The goods market is a tricky yet risky business to indulge in. Most prospective entrepreneurs have never fully mastered the art of meeting consumer needs. That is why when such potential entrepreneurs set up shop; they end up leaving the market after a few years of operation. However, some people are good when it comes to making the goods market interesting to work in. Wal-Mart is a leading example of corporate success at an international level. The supermarket chain is known for its convenient prices and the variety of products. This is a stated fact since it is said that when Sam Walton set up this company about fifty years ago, his objective was to meet the demands of middle-income earners in America. Back then, his aim was to capture a portion of the American market. However, with time, the supermarket gained fame for its affordable prices and after-sale services and before Walton knew it, he was receiving proposals from investors that would assist him to expand the chain of stores globally.
Fifty years later, the company has set up stores in over twenty-five countries and counting. Apart from supplying goods at convenient prices, the company has played a great role in creating employment opportunities for many foreigners. As a result, it has turned into a favourite store for many. This paper looks at the various factors such as transitional changes, organizational structure, and leadership techniques that make Wal-Mart a global competitor.
Question 1. Explain the role of leadership within Walmart and how the structure
And the culture of the organisation can lead to effective organisational
Division of labour and specialization are fundamental strategies for any organization that wishes to remain in the manufacturing business for some time. Division of labour entails assigning different production activities to separate employees according to their skills and experience in a given activity. Specialization, on the other hand, involves granting employees precise fields of work depending on their knowledge and skill in the field. Division of labour is different from specialization in that it can be rotated.
Henry Mintzberg is a renowned management theorist of our time. According to him, a company’s structure is derived from the interchange of the company’s strategies. Wal-Mart executives, therefore, believe that if these factors do not play out well, the company is likely to undergo severe structural difficulties. Nevertheless, if the said factors fit together appropriately, they introduce organizations that perform well. However, the different organizational characteristics are responsible for the diverse structures (Karadağ, 2015, p.39). If one can understand the different types of organizations spelled out by Mintzberg, as well as the different forces that shape them, Mintzberg asserts that one can recognize if their company is well suited to its conditions. Mintzberg’s organizational types include:
- The expert organization. Also known as, the professional organization, this category is bureaucratic in nature. Its distinguishing factor is that it relies on highly trained professionals who command their working fields.
- The entrepreneurial organization. This organization consists of a simple structure that brings together a group of top executives. It is relatively informal compared to other organizational types.
- The machine organization. This type involves duties that are formalized while decision-making strategies are centralized. Its structure is vertical whereby operating channels go all the way to the top where executives maintain centralized control.
- The divisional organization. This is evident in mature companies with different product lines and units. Its operations are controlled from a central position.
- The innovative organization. In this type, the classification changes into a contemporary one. This is because modern industries require innovative structures to enhance their competitive status.
Greiner’s growth model also contributes to the concept of organizational structures. In the model, Greiner explains how companies develop through a series of phases. The creative phase introduces her model. It is through the procedure that Wal-Mart has derived creative forces for their new products and retained products that create value for their customers. The second phase is the direction phase. To respond to a leadership crisis, companies seek direction by employing additional management officials to provide expertise in challenging areas. The option of delegation comes after this. After integrating new managers, the company can go ahead and divide its structure, create a deeper hierarchy and hence conquer the management crisis. Instituting a new management structure is one thing. However, coordinating operations is another. This is where the coordination phase comes in. Regular communications and report presentations have enabled effective coordination and hence increased productivity in Wal-Mart’s stocks.
Collaboration and the creation of alliances come after coordination. If the new structure creates conflicts, the decision-makers should be keen on establishing common grounds for the managers so that they can cooperate. In case the situation persists, the company can opt for external involvement through mergers and acquisitions (Calabrò, 2011, p. 35). Finally, yet importantly in her model is the tact of discussion. Every company needs this strategy to move on with its operations. It provides a record of methods used to overcome previous challenges.
Culture includes the values and conduct that contribute to an organization’s unique psychological environment. Other factors include experiences, philosophy, expectations, beliefs, and attitudes. Culture entails written and unwritten rules that have been operating over time. Culture is an important component of an organization. Through it, an organization establishes a basis for the manner in which it conducts its business and treats its employees, customers, and the community at large (Cameron, & Quinn, 2011, p. 37). An organization’s culture speaks for itself. Wal-Mart has been able to introduce policies that ensure the persons in authority take new employees through the entire process of orientation for them to be completely acquainted with the acceptable and prohibited practises of an organization. A good employee should have done their research on the company before joining its staff. Employers look for these in their prospective workers when they are interviewing them this quality. It tells much about the employees’ willingness to commit to an organization’s activities.
