Organisation of Zara fashion brand.
6Organization of Zara Fashion Brand
Organization of Zara Fashion Brand
Organization of Zara Fashion Brand
The Schein’s typology suggests that organizational culture develops over time rather than in a single day as employees solve problems, experience changes, and interact with the external environment. It develops through three levels; artifacts which are the observable characteristics, values of employees, and assumed values which remain hidden (Levin, 2000 p.91). The organizational culture at Zara has developed over time since the inception of the company in Spain. The organization stocks clothes designed according to the latest fashion trends, which is observable across all its outlets. Flexibility, teamwork, and passion are values shared by employees across the company expressed in their service to customers. Creativity is a quality that one may not observe at first glance but the team of employees at Zara has a high level of creativity. The organizational environment facilitates the development of a culture where communication is a crucial element. Communication occurs between employees where they consult each other about various decisions and respect the feedback offered. Communication with customers enables collection of information on changing fashion trends and expectations of customers.
Zara’s organizational culture is customer centric since the customer is the most important stakeholder for the organization. Customers set the trend and determine the items available at various retail stores across Zara’s market. Once customers enquire about a certain product, the employees consider this and include it in the stock in an instant. The company has an entrepreneurial culture as it employs young talent that can easily climb up the flat organizational structure hence instilling a competitive culture among employees (Schrodt, 2009 p.200). The teams of employees can consistently keep up with latest fashion trends and quickly adjust to market changes. This keeps the company’s products relevant to customer needs and ensures continuous customer satisfaction. The culture also focuses on risk-taking and fast implementation of fashion ideas to keep up with current trends as well as develop new trends. This has enabled the company to keep up with changing street fashion, which is the reason for its consistent growth and success as a global fashion brand despite its decision to disregard marketing strategies.
Operating a business in the fashion world requires a high level of flexibility to enable quick adoption of changing fashion trends (Zammuto, Gifford & Goodman, 2000 p.277). This quality makes Zara’s culture very relevant since it enables its employees to identify new fashion trends and avail them in their retail stores. The process of identifying and adopting new fashion trends must take a short period in order for the brand to retain its relevance. The fast changing trends also require every member of the organization to act in urgency. Employment of young employees also contributes to the fast adoption of new fashion trends. Young people are keen, energetic, and quick in observing changes as well as collecting information about fashion from their peers. It is therefore easier for younger people to identify fresh fashion trends than for older people. Having a team of young employees creates a positive corporate image since it presents the organization as trendy. People naturally associate fresh ideas with young people due to their interaction with the latest technology and current trends. The consumer centric culture is very relevant to the fashion industry since the consumer dictates what the company stocks in its stores. Consumers set the trends and the company has to follow these trends to remain relevant and satisfy consumer needs. Zara therefore needs to listen to its customers to ensure it offers exactly what they want hence retain their market share amidst stiff competition in the industry. The company could adopt a marketing culture to promote their consumer centric strategy further. This would involve advertising new fashion items available at various stores as well as their prices. This would attract new consumers of fashion items, particularly those with no prior knowledge of the company’s fashionable items. Expanding the market share of the company would expand the company and increase its capacity hence enabling its entry into new markets.
Zara operates in a highly volatile and competitive industry, which requires organizations to develop a competitive edge for the sake of survival and growth (Chan, Shaffer & Snape, 2007 p.21). The company operates across countries and cultures requiring assimilation of different fashion trends across the board. It operates a decentralized and flexible culture to cater for this phenomenon to facilitate success in various locations. However, issues arise in the company’s handling of changing cultural dynamics. Having started in Spain, the organization receives blame of favoring light-skinned employees of color over members of the African American community. This is a major complain among the employees who complain of favoritism in distribution of working hours, treatment, and promotions. This is a phenomenon attributed to dealing with members of different cultures.
After an assessment of the organizational culture at Zara, I would introduce a culture of diversity among employees working for the organization. This would involve employing people across all age groups, educational backgrounds, and culture. This would eliminate biasness that taints the image of the organization making it appear as favoring members of certain origin. Racism is an element that the company should avoid at all costs especially because it operates in areas with people from different cultures. This cultural change would begin with amending the recruitment policy to include people from the older generation and minority groups (O’reilly, Chatman & Caldwell, 2003 p.511). It would then proceed to ensuring fairness in treatment of all employees by employing supervisors to ensure this. Despite this shortcoming, the organization has a very effective culture that other businesses could emulate. Consumer centrism is the most striking feature that could benefit organizations operating in any industry. This is because consumers are the most important stakeholders for any business seeking to make profits and grow. Making this a part of the organizational culture would direct employees in their treatment of customers. Understanding the importance of the customer would result in prioritizing their needs hence leading to customer satisfaction. Organizations could adopt this value by improving the level of interaction with consumers to obtain feedback on their level of satisfaction with products and services. This would offer guidance on the areas that require improvement and those that the organization could capitalize on.
Chan L L M, Shaffer M A, Snape E D 2007, ‘In search of sustained competitive advantage: The impact of organizational culture, competitive strategy and human resource management practices on firm performance’, The International Journal of Human Resource Management, Vol.15, No. 1, Pp.17-35.
Levin I M 2000, ‘Five windows into organization culture: An assessment framework and approach’, Organization Development Journal, Vol 18, No.1, Pp. 83-94.
O’reilly C A, Chatman J, Caldwell D F 2003, ‘People and organizational culture: A profile comparison approach to assessing person-organization fit’, Academy of Management Journal, Vol. 34, No.3, Pp.487-516.
Schrodt P 2009, ‘The relationship between organizational identification and organizational culture: Employee perceptions of culture and identification in a retail sales organization’, Communication Studies Journal, Pp.189-202.
Zammuto R F, Gifford B, Goodman E A 2000, The handbook of organizational culture and climate, Thousand Oaks: Sage Publications.