Principles of Management: Lowes

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A Look inside Lowe’s Companies, Inc.

Abstract
This paper explores Lowe’s Companies, Inc’s management practices and how these practices have impacted the company. The paper starts with a history of the company and a brief overview, and then it explores the culture and a SWOT analysis of the company. Then the areas of managerial decision making, planning and strategy organizational structure and organization are looked at. The paper finishes with an investigation of the leadership, human resource management and diversity amongst the workforce.

TABLE OF CONTENTS
I. Introduction page 4
II. Company Overview page 4
III. Culture and SWOT page 7
IV. Managerial Decision Making page 9 V. Planning and Strategy page 11
VI. Ethic and Corporate Responsibility page 12 VII. International Management page 14
VIII. Organization Structure and Agility page 15 IX. Human Resource Management page 16
X. Diversity in the Workforce page 17
XI. Leadership page 17
XII. Key Learning page 18
XIII. References page 19

Introduction
When most people think of a home improvement store two companies come to mind, Lowes and Home Depot, these two companies have been at the top of the home improvement industry for many years. I have been a long time patron of both Lowes and Home Depot, but recently I find myself turning to Lowes for my hardware and home improvement needs. I have chosen to write this paper on Lowes for a number of reasons, but the most prominent reasons are they recently built a new store in the town where I live, ...; and they are an extremely successful company that continues to grow, even during the current economic down turn. I attribute this largely to the vision of the company and the management practices of the company. Overview

Lowe’s started as a small hardware store in North Wilkesboro, North Carolina, in 1921. It was founded by L.S. Lowe, upon his death his son James Lowe inherited the business, which he ran with his brother-in-law Carl Buchan until they were both called away to serve in the United State Army during World War II. While James Lowe and Carl Buchan were serving their country the business was ran by Lowe’s sister and mother. Buchan was wounded and discharged in 1943, he then returned to operate the business. In 1946 Buchan took 50% interest in the store, he immediately sold much of the inventory and reorganized the store to be a wholesale style business that sold hardware and building supplies. Upon Lowe’s discharge from the Army he returned and Buchan and Lowe continued to operate the business. They opened a second store and also purchased a car dealership and a cattle farm. In 1952, Buchan sold his interest in the car dealership and the cattle farm for the interest in the two hardware stores. Shortly after this he opened a third store in Ashville North Carolina, and incorporated the business as Lowe’s North Wilkesboro Hardware. From 1952-1959 Buchan expanded business, with the aid of the post World War II construction boom sales jumped from 4.1 million to 27 million(Blake, 2000). In 1960 Buchan past away and an office of the president was created within the company. In 1961 the company renamed itself Lowe’s Companies Inc and went public. By the end of the 60’s Lowe’s Companies Inc had expanded to approximately 50 stores, they were still dealing almost exclusively with contractors and construction companies with sales hovering around $100 million. During the 70’s the market started to change, the cost of buying a home went up and a rise in the do-it-yourself market came about. Despite the change in the market Lowe’s Companies...
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