Wal-Mart: Organizational Behavior Concepts

Introduction

Wal-Mart is one of the most successful chain stores in the world. This business unit was established by Sam Walton in June 1940 in Des Moines, Iowa. The chain was officially incorporated as Wal-Mart stores Inc in October 1969 with its first distribution center in Bentonville, Arkansas. It was listed in the New York stock exchange in 1970 when it started operating as publicly held company. The company has branches world wide with over two million employees. The current CEO of the company is mike duke who is assisted by H. Lee who is the chairman of the executive board and S. Robson Walton who is the chairman. The total revenue of the company is 404.16 billion dollars, its operating income is 30.07 billion dollars, net income is 13.400 billion dollars and its total assets are 163.429 billion dollars (Reed, 1985). The figures above are according to the financial report released by the company in 2009. The organization has received a lot of com0liments from its customers who keep coming to enjoy their quality services. It has also received a number of awards for their operations.

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The success of the organization is not simply because of the good will it has among consumers due t the number of years it has existed. There are certain organizational concepts that the organization has followed which have yielded the fruits. The company management has endeavored to carry out a market research on what is needed by the consumers and hence providing them with good services. As they focus on enhancing the loyalty of their customers, the organization has not ignored the fact that it is only its employees that will enable them reach their target. It is hence for this purpose and reason that they hold their employees in high esteem and use their skills to make more sales. Even though the company has received some critics, it has counter attacked them wisely and ensured that such does not hinder its operations world wide. We will be locking at the organizational concepts employed by the organization and how they are applied to enhance growth.

Motivation

Employee motivation is one important organisation concepts that is employed by Wal-Mart. The company has always referred to the employees as associates. This is a title that makes them feel to be part and parcel of the organisation. It reminds them that the company is not only look to them as workers but rather as important assets of the company. By refereeing to the as associates, the company communicates to them the value of their services without which the company would not have reached such a level. This also implies that the employees are free to make suggestions that they feel will be important for the running of the business (Vance, 1994). Wal-Mart recognizes the fact that its employees are more in contact with their customers and hence possessing great knowledge on what their needs are. They are the ones that observe the reaction of their customers on the services that are being provided by the company and forward a similar report to the management. The ideas that they raise is hence based on their observations and direct contacts with their customers. Such opportunities that are given to employees by the management serve as a source of motivation as they know that they are working for a company that values them.

Apart from the good remuneration packagers that the employees enjoy, they are also given some allowances that enable them cater for any extra expenses that they may incur. The human resource department is also open to the employees that may need an assistance of any kind. This is usually done to ensure that nothing hinders them from providing quality services to the organization. They are also granted special offs and leaves for personal development or any other activity. This is to ensure that their productivity is not compromised due to monotony. To minimize on monotony at the place of work, the company y also grants them opportunities to work in different departments. This is also done to enhance relationships among employees. The organization desires that the employees work as real business associates who are free to interact and share ideas with one another. It is through these strategies of employee motivation that has made the company experience growth. There are also a number of people that have desired to work with the organization due to the good treatment offered to employees. Thee has been rare cases of complains from employees, and those that have risen up have been handled appropriately.

Organizational Culture

The culture that has been adopted by the organisation has also contributed a lot to its success. Its general merchandise has been known to go at a lower price which makes consumers to keep flocking into the stores. Wal-Mart stores in Canada and United States have people at their doors that are ready to welcome customers to the stores. This is a rare culture practiced by similar stores. By doing this, the consumers are assured that their coming to the stores is being appreciated by the company. They are of course greeted with a smile which makes them feel loved and valued. This could be the reason why most customers may come to the stores, they may basically feel the need of going somewhere where they are appreciated and hence their decision to shop at Wal-Mart. Compared to other retailers of the organization that charge slotting fees for their suppliers, Wal-Mart does not charge them (Fishman, 2006). The company however displays popular products in their stores and drops those that have ceased being popular in the market. It is for this reason n that consumers are assured that what is offered to them is of best quality.

