Amazon is a company with warehouses full of small, valuable items and a workforce that has relatively high turnover. In an effort to curb theft, Amazon has put up flatscreen TVs that display examples of alleged onthe-job theft, including silhouettes of employees stamped with the words “terminated” or “arrested” with details about how they stole, how much they stole, and how they got caught. In addition, Amazon is reported to display information about firings related to workplace violence, and “cheerier” announcements about updates on incentive bonuses and holidays. In warehouses without flatscreens, firings are posted on sheets of paper on a bulletin board or taped to the wall.
Some have accused Amazon of having “two faces,” with a customer-focused, revolutionizing e-commerce platform on one side and a tougher, internal-focused workplace with punishing hours and stressful conditions on the other side. However, nobody disputes that loss prevention is a persistent concern for Amazon, and extra vigilance may be required, as a result.
1. There is nothing illegal with Amazon’s method of broadcasting bad behavior. Is it unethical or unadvisable? Why?
2. How would you feel about this as an employee of Amazon?
3. Are you more comfortable with broadcasts about theft than violence in the workforce? Are there any other employee behaviors that should or should not be broadcast this way?