Zappos Case

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Introduction to Management Case Study 7

Diego Estrada
Marina Rillo
Mia Taeza
Vincent Zagala

Introduction to Management Case Study 7: Zappos


1. What traits of effective leadership does Tony Hsieh demonstrates at Zappos? What aspects of his leadership can you criticize, if any? Is his approach transferable to other leaders and other organizations, or is it person and situation specific?

For Tony Hsieh, the Zappos brand is less about a particular type of product and more about providing a good customer service. This means that he largely cares about the welfare of his employees and customers. An evidence of him being such an altruist leader was when the blog search engine Land called him “the
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Additionally, as expressed by Rebecca Ratner, Hsieh’s commitment to merging the workplace with social lives could present risk to the company in the form of unprofessional or inappropriate conduct that is not addressed properly.

His approach is person and situation specific. The modern management styles employed by Hsieh at Zappos, while unique, are effective in the proper environment. Zappos employees are noted to be incredibly enthusiastic about the Zappos brand, the company’s core values, and its workplace. Both Zappos unique culture and its management practice of encouraging work-life integration do seem to place emphasis on the need for particular personality traits in company employees. Individuals who are comfortable with a non-traditional workplace environment might thrive in Zappos unique environment. Individuals who prefer to maintain boundaries between their work and home lives and also prefer more traditional environment, as it relates to professionalism, may encounter conflict at Zappos.

2. Can you find examples of where House’s path-goal theory of leadership can be confirmed or disconfirmed in the Zappos setting? Explain your answer.

Founded in 1999 by Nick Swinmurn,, initially named, has grown from an inventory-less, “drop-ship” shoe sales website that connected customer orders with shoe suppliers to an Internet shoe mega-retailer that recorded a reported $2.1 billion in revenue in
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