Essay on Management and Leadership; the Wal-Mart Way

2328 Words Feb 12th, 2009 10 Pages
Management and Leadership; the Wal-Mart Way Traveling back in time to 1962 in small town America, one would likely notice the absence of a now familiar sight. Today, people living in almost any town in America need not travel far to patronize one of today’s most popular discount retail establishments: Wal-Mart. Founded in 1962, Wal-Mart was the brainchild of Sam Walton, a charismatic retailing and merchandising leader. Under Sam’s leadership, Wal-Mart’s success grew rapidly, extending throughout America and into several international markets (Wal-Mart Retail Divisions, 2007). Achievement on such a colossal scale became possible through Sam’s vision, which he nurtured to realization using effective leadership and management practices. …show more content…
By making this a priority of management as well, good managers lay the foundation for becoming phenomenal managers. Widely known as both a charismatic leader, and an exceptional manager, Sam Walton had a vision, which he communicated clearly and often, and in which he believed whole-heartedly, walking the talk every step of the way (Bergdahl, 2004). In his efforts to change the face of discount retailing, influencing small markets across America, his unwavering dedication to three central values, including respect for the individual, customer service and always striving for excellence, formed the basis of Wal-Mart’s organizational culture (Huey, 1998). Incorporating these values into every aspect of Wal-Mart’s management plans, Sam Walton shared his vision with managers and associates, inspiring every member of the organization to strive for its accomplishment, for the benefit of the company, its associates, customers and the communities in which the stores operated. For example, believing customer service to be of utmost importance, management’s strategy included providing excellent customer service with low prices to ensure that customer expectations were not simply met, but exceeded (Huey, 1998). In order to provide the low prices needed to achieve its vision, the organization consistently strived to

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