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Role of Employee Activism in Reshaping the Business World

Paper Type: Free Essay Subject: Employment
Wordcount: 1090 words Published: 18th May 2020

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Purpose:  The sole purpose of this memo is to review the rise of employee activism in the tech world and its impact in business.


In today’s modern-day world, employees are never hesitant to question the company on any socio-political issues witnessed. This sort of employee activism is challenging the tech companies to revisit its employee satisfaction and acceptance of company’s ethical and business conduct. Inactivity of employee’s opposition to inaccurate commitments to possibly unethical activities and inside resistance by workers in organization is no longer prevalent because such incidents has led to will deterioration of organizations reputation and credibility. Disregarding an unfair-ness you see unfurling in the workplace is sadly a common human characteristic known as the “bystander effect”[1]. This behavior is a general human tendency to ignore the injustice and racial slanders assuming someone else will be there to take it up.

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These days not only investors and employees, even consumers started expecting more ethical choices and outputs from a corporation. The investors and shareholders are currently demanding the viability of ethical organizations. But all these can happen seamlessly when employees in an organization start opposing the negative consequences that might happen in near future. There were couple of incidents happened recently in big techies where shareholder and employees protested the commitments of company which has overlooked the ethical and business conduct policies.[3]

Now-a-days every individual in a company has become more vocal on the company’s misconducts. For instance, Google employees led an open walkout, that brought about prevailing social issues on sexual harassment and various other social issues. Prior to that, Google employees have stopped the organization’s collaboration with the military to analyze drone footage after the understanding the inputs from internal employees regarding the direct impact of that to the flying planes in that place. Susan Fowler’s blog entry illustrating her experience while she is at Uber, started a rush of progress that incorporated the substitution of the CEO which is perfect example of how activism has impacted the organization [1]. All of the above illustrate how the activism of employees has led to business growth preserving the social and ethical values.

In the last two years, employee activism took a plunge and has constrained tech people to behave unethically. This activism has also led to many benefits for transgender employees and backup daycare of employee’s children.  When employees at Google opposed the military contracts, the Alphabet Inc. search techie backed out of a United States Defense Department drone program. It then decided to no longer continue the agreement with pentagon on cloud administrations to preserve the culture and honesty of organization values.[2]

The employee activism has also hit Silicon Valley in many big organizations like Amazon. Recently Amazon has planned to restrict the environmental change proposals, referring to decrease the amount of packaging to customers, usage of solar energy and other external resources. However, two months after the resolution was put forward, the organization unveiled an activity to dispense with carbon yield from half of its client conveyances by 2030[2] which demonstrated the impact of employee activism and how fruitful the outcome would-be.

My current role here at Sumo Logic is Backend Software Engineering intern. Our company supports employee activism to maximum extent because it believes that when people meet and talk about the concerns on the issues, on which people share different opinion, there are high chances that after good number of negotiations it can be brought to a good conscience.

Employees, by considering their pioneers responsible and talking up when they encounter inequity, can always led to momentous enduring improvements of the company. This can be everything from changing a misanthropic culture to taking a lead on any possible social issues in the organization.[1]

I assume employee activism can be a significant and positive power for business success if driven in an efficient manner abiding by company rules and policies where the CEO and initiative can discover chances to greet and grasp it and decide on the ambiguous issues. In any case, doing this well is more difficult than one might expect, and requires a decent lot of exertion to make this culture. But adopting this as a company norm, can make a company best place to work.

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“It’s increasingly feasible for techies in today’s world to take initiative in social movements and promote the cultural harmony in their own corporation,” as cited by Jerry Davis, an associate dean at the University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business and the co-author of a book called “Changing Your Company from the Inside Out: A Guide for Social Intrapreneurs.”[3]


  1. You have the power to stop your company from doing bad things https://www.fastcompany.com/90285907/employees-you-have-the-power-to-stop-your-company-from-doing-bad-things)
  2. Amazon shareholders vote down facial recognition, climate change proposals  (https://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-amazon-meeting-facial-recognition-climate-change-20190522-story.html)
  3. How tech workers are fueling a new employee activism movement (https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/2018/12/13/how-tech-workers-are-fueling-new-employee-activism-movement/?noredirect=on&utm_term=.9ab373c73389)


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