In a variety of business environments around the world, four management functions are usually found. The functions are planning, organizing, leading, and controlling. These are used from top-level management to frontline or organizational management. Globalization, technology, innovation, diversity and ethics are factors that affect these business functions. One can examine almost any organization and find this to be true. Wal-mart is one of the leading retail organizations in the world whose management functions are affected by these factors. Wal-Mart has dominated the global market by operating in 27 countries outside the United States. According to Bateman and Snell (2011, p. 4), “Companies that want to grow often need to tap international markets, where incomes are rising and demand is increasing.” This is ascertained through internal and external factors of globalization. Internal factors include production, customer service, and marketing strategies. For example, company branding can affect a company’s image. One can associate with the quality of products and services with a company’s brand and is often the first thing that people see when interacting with a company like Wal-Mart. External factors include new market environments to which a company must be accustomed, consumer analysis, and market analysis. A new product introduced into a new market depends upon consumer reactions. A company must analyze trends by segmenting markets into different consumers types and identifying their motivation of buying. This enables a company like Wal-Mart to create unique offerings for specific consumer needs. Market analysis helps determine the size of the market, how it is growing, and creating a presence in the market geared toward profitability. Technology is one of the most important factors Wal-Mart uses in planning, organizing, leading, and controlling to secure its success in the “ever changing” market in this and other areas in the global market. Technology is changing each day and Wal-Mart is staying on top of these changes. By doing so, Wal-Mart is passing other competitors and staying ahead of technology changes. In 2001 Wal-Mart renovated its technology by changing mainframes and storage products to IBM (Investor’s Business Daily 2001). Making this change helps Wal-Mart keep up with consumer demands. More people are using Internet and shopping online making it critical for Wal-Mart to keep up with technology changes and meeting the markets’ demand.
Wal-Mart must see the external factors of technology. Businesses like Wal-Mart are continually developing new technologies to provide the best solutions for the marketplace. Management has followed and implemented innovators to determine how Wal-Mart can stay ahead in technology and what consumers are requesting. For example, Wal-Mart implemented a Wal-Mart application for Smartphones so consumers can see specific products. This allows the consumer to know if a product is available at the nearest location. This keeps Wal-Mart competitive and helps keep them coming back for more. Wal-Mart has to stay competitive to continue to be successful.
Innovation is the introduction of new products and services. According to Bateman and Snell (2011, p G-4), innovation is also defined as “a change in method or technology; a positive, useful departure from previous ways of doing things.” Innovation has affected Wal-Mart’s business management functions in both ways. Wal-Mart opened their first store in Rogers, Arkansas, in 1962 under the visionary leadership of Sam Walton (Wal-Mart Corporate, 2012), introducing a new type of department store service to help customers and the community.
Since opening in 1962, Wal-Mart has grown to a worldwide organization. Today they span the globe operating under 69 banners in 27 countries and employ 2.2 million associates. In each of Wal-Mart’s new stores, LED lights are used to save energy. Stores in...