According to the views of writers such as Scholes and Whittington, the extent to which free will in a working environment is permitted depends on whether it involves decision-making, personal expression, and developing new ideas (Godwyn, & Gittell, 2012, p. 18). In most cases, factors such as personal expression play a key role in defining an organizations well-being. In most companies such as Wal-Mart, platforms through which clients and employees can express themselves are instituted so that the company can monitor the thoughts and preferences of employees and consumers respectively.
Apart from describing the organization’s client and employee association strategies, culture explains how the positions of power in an organization flow. In most cases, the process of assigning tasks to large organizations such as Wal-Mart is ever-dynamic due to varying factors. When a company wants to increase sales in a certain region, and it is of the view that the person in charge is not doing a good job, the system requires that such individuals are demoted or transferred to other regions (Marković, 2012, p.34). The administrative provisions can also call for such characters to be suspended. In similar cases of underperformance, the company may establish reasons such as the region’s preferences. In most areas, consumers are very demanding when it comes to the quality of goods they need. As a result, the organization is forced to change its customary methods and incorporate new ones that suit the given market.
Leadership, as seen in Yetto’s and Yago’s, is all about creating means for people to contribute towards successful ventures. Good leaders encourage their followers to act to realize their full potential and accomplish greater objectives. Most international corporations mine the labour force for experienced leaders. However, the likes of Adams believe that these leadership roles ought to be filled by the same people who have been on the frontline towards steering their business venture (Adams, 2013, p.13). This may not come as an appealing strategy to many. However, once you understand the various theories of organizational leadership, Walton, believes any organization is guaranteed of creating and developing unimaginable leadership skills and in the process, identify potential leaders. First in the group of leadership theories is the trait theory. This theory creates the idea that a person’s individual characteristics are what mature into great leadership skills. Personal traits that relate strongly to the ability to lead include intelligence, extraversion, adjustment, self-efficacy, and openness to new experiences.
Behavioural and style theory comes in second. This theory defines leadership as someone’s behaviour and style and not his or her individual traits. The three major leadership styles are democratic, authoritarian, and laissez-faire. The results of studies into these diverse styles indicate that many organizations prefer the democratic style. Another major theory is the functional theory which focuses on the needs of the followers and ensures they are met (Day, 2014, p.17). Transactional theories suggest that an individual’s leadership qualities are gauged according to their ability to reward their followers due to their great performance. Additional theories include transformational theory, environmental theory, and situational and contingency theories.
Organizational change transpires when a business makes a change from its present state to some preferred future status. Running organizational change is the course of planning and employing a change in businesses in such a way as to reduce employee opposition and outlay to the business, while also maximizing the efficacy of the transition effort (Landströ & Lohrke, 2010, p.19). Today’s trade environment needs companies to go through changes constantly if they are to remain viable. Aspects such as globalization of markets and swiftly evolving machinery force businesses to react to endure. Such alterations may be minor as in the case of mounting a new software plan as in the case of re-entering an overall promotion strategy.
Question 2. Analyse and evaluate the ways in which Walmart can motivate its
Employees and build effective teams. Identify the attributes of the
team that contributes to Wal-Mart’s success.
There are four major areas of organizational change that should be considered during the transition. They include structure, strategy, technology, and people. All the stated areas are linked, and companies must introduce changes in the new areas when they try to transform one area. The primary area, strategy changes, can occur mainly on a large-scale basis, for instance, when a business shifts its supplies to enter a fresh line of business or on a minute scale, for instance, when a business makes output improvements to trim down costs (Bitar, 2015, p. 23). In the case of small-scale businesses, there is not much that requires to be done in case of a change in authority or manufacturing operations. This is because the numbers of people that have to be addressed before these changes are made are only a few. Technological adjustments are often initiated as components of superior strategic modifications, although they at times occur on their own (Ciampa, & Dotlich, 2015, p. 11). Technological advancements and changes have proven to be a necessity for the continued well-being of Wal-Mart. Even those small-scale producers are now keen on setting aside enough restoration funds by the end of a business year so that during the next fiscal year, they have reserves for technology advancement alone.
