Essay on Management and Leadership; the Wal-Mart Way

2310 Words Feb 10th, 2009 10 Pages
Management and Leadership; the Wal-Mart Way Traveling back in time to 1962 in small town America, one would likely notice the absence of a now familiar sight. Today, people living in almost any town in America need not travel far to patronize one of today’s most popular discount retail establishments: Wal-Mart. Founded in 1962, Wal-Mart was the brainchild of Sam Walton, a charismatic retailing and merchandising leader. Under Sam’s leadership, Wal-Mart’s success grew rapidly, extending throughout America and into several international markets (Wal-Mart Retail Divisions, 2007). Achievement on such a colossal scale became possible through Sam’s vision, which he nurtured to realization using effective leadership and management practices. …show more content…
These included profit sharing, educational support, employee benefits, and Wal-Mart’s legendary open door policy, designed to give employees experiencing conflict with management decisions a chance to be heard without fear of retaliation, and in some cases, a second chance for success (Benefits, 2007). The organizational culture espoused by Sam Walton’s guiding principles, exerts considerable influence on the general business practices of the organization and on the behavior and perceptions of associates. His unfailing empathy and respect for the individual was illustrated by Michael Bergdahl in his recounting of an event characterizing Walton’s cultural strategies and tactics. In his book, Bergdahl (2004) described a meeting of Wal-Mart’s upper level management associates, in which Sam Walton announced the fall of one of Wal-Mart’s top competitors to the apparent delight of the members of his executive management team who reacted to the news with unabashed celebration. Walton responded with dismay and embarrassment to the celebratory reaction of his managers, scolding them, and reminding them that the fall of this competitor had cost its employees their livelihood, hurting them and their families. In addition to directing his managers to

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