Organizational Behavior and Group Dynamics/Mgt 330
November 11, 2009
Wal-Mart Management and Leadership Analysis
Wal-Mart is arguably the most dynamic corporation in the last 50 years in the United States, if not the world. Arising from its beginnings in Bentonville, Arkansas, it has grown to over 4,400 discount stores, super centers and corner markets worldwide. Wal-Mart continues to expand despite public criticism of its labor practices as well as complaints about their treatment of competitors. The many strengths of Wal-Mart, like their low cost production and marketing practices, will aid Wal-Mart as it continues to grow in the retail industry. Ending their labor problems will strengthen their largest weakness further allowing growth. This author will analyze the management and leadership styles of Wal-Mart, in addition to the organizational culture, has made Wal-Mart the global powerhouse they are today. Management and Leadership
To be clear, management and leadership are not interchangeable terms. Leadership is an action; management is an administrative title. While leadership is the art of directing and influencing others to accomplish a goal, management, by definition, is merely a function of administration. There are many factors that determine how a goal is accomplished and for as many factors that there are, there are just as many types of leaders. Leaders can be charismatic and influential, but they can also be lame and impotent. Perhaps the best definition of leadership can be found in the following paraphrased quote by Cassie Skinnet: “A [leader]…is a person that can tell you to go to hell in such a way that you actually look forward to the trip.” Throughout history, there have been many effective leaders. No matter what their agenda, their one common attribute is that they were able to attract a following of people who strongly...