Essay Wal-Mart International Division

1268 Words Oct 22nd, 2012 6 Pages
The International Division at Wal-Mart International Business: Strategy & Structure October 10th, 2012

Introduction I would like to begin stating the reason why I decided to choose this case and, above all, this topic. Since the beginning of my academic career field I’ve always found more interesting the “human” side of business sciences, especially those concerning the behavior of organizations in the environment in which they operate and consequentially of the people that materially make them work. This because organizations are “living structures” created by men in order to reduce the uncertainty typical of every “open system” like the real world, as opposed to what scholars call “closed system” to indicate an environment where
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Analysis At the beginning of its international adventure, Wal-Mart’s management had their ideas clear: exporting the format that led to the huge success within the US boarders as if it was a bundle, applying the “American way” like a “one-size-fits-all” strategy even in countries like Argentina and United Kingdom. Clear idea, but mostly wrong. Like bringing an English movie to Italy without even putting the subtitles.

The main problem was a slow decision-making process that involved the country managers, forced to ask permission for every change in the local strategy to the main headquarter. This caused an information overload at the top of the line command, and the “funny” aspect of this was that those at the head of the pyramid probably weren’t even the right ones to take such decisions, especially in a company with a greatly diversified portfolio of products like Wal-Mart. The answer of the firm was definitely pointing at the right direction: the executives came to the conclusion that the business should have been driven by each country, shifting from a “push” to a ”pull” logic. Giving greater responsibilities to local managers definitely helped easing the burden of information that the central headquarter had to deal with, but most importantly allowed the company to find solutions tailored to each local necessity. However, this

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