Amazon Delivers Diversity: Geographical & Social Influences on Corporate Embeddedness
39 Pages Posted: 18 Mar 2019 Last revised: 11 Apr 2019
Date Written: February 25, 2019
This is the first Article to discuss the new phenomenon in America of corporations opening second headquarters in regions that are geographically distinct from their original headquarters. Currently, this trend is most notably evidenced by Amazon.com, Inc. and its plan to create a second headquarters equal in size and importance to its original headquarters located in Seattle, Washington. Amazon’s second headquarters search provides an ideal interdisciplinary case study to explore two important and interrelated aspects of business law and organizational behavior theory: corporate sustainability and corporate embeddedness. Choosing a location for a second headquarters that is culturally distinct from the first could have critical consequences for a corporation. For example, employees who relocate from the first headquarters to the second could have trouble becoming embedded in the new headquarters due to cultural differences. This could affect employee productivity and retention. Similarly, the embedded culture and values of the second headquarters’ community could overtly and implicitly influence the organizational identity of the overall corporation. While corporations can be driving forces for social change, this Article looks to show how they can be changed themselves. Business research concerning headquarters location thus far has largely ignored these issues. Therefore, this Article seeks to begin a dialogue concerning how the geography of a second headquarters influences internal organization and sustainability practices, corporate embeddedness, and organizational and individual identity issues within a corporation.
Keywords: CSR, Corporate Social Responsibility, Sustainability, Shareholder Primacy, Business Law, Organizational Theory, Corporate Law, Law, Embeddedness, Identity Theory, Headquarters, Constituency Statues, Corporate Governance, Corporate Culture, LGBT, LGBTQ, Amazon
JEL Classification: L2, L20, J15, J16
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation