Last Updated 12 May 2020

Whitman’s leadership approach in changing the organizational culture

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As eBay grew, the team worked hard to preserve the unique internal culture of the company. Whitman initiated a meeting with different group of new recruits once a week in order to emphasize eBay’s values and to set expectations for how each employee would support and contribute to the company’s culture.

Whitman was meticulous in hiring individuals who “fit” with the eBay culture. With this in mind, speculations of partial racism towards hiring surfaced, which was not favorable for eBay’s wholesome image.

 However, this shouldn’t pose a problem due to the fact that eBay’s management team has reiterated the culture at eBay is open and low risk. Employees are encouraged to voice opinions and some opposing viewpoints. Errors are tolerated, but employees are anticipated to learn from such errors.

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Whitman’s dogma towards employee relations and workplace diversity was that eBay’s culture should be a “no penalty” culture, which means that there should be no penalty for being in the wrong side of an issue or changing your mind in the face of better information. Whitman emphasizes that there is no wrong opinions at eBay, but only positive suggestions that would benefit the company.

With regards to the senior management, Whitman implements a “no screaming” policy. She says that senior management should be primary examples on how the job at eBay is done. She exclaims that the eBay culture is pretty even-keeled culture. This suggests that there’s no such thing as an excellent analysis even for senior managers. Whitman ensures that each meeting is a productive one. Issues are settled with a commensurate decision.

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