Essay Sample on Workplace Incivility at Amazon Company

Published: 2023-10-31
Essay Sample on Workplace Incivility at Amazon Company
Type of paper:  Essay
Categories:  Amazon Business management Business communication Crisis management
Pages: 5
Wordcount: 1356 words
12 min read


Workplace incivility can be disastrous when company administrators fail to identify the challenges in time, and relevant corrective plans adhered to. Business researchers have outlined that, however, small leaks may be in a tank, the progressive impact could be an empty tank (Blau & Andersson, 2005). Therefore, these ignoring such minor leaks might even lead to a possible fallout of a company. Amazon is one of the international marketing companies that helps consumers all over the world to access various goods and services at relatively cheaper costs, due to their comparative lower shipment fees (Bezos, 2018). Due to its stable workforce in the recent decade, the company's Chief Executive Officer Jeff Bezos has emerged to be the world's wealthiest person with an approximated net worth of $147.6 billion (Bentley, 2018). That being said, it is still imperative to acknowledge that, despite all the success stories of Amazon, its employees significantly suffered in the year 2018. Studies done by Pearson (2000) stipulated that over this period, the rates of absenteeism among workers, and workflow stoppages were outraging. In an interview done for one Amazon worker during the same period by New York Times magazine reported that that employee’s morale of work had reduced tremendously, following the acts of rudeness, bullying, and unfair behaviors among the company’s leadership. By definition, workplace incivility refers to the low-intensity deviant behaviors done primarily with an ambiguous intent that is centrally aimed to harm the targets or objectives. Therefore, workplace incivility can be harmful towards maintaining a stable growth of a company. This discussion will explain in-depth, the case of workplace incivility in Amazon, and the procedures or measures they took to correct up the issues in question.

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Causes of Workplace Incivility at Amazon Company

Workplace incivility at Amazon was caused by rudeness, bullying, and unfair behaviors of the leaders at the company. Ideally, all these acts tend to pose a crucial challenge to the worker's morale. Rudeness, for instance, appears to be a healthy behavior by people at work. Some individuals have fluctuating moods, get volatile quite quickly, or eccentric at the time. Still, in summation, these acts should be rebuked as they can lead to severe damages in the workflow of an organization (Pearson et al., 2000). In a survey conducted for about 800 employees at Amazon in 2018, the report stated that at least 47% of the workers who were rudely treated by their employees deliberately decided to minimize their working hours at the office, to equally reduce the time of contact with the management (Bentley, 2018). To worsen the situation, 30% reported that they had decided to knowingly decrease their quality of work as a form of response to rudeness, which was natural with several leaders. Finally, about 71% of the employees outstandingly noted that they were not committed to work for the organization, as much as their leaders remained rude to them, at any time of posing questions, or making inquiries. The findings from this study would be utilized further to explain why Amazon's net profit fell behind their vital competitor Alibaba, despite maintaining a lead for a consecutive six years since 2013 (Blau & Andersson, 2005). Rudeness can, therefore, impact the level of worker's creativity and willingness to deliver the assigned tasks. Perhaps, it would eventually cause breakages in the workflow, hence reduced profitability.

Bullying is another major cause of workplace incivility among workers. Bullying is defined as abusive or demeaning behavior or conduct, which is directed towards an individual or group (Pearson et al., 2000). At the workplace, it can occur between employee-employee or employee-management. However, studies have shown that it is easy to manage chaos and misunderstanding between employees than when an administrator or manager is involved. In the year 2018, a visible act of bullying was evident at Amazon (Bezos, 2018). Following the long-term demonstrations by workers to get their salaries in 2017, most managers were callous after all activities were corrected in December 2018. These leaders consistently used derogatory words, dismissive sounds, and unfamiliar body language when responding to employees, and continually rejected any new proposals that employees wanted to initiate. Consequently, this led to incivility among workers who also decided to boycott the office duties. They felt like the leaders were gradually undermining their self-esteem. However, they were very committed to delivering, to help the company recover from its bad economic crisis, which it had faced in the entire year, due to imminent ups and downs. In response, employees never completed duties in time and responded severely with rudeness. Notably, the results also facilitated the bad financial growth report of 2018, where the company failed to meet its expected growth rate after some time.

Solution Used by Amazon to Counteract Workplace Incivility

Even though most companies struggle to control incivility, especially when it involves employees and management, Amazon today boasts of having managed the problem into completion, and it currently enjoys all the creativity and commitment of every stakeholder who is involved (Pearson et al., 2005). Several strategies were used by the company to combat the challenge, and the following is a list of a few robust corrective measures which were implemented.

Increasing Awareness

The company first admitted that the challenge was existing, initiated awareness campaign programs to gather information concerning the potential cause of the act, and also used the program to educate employees on the impacts of uncivil behaviors at the external environment of the company. This was a crucial move by the company because the most important thing is to admit that the challenge is existing. Moreover, some employees might be engaging in the uncivil acts as an influence by peers (Pearson et al., 2005). Creating awareness programs that promote communication between the two parties makes it straightforward to gain an understanding of each other. With the plans, Jeff Bezos, in an interview, stated that he solely used the raised concerns to stop the action in the company (Bezos, 2018).

Creating Standards of Conduct, and Value Civility

Amazon Company made laws and codes of conduct that applied not only among employees but also to the managers. These legislations controlled individual behavior at the company. Therefore, everyone was expected to act in a specific way, failure to which would cause disciplinary actions regardless of the social status or ranks within the company. The Chairman and Chief Executive Officer noted that the laws helped to avoid the scenario of bullying, rudeness, and immoral behaviors among leaders on the employees (Bezos, 2018). Those who deviated from these guidelines faced charges and risked their chances of getting eliminated as a staff or employee of the company. Again, the strategy was effective because standards of conduct will help to eradicate the possible causes of incivility (Blau & Andersson, 2005). Having controlled the principal source, it is unlikely that employees will be uncivil because they will have no reason to do so.


In conclusion, the effects of workplace incivility can be detrimental to the success of a company. If the issues and deviant behaviors were not addressed in advance, it was postulated that Amazon would be behind Alibaba, its vital competitor in the 2019 financial annual report. It Is so because incivility can further make employees regularly come late in meetings, avoid using the recommendable polite words such as 'thank you" at work, ignore duties, and further become unproductive. Nevertheless, holding open communication within an organization, and inflicting strict laws and guidelines that govern an individual's behavior can coherently be useful in managing such challenges, as it was the case with Amazon. In a nutshell, leaders should emulate proper management skills to identify incivility acts before their effects become so harmful.


Bentley, J. W. (2018). Challenges with Amazon Mechanical Turk research in accounting. Available at SSRN 2924876.

Bezos, J. (2018). Amazon. com. Purdue University Public Affairs Video Archives.

Blau, G., & Andersson, L. (2005). Testing a measure of instigated workplace incivility. Journal of Occupational and Organizational Psychology, 78(4), 595-614.

Pearson, C. M., Andersson, L. M., & Porath, C. L. (2000). Assessing and attacking workplace incivility. Organizational Dynamics, 29(2), 123-137.

Pearson, C. M., Andersson, L. M., & Porath, C. L. (2005). Workplace incivility.

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