The CSR Newsletters are a freely-available resource generated as a dynamic complement to the textbook, Strategic Corporate Social Responsibility: Sustainable Value Creation.

To sign-up to receive the CSR Newsletters regularly during the fall and spring academic semesters, e-mail author David Chandler at

Wednesday, February 28, 2018

Strategic CSR - Amazon

As the article in the url below implies, how is this for creepy?
"What if your employer made you wear a wristband that tracked your every move, and that even nudged you via vibrations when it judged that you were doing something wrong? What if your supervisor could identify every time you paused to scratch or fidget, and for how long you took a bathroom break?"
In the name of ever-greater efficiency, this day is drawing nearer as Amazon expands its reach into every corner of the economy (and our lives):
"What may sound like dystopian fiction could become a reality for Amazon warehouse workers around the world. The company has won two patents for such a wristband, though it was unclear if Amazon planned to actually manufacture the tracking device and have employees wear it."
If you are interested to see what the workplace of the future looks like, the two patents are available here:
You would have thought Amazon would have learned from the withering coverage it received for its "bruising workplace" culture in this profile in The New York Times in 2015:
"At Amazon, workers 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. (The tool offers sample texts, including this: 'I felt concerned about his inflexibility and openly complaining about minor tasks.')"
Instead, given its rapid expansion, fawning attention over its HQ2 decision, and share price that defies gravity (and common sense), the message it is getting from its stakeholders is to keep on going. Apparently, its employees are just happy to be working there and the rest of us don't care if their privacy and/or security is threatened. Frederick Taylor would be impressed with the extrapolation of his work over a century ago:
"In theory, Amazon's proposed technology would emit ultrasonic sound pulses and radio transmissions to track where an employee's hands were in relation to inventory bins, and provide 'haptic feedback' to steer the worker toward the correct bin. The aim, Amazon says in the patent, is to streamline 'time consuming' tasks, like responding to orders and packaging them for speedy delivery. With guidance from a wristband, workers could fill orders faster."
Take care
Instructor Teaching and Student Study Site:
Strategic CSR Simulation:
The library of CSR Newsletters are archived at:
Track Hands of Workers? Amazon Has Patents for It
By Ceylan Yeginsu
February 2, 2018
The New York Times
Late Edition – Final