AQA BUSS4 Research Theme for 2015 - Manufacturing in the UK

Attend a CPD Teacher Briefing on the BUSS4 Theme  |  Order the BUSS4 Research Theme Toolkit | Book places on the BUSS4 Revision Workshops

Business Studies Resources Popular resources on the {my channel} blog Resource tags for the blog RSS Feed for the blog Twitter feed for this blog Teacher Email Resource Newsletter Category listing for this blog Business Studies Blog Home Page
Tracker Pixel for Entry

Amazon - Work hard and ... er, work hard.

Monday, February 11, 2013
Print Tweet This!Save to Favorites

The FT today publishes a great report on the culture at Amazon's Rugeley distribution centre. An interesting insight into the culture of a cost focussed and highly effiecient business that is described by founder Jeff Bezos as: "Our culture is friendly and intense but if push comes to shove, we'll settle for intense."

This is quite a long report http://www.ft.com/cms/s/2/ed6a985c-70bd-11e2-85d0-00144feab49a.html#slide0 but well worth a good read. This is a business that goes right back 100 years in terms of its hard HR and a Tayloristic/Theory X approach to management - but with a modern twist.

Employees walk 7-14 miles a day within the warehouse, picking varied items from Amazon's shelves. “You’re sort of like a robot, but in human form,” said the Amazon manager. “It’s human automation, if you like.” They use handheld devices with GPS to find the quickest way around and receive a text message if they are going too slow. Initially, staff are employed on a contract basis at one penny an hour above the minimum wage and without any benefits or security. Even the half hour lunch break is barely sufficient to get through airport-style security (to make sure employees are not stealing anything) and actually get any lunch. The warehouse is patrolled by time and motion experts described as 'mobile problem solvers' who try to iron out anything that will slow workers down. Workers complain that the ill-fitting safety boots they have to wear give them blisters.

What does this say about culture? The business is firmly focussed on cost control and efficiency and Amazon gives the impression it would replace people with machines if only they could cope as well as people do with the varied size and shape of products in the warehouse. There is a lot to be learned about changes in the economy; formerly a coal mine where men could earn up to £900 a week in todays money, the Amazon workers are on £6.20 an hour, equivalent to a mere £220 a week.

An excellent case study for Business Studies and Economics, showing that perhaps wage rates can move downwards after all!

Update: BBC Panorama programme (November 2013) Click here for trailer




The cameras went behind the scenes at one of tutor2u's exam coaching & revision workshops this summer...

 

Discover more about our intensive exam coaching & revision workshops desiged to prepare for exams in May & June 2015:

AS/A2 Economics Workshops  |  AS/A2 Business Studies  |  AS Psychology


tutor2u online store

PowerPoint Lesson Activities Teacher Conferences & CPD Courses
Exam Coaching & Revision Workshops Pre-release Case Study Toolkits
A Level Economics Teaching Support Resources for Business Studies
Digital Magazines  


Enter your Email



AQA A Level Business - CPD

Join Graham Prior and Jim Riley to fast-track your preparation for the new AQA A Level Business

Latest resources

Resource categories Blog RSS feed Blog RSS Feed
© Copyright Tutor2u Limited 2013 All Rights Reserved