraisal, as workers might not be comfortable with these procedures (Hellein, R. & Bowman, J., 2002). In the case of rater bias, for example, workers may feel “discomfort with giving feedback, personality differences between the manager and the employee” (Traub, 2013, p. 5). This kind of rating would hardly benefit the one being reviewed. Stereotyping is considered an error in reviewing, as it compiles opinions and impressions formed before the review even starts. To deal with these problems, we have to make sure that employees state their opinions clearly and honestly, without fear of being judged by their colleagues or superiors.

I assume that the appraisal system that resembles OLR most closely is the behavior-focus performance appraisal, as it is based on evaluating employees on a scale from best to worst. Their future is decided through this assessment, with a chance of the best getting promotion, and the worst at risk of getting fired.

The appraisal system that would best meet Amazon’s objectives of retaining the best employees, while taking corrective action with the bottom 10%, would be a combination of psychological appraisal (evaluating workers’ intellectual abilities, analytical skills, emotional stability, etc. in order to make better team-forming decisions) and the grading and checklist appraisal (using A to F letter grades and checklist questionnaires to find out more about an employee and rank him or her accordingly) (Griffin, n.d.).

With electronic performance monitoring, a company like Amazon can supervise and analyze an employee’s activities in real-time. This method is effective, since “electronic monitoring systems are also used to continually collect information on performance metrics, such as average call handle time, a total number of calls handled, and time on breaks” (Can Electronic Monitoring Improve Employee Performance, 2014, para. 3).

The studies showed that, on one hand, electronic performance monitoring had the same effect on workers as a boss or a supervisor constantly present nearby – the more frequently they were monitored, the more motivation they had to work better and spend less time on personal activities during working hours (Bhave, 2014). On the other hand, employees’ motivation to do better, to help out their co-workers, and to perform their duties with excellence comes from the desire to make a good impression on the evaluators, rather than from the ambition to achieve good results for their company.

One-way communication does not give evaluators a full overview of the worker’s personalities. It is simply based on the suggestions of supervisors: They select subordinates suitable for promotion, and they decide whose performance deserves reformation. The fact that the workers themselves do not have any say in this seems unproductive as, for example, firing people without talking to them thoroughly might exclude the possibility of ever finding out whether or not they had any room for improvement (Bularzik et al., 2013).

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The positive aspect of this approach is the set of guidelines it creates for promotions and the fact that top performers receive high compensation in accordance with the quality of their work.


Bhave, D.P. (2014). The Invisible Eye? Electronic Performance Monitoring and Employee Job Performance. Personnel Psychology, 67(3), 605–635.

Bularzik, A.M.H, Tullai-McGuinness, S., & Sieloff, C.L. (2013). Nurse’s Perceptions of Their Group Goal Attainment Capability and Professional Autonomy: a Pilot Study. Journal of Nursing Management 21, 581–590.

Can Electronic Monitoring Improve Employee Performance? (2014). Web.

Griffin, D. (n.d.) Types of Employee Appraisal Systems. Web.

Hellein, R. & Bowman, J. (2002). The Process of Quality Management Implementation. Public Performance & Management Review, 26(1), 75-93.

Traub, L. (2013). Bias in Performance Management Review Process. [Brochure] Silver Spring, MD: Cook Ross Inc.

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