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According to the New York Times, white-collar workers at Amazon are encouraged to tear apart one another’s ideas in meetings, toil long and late (emails arrive past midnight, followed by text messages asking why they were not answered), and held to standards that the company boasts are “unreasonably high.” The internal phone directory instructs colleagues on how to send secret feedback to one another’s bosses. Employees say it is frequently used to sabotage others.

1. What are the costs and benefits of this workplace environment?
2. What are the leadership principles or articles of faith that describe the way that Amazonians should act?
3. What financial transaction is used to retain employees at Amazon? Make the journal entry for a person who leaves the company before working there a year.
4. Given some of the stories presented in the article, do you think that Amazon will ever have paid parental leave, like the Netflix model? Discuss.

Kantor, J. and D. Streitfeld. (2015). Inside Amazon: Wrestling Big Ideas in a Bruising Workplace. The New York Times, Aug. 15 (Retrievable online at
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