Amazon uses techniques that eerily resemble some of the tactics that Mao Zedong used during the Cultural Revolution in China.
Central to Amazon's performance management system is a process of continuous feedback and harsh criticism. Employees are given information about their performance using hundreds of metrics, and they have to submit themselves to barrages of criticism.
Sometimes, employees are encouraged to submit praise or criticism of their co-workers to management through the Anytime Feedback Tool. Employees are even asked to critique their own performance.
Now, when we think about Chairman Mao, the image that comes to mind is his little red book, which was distributed all over China as a means of influence.
While the book's slogans served to turn skeptics into ardent supporters, it was Mao's creation of a system of self-criticisms that made the Cultural Revolution so chilling.