ANALYSIS OF WAL-MART’S ORGANISATION
Effective pursuit of international organizational strategies is often underlined by appropriate organizational structures and cultures. The multinational giant retailer Wal-Mart is used for the sake of understanding organisational structures from a multinational corporation perspective. It runs an international chain of discount department stores, hypermarkets, and grocery stores. As of September 30, 2015, it had 11, 526 stores located in 28 countries (Rath, 2014). By revenue standards, it is the world's largest entity according to Forbes 500, as well as the largest private employer with 2.2 million associates (Rath, 2015). In this research paper, Wal-Mart’s organizational structure is reviewed in an attempt to find out the level of its effectiveness and whether any changes will be necessary to increase efficiency.Wal-Mart’s organizational structure is hierarchical with two significant features that are both hierarchy and function-based. It has a divisional organisation structure at the strategic level and a matrix structure at the store levels. The key organizational divisions are three and entail Wal-Mart U.S., Wal-Mart International, and Sam’s Clubs (SFU, 2015). Each of these is provided with enough resources and a functional workforce making them semi-autonomous. Below the divisions are the individual stores of different sizes and hierarchical levels. The cashiers, stockers, and sales associates are found at the very bottom level of the structure.
Then, the next step upwards belongs to the department manager, customer support manager (CSM) and other supervisors who are all paid on an hourly basis (CSM) (SFU, 2015). The highest hourly management position is that of the Support Manager. The next step upwards is for the management trainee and prepares the employee for the first salaried position of the assistant manager. Beyond the assistant manager is the co-manager post, a position found only in the larger stores. Finally, the top-most position in any given store is that of the store manager/general. Store Level Organizational Structure at Wal-MartStructural Effectiveness Analysis To some extent, Wal-Mart’s organisation structure works. The divisional structure has enabled it to segregate operations into large sections that are semi-autonomous and flexible enough to meet customer needs. For instance, Wal-Mart US concentrates on addressing the needs of its clients within the U.S. through its supercenters, Neighborhood Markets, and Discount Stores.
On the other hand, Sam’s Club involves a chain of stores that have specialized in general merchandise and groceries. Lastly, Wal-Mart International division deals with the international clients. A focus on customer-specific needs is critical in determining a company’s ability to compete favorably in a market as competitive as the global retail market (Lewis, 2012 a). Even so, the divisional structure has been behind increased inter-division conflict and politics compromising on strategic focus especially where matters of resource allocation arise. At the store levels, the matrix structure with its cross-functional teams has increased the ability of the stores to surmount functional barriers. Besides, it has made it possible for the store level technical teams to learn from each …