The Zappos Holacracy Fiasco

I have been doing some reading on several different versions of how to implement the concept of a worker coop in practice, namely Holacracy and Sociocracy. In particular, I came across the linked Forbes and Fortune articles describing the online shoe retailer Zappos' experiment with it over the past few years. I'm not sure if you've ever explicitly discussed this in your economic updates, but I figured I'd bring it to your attention in any case. In particular, it seems to demonstrate some of the issues with implementation of these ideas that many of us grapple with. While the company is still in business, it does not seem to be doing so well and many of its staff have left. The online blogging company Medium is also mentioned as having experiment with this form of organizational structure but recently abandoned it in favor of more traditional forms. My question is not very well defined here, but I'm just wondering whether you have an opinion on this particular form of worker coop, and whether that is to blame for its seeming failures, or whether this may prove to be a broader issue for all organizations with decentralized governance structures.

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  • Majed Samad
    published this page in Ask Prof. Wolff 2017-02-15 17:38:47 -0500