Comparing the organizing principles of Andronico's and Amazon

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organizing principle is largely based on a combination of two organizing
principles:  purpose based and position

 Purpose based organizing principles implement
the arrangement of resources such that they are grouped together on the basis of
a common purpose that they serve.

example, grouping of picnic supplies and foils together, baking needs and flour
and sugar, pasta and pasta sauce, laundry and detergents, grouping of cookies,
chips and crackers, bath and shampoo supplies etc.

the other hand, position based organizing principles are those that direct the
arrangement of items in the system based on the value they generate by their
relative positioning.

example, the placement of perishable items like meat, dairy, bread, eggs etc.
across the store is such that it makes the consumers cover as much store area
as possible. Aesthetics of the store also plays a key role in sales so an
entering customer sees the arrangement of flowers in the front which is
visually pleasing and inviting. Also, keeping that in mind, meat, sea food etc.
are placed at the back of the store. Certain items like energy bars, chips,
beverages etc. are also placed in the front of the aisles for those consumers who
make quick trips to the store. Placing bulk foods near the entrance is an
indicator of low costs of items in the store which again is an important aspect
governing sales.

addition to the position based organizing principle followed by Andronico’s,
the Amazon website also follows a category oriented organizing principle.
Category oriented organizing principles direct the arrangement of resources
based on what category they fall under.

example, the items are all grouped under different categories such as
electronics and computers, home needs, clothing and shoes etc. However, the
placement of all of these categories is not based on an alphabetical order. It
is based on which part of the webpage users are most likely to click on and on
the popularity of the items. For example, placing popular online purchases such
as ‘Electronics & Computers’ towards the centre of the webpage catches the
eye of the user more quickly than the ‘Unlimited Instant Videos’ category on
the top left of the page. Grouping all the ‘Kindle’ tablets together, with the
latest releases - ‘Kindle Paperwhite’, on the top, is also an example of sales
driven principle.

the organizing systems- Andronico’s and Amazon are centered on the position
based organizing principles; however the resources are not clubbed together in
the same manner.

example, in Andronico’s, all the kitchen supplies are not grouped in the same area however in Amazon, all the kitchen
supplies are grouped under the category “kitchen & dining”. This
distinction mainly emerges from the fact that Andronico’s is a physical
organizing system wherein the user’s physical navigation is taken under
consideration. It is important to try to make the customer navigate across the
store as much as possible.

the other hand, Amazon is a digital organizing system deals more with the user’s
cognitive navigation. Certain areas on the webpage such as bottom corners and
extreme right are places that users tend to see less of. Thus, here, it is
important to ensure that these places are occupied by resources that are less

the similarity is that both the organizing principles effectively use the
popularity of certain items to drive the sales of other resources.

example, in Andronico’s, placing popular items such as eggs and butter closer
to the coffee bar and deli, in some way, helps increase the sales of these two.
Amazon’s web directory also follows a similar principle. For example, while looking
at popular items such as laptops and computers, Amazon recommends certain
brands of laptop bags and other accessories to the user, with the intention of
increasing the sales of these items.

in the organizing principles of both the systems, one common noticeable motive
is to drive sales. In both the cases, this is being achieved by the relative
positioning of the resources. Hence, to make these organizing principles more
abstract, we can create a new abstraction level which would be an “sales
driven” organizing principle wherein the arrangement of the resources in the
system places a direct impact on the success or failure of the organizing
system and in turn determine the sales outcome of these systems.

example, in Andronico’s as well as Amazon, changing the position of even a
single resource would have an impact on the sales of that item.

sum it up, since the organizing principles in any organizing system direct the
arrangement and placement of resources, it takes its place as one of the most
critical factors that determines the effectiveness of organizing systems.