An imperative aspect of shifting technology is establishing who in the business will be exposed to the change. To be triumphant, a technology alteration must be integrated into the business’s overall structures, and a management configuration must be produced to support it. Structural amends can also come about due to tactical changes as in the case where a business chooses to acquire one more business and must incorporate it as well as owing to operational amends or changes in administrative style. Public changes can turn out to be necessary due to added changes, or at times companies merely seek to transform workers’ thoughts and behaviours to enhance their effectiveness. In whichever case, public changes can be the most intricate and essential part of the overall alteration process. Organization improvement was initiated within Wal-Mart foundation to handle changing groups in the profession through techniques such as teaching and training, team building, and occupation planning.
Discerning how and why to inspire workers is imperative managerial expertise. Inspiration is the set of strengths that cause groups to select certain deeds from among the many options open to them. There are four aspects that subsist in each organization that determines the stages of the motivation of the employees, whether affirmative or depressing (Jost, 2014, p.37). Providentially, each one of these elements can be adjusted in an optimistic very typically, when a fresh leader substitutes a manager whose supervision approach has not been encouraging to elicit the very finest in every person. Management style is, therefore, a key feature in determining how employees feel regarding the business and how aggravated they are. Frequently, just shifting the leader alters the psychological atmosphere of the business and, consecutively, the entire performance of employees in the company. The suitable leadership approach depends on the objectives and intentions of the business, the workers within the business, and the peripheral environment.
The Reward scheme also constitutes the four factors. A particular type of reward structure, often differing from person to person and from department to department, characterizes every organization. If you desire more of an operation in a business, simply boost greater incentives for that conduct. If you desire less of an operation in an institute, simply trim down the incentives, or amplify the penalty or dissatisfaction for that conduct. Wal-Mart executives have learned that their employees react to their motivations. They have created an organizational ambiance fashioned and sustained by the management. It consists of the means that the employees treat each other up and down the contour. As an employee, you should not disrepute, degrade, or offend another person, either within or outside of the association. Treating colleagues badly, particularly people under your supervision, creates a basis for dismissal, in spite of how long you have been with the group. The composition and nature of the work also dictate the importance of motivation.
Some jobs are inherently inspirational, requiring originality, imagination, and soaring levels of vigour. Work that entails negotiating, communicating, and networking with new people in order to achieve their assistance to get the job ready promptly and well draws out the finest energies of the involved individuals. It is exhilarating and demanding. It is generally extremely worthwhile as well. Nevertheless, a vast amount of effort ought to be standardized and made somewhat unexciting for it to be completed professionally and cost successfully. Good businesses are constantly trying to arrange the job to match the nature of the job with the temperament of the employee and to design the work as appealing and agreeable as possible.
A team is an assortment of persons ordered to realize a general purpose, who are co-dependent, and who can be recognized by others and observers as a group (West, 2012, p. 12). Teams subsist within a bigger organization and intermingle with extra teams and with the association. Teams are the basic means for businesses to assemble input from affiliates, and to offer organization associates a sense of contribution in the quest for managerial goals (Salas, 2013, p. 30). The Wal-Mart employee group initiative has encouraged the organizations’ elasticity in assigning associates to assignments.
Some characteristics of effective teams are:
- Understandable Direction. Clear direction implies that the panel is assigned a clear and separate goal. The panel may be sanctioned to establish how to accomplish that goal, but organizations, when structuring such teams, normally set the goals. A lucid direction also suggests that team upshots are measurable.
- Clear Responsibilities. This means that every team member realizes what is expected of him or her in the team. The tasks must be clear and appealing to the panel members. Each team affiliate must be able to rely on every other member to carry out his or her roles so that the group can function efficiently. Otherwise, the group affiliates come to believe that they are completing all the work.
- Well-informed Members. A valuable team will contain individuals who possess the skills and familiarity needed to complete the group’s task. Collaboration is vital at an early step in recording the skills and awareness each member conveys to the team and labouring to establish how to exploit those skills to complete the team assignment.
- Rational Operating methods. All teams have to set rules by which they function. Games teams, for instance, function according to a noticeably suggested set of statutes on how the sport is played. Likewise, labour teams require a set of practices to direct gatherings, decision-making, forecasting, allotment of tasks, and growth evaluation. Setting, procedures and sticking to them assists team members to turn into comfortable colleagues who can rely on one another.
The stated factors analyse the various strategies and methods through which Wal-Mart among other large organizations has been able to establish its position in the global market. Through them, such organizations have maintained stable marketing rates throughout the years. With the developing technologies, the above strategies can only become more efficient given the capabilities of these organizations.
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