A good percentage of the products that are sold in Wal-Mart are private label store brands. There some products that are offered by the company and hence come with their labels. Other products are contracts made by the organization with the manufactures that bring them for branding. The best example of this is Sam’s choice which is a bran d of drinks that is produced by Cott beverages. This has helped to increase the sales of the company as well as minimizing on the purchase expenses. Most customers that are loyal to the company will mainly go for the products that are branded the name of the chain store. The private label brands have been considered to be the best trick that the company uses to lure shoppers. The company also deals in a wide variety of products which gives the customers a one stop shopping center. This is a culture that has been adapted for most of its chain stores world wide. This culture has been appreciated by most customers who will conveniently visit the stores for all their household goods.

Change Management

Change is inevitable and Wal-Mart has lived to accept and appreciate this concept. The company knows that consumers will not maintain a similar attitude towards their services and products unless they embrace the changes around. It is a basically due to their reason that the company carries out researches to identify the changes that are happening and employing adaptation procedures. Changes are being done in all sections of the organization including management, employees, growth and transactions. The company has continued to expand to other parts of the world and hence to employ measures that will be able to accommodate growth. On environmental issues, the company has not been left behind (McKenna, 2000). It has adapted measures that are meant to minimize on power wastage through the adaptation of the green phenomena. Technologically, the company has incorporated technological measures to enhance its international business practices. The company phased out layaway because of the costs that were involved in its transactions and also due its uncommon use. It has however adapted other convenient online procedures that enable its clients to purchase product as online and granted free shipping to their area of destination.

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Among the other changes hat have been adapted by the company is to change the uniform of its employees. This is basically to mark new beginnings in the company where the new outfit will enhance the appearance of its employees. The blue vests that have been used for long will be replaced with khakis and polos. This is a strategy that is considered to increase on the sales of the company. The company has adapted well to the changing economic situation. It has not suffered major losses due to economic situations that have faced the US and the world in general. This is due to the various discounts that it has offered to its customers and its culture of low prices on goods. It is a shopping mall that accommodates all kinds of people in all seasons. When a person cannot find a friendly shopping store, they will always turn to Wal-Mart. This has hence given the store a competitive advantage over the other stores. The positive adaptations embraced by the company have made it soar higher in business.

Arising issues against the company

Despite the success that the company has had, there are some issues that have been raised against the company. One of such issues has been raised by Christian organizations and environmental groups who have criticized its business practices and pricing policies. Employees of wal-mat have been criticized for not being willing to join labor unions. This has been a source of complaint as the company is referred t be an anti-union. The company has also been condemned of poor treatment of employees especially those who work during night shifts. According to the critics, they are usually locked inside the stores and poor salaries especially for the starters. The amount of competition that the company has caused to local establishments has also been a concern to the small traders. They have been unable to penetrate the market where Wal-Mart has established its branches.

The company has also been condemned of being anti-woman. There has been a case suit against the company that has denied promotions and pay. This has been seen as discrimination against women which has been criticized especially by women. The company has allegedly been not far on the way it treats female employees and hence raising the question on equality (George & Jones, 2005). Men have been given comparatively good positions in the company while the females are ranked slightly lower. The case is however still under consideration and its verification may be a big blow to the company. All in all the company is doing all it can to disapprove the allegations against it. Some of them have been considered as a scheme that s being used by its competitors against it. The management is however determined to work against all odes to ensure that its reputation is intact.

Conclusion

Wal-Mart is a chain store that has been credited for its consistency in attracting and maintaining customers. The strategies that are employed by the management have worked for the good of the company. There is no limit for this chain store as there are plans to establish more branches internationally. The company however needs to be careful on the treatment that it gives to its employees and ensure that they are satisfied with their services. All the allegations raised against it should be analyzed and clarifications made to avoid any inconveniences that may be caused to it. The company is able to succeed no matter the criticisms, but care should be taken lest it is faced with court cases that would threaten its business operations.

References

Fishman, C. (2006), The Wal-Mart effect: how the world’s most powerful company really works– and how it’s transforming the American economy. New York: Penguin Group.

George, J. & Jones, G. (2005). Understanding & Managing Organizational Behavior. Custom ed. Upper Saddle River, New Jersey: Pearson Custom Publishing.

McKenna, E. (2000). Business Psychology and Organizational Behavior: A Student’s Handbook. Psychology Press.

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Reed, M. (1985). Redirections in Organizational Analysis. Routledge.

Vance, S. (1994). Wal-Mart: a history of Sam Walton’s retail phenomenon. New York: Twayne Publishers.

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