The Context of Decision Making at Whole Foods Market

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The Context of Decision Making at Whole Foods Market
Case 1
Wayne Davis

Question 1: How would you describe the merchandising and operational decisions made by Whole Foods Market in terms of the rational, bounded rationality, and garbage can models of decision making?

According to Nelson & Quick (2006), “The success of any organization depends on managers’ abilities to make effective. An effective decision is timely, is acceptable to the individuals affected by it, and meets the desired objective”. Whole Foods Market employs the use of self directed teams that are empowered to make decisions. Each regional structure of Whole Foods Market has its own decentralized process of making decisions at its stores. In other words decisions are not made from the top down but each store is empowered to make its decisions independently of the other stores. Each community is different, meaning there will be different customer needs, wants, and desires. The decentralized process that Whole Foods Market uses works well for their company. The motto “Whole Foods, Whole People, Whole Planet” lends itself to be adaptable wherever their stores are located.

In looking at the various models of decision making, rational, bounded rationality, and the garbage can; let’s first look at what the Whole Foods Market decision-making process is not. In my opinion the Whole Foods Market organization does not base their decisions on the garbage can model. The decisions made by Whole Foods Market are not haphazard or unsystematic. Daft (1995) states that “The garbage can model is a combination of incremental process and Carnegie models, when parts of the decision making process are extremely high uncertainty simultaneous”. The Carnegie model involves organizational level decisions being made by many managers and the decision is made based on a coalition of the managers. The incremental decision process is a more structured approach but it does not include social and political factors....
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