Walmart Organizational Behaviour And Leadership
Task: Provide an in-depth description of the organisational structure of an organisation of your choosing. Identify the major behavioural issues at the organisation and provide measure to resolve them.
This assignment analyses the Walmart organizational behaviour issues faced by the company. Organizational behaviour can be defined as the study of individual and group performance and activities that takes place within an organization. This area of study is involved in the examination of human behaviour in a work environment and defines its influence on performance, job structure, leadership, motivation, communication, etc. Positive workplace outcomes can be produced by the managers by gaining a deeper understanding of organizational behaviour (Musringudin, Akbar and Karnati, 2017). Furthermore, the study on Walmart organizational behaviour provides an overview of theories applicable in case of the identified issue along with evaluating the possible alternative solutions in this context. At the end of this assignment, some recommendations of suitable strategies have been provided which should be taken into consideration by the company for dealing with the Walmart organizational behaviour issues.
Introduction to the Organization- Walmart
Walmart is a multinational retail corporation from America that runs its operations in the form of discount departmental stores, chain of hypermarkets and grocery stores.
In 1962, Sam Walton founded the Walmart organization. The headquarter of this organization is in Bentonville, Arkansas. In around 27 countries, the organization is operating under 55 diverse names. Additionally, there are around 11,389 stores and clubs available.
In Canada, the organization is functioning as Walmart and in United States it is functioning as Asda. Walmart de Mexico y Centroamerica in Central America and Mexico, as Best Price in India and as Seiyu Group in Japan. According to the details given in the Fortune Global 500 list for the year 2019, Walmart is given as the largest company by revenue globally. (Walmart, 2019).
The strategy of the company is highlighted through its slogan “Save more. Live Better”. The organization has captured the larger market share through the adoption of low price strategy and allowing the consumers to save big amounts on their monthly shopping. The values of the company include achieving excellence, respect for every person, offering service to the customers and undertaking action through which integrity can be maintained. The business value is being enhanced by Walmart through the exploration of growth opportunities and integration of its purpose and core values into every aspect of the business.
What are the issues encountered by the company in the context of Walmart organizational behaviour? Discuss.
The dynamic business environment has created a number of challenges for today’s organizations. The shifts in the multicultural approach and socio- economic structure have resulted in the changes in needs of the employees and in the factors that motivate them to perform well in the workplace. The company is also encountering some issues in the context of Walmart organizational behaviour.
Discrimination Issue in the Company
The employees working at Walmart have reported the discrimination issue which affects them and their work performance. The strategy of cost cutting through offering lower wages and the adoption of authoritarian culture are the major organizational issues faced by the companies. However, the employee dissatisfaction has been further increased due to the incidents of discrimination in the organization which has also created a negative impact on the reputation of Walmart. Gender discrimination can be defined as the actions makes specific denial of privileges, opportunities, or rewards to a group or a person due to their gender. Gender discrimination lawsuits have been filed by nearly 100 workers against Walmart claiming the denial of equivalent pay for retail store and some salaried management positions. Lawsuits are also being filed against the company as it has terminated the pregnant workers due to their pregnancy related absences and thereby challenging the policy of the company which is violating various laws. Gender biasness in the company has resulted in employee dissatisfaction to a great extent. This, in turn, has also impacted the motivation level of the female employees as they are not getting the desired recognition (Barrientos, 2019).
Lower Wages and Employee Dissatisfaction
The perspective of Walmart is clear from the slogan “Save More. Live Better”, however, the company is found to be applying this approach in case of their employees as well. The company has employed approximately 2.2 million employees across its 11,389 stores in different parts of the world. It has been reported that the company offers a significantly lower wage rate to its employees as compared to the rates offered by its competitors. In order to overcome the Walmart organizational behaviour issues, the company has adopted the cost cutting strategy for the purpose of maximizing its profits. Walmart is being considered as the lowest paying large company which pays its sales associates an average of $9.41 per hour and cashiers an average of $9.36 per hour which is quite lower than the national median which is $17.81. As a result, the employees are dissatisfied with the organization and are organizing strikes in demand of an effective remedy (Harrison, 2019).
Authoritarian Culture Adopted in the Company
Every organization practices its unique style of leadership along with developing their specific culture. Over a passage of time, Walmart have developed an authoritarian culture where leader has the ultimate decision making ability and there is centralization of power. Authoritarian culture puts more emphasis on discipline and obedience among the employees. In simple words, this type of culture implies that leader is capable of understanding what is good for the company and will always cater the interest of the organization (Becton, Carr, Mossholder and Walker, 2017). The store level management in Walmart is being pressurized due to the authoritarian culture for the purpose of increasing the productivity of the lower level managers, workers and the stockers. Various problems have emerged as a result of the hyper centralized management created at Walmart. The workers are not able to share their viewpoints due to the workplace conditions. As per the readings obtained to develop this study on Walmart organizational behaviour, there is one way communication system followed at the organization which only focuses on providing the instructions to the subordinates. Also, the authoritarian culture at Walmart has left it with no scope for innovation which is creating a negative impact on the future growth of the company (Caraway, 2016).
Literature Review- Application Theories Overview to the Identified Issue
In case of the issue identified in the study of Walmart organizational behaviour, there are several theories that can be applied and relate to the organisational behaviour as well. In order to motivate the employees for enhancing their performance and work best in the organisation it is necessary for the organisation to take proper measures. As per the Velmurugan and Sankar(2017), Maslow’s Need Hierarchy theory, it is necessary to take a look over the psychological needs of the individuals working in the organisation. In order to ensure regular earnings, the individual gets engaged and searches for a good job. Employment is a pathway through which a person tries to fulfil his basic needs. Walmart is offering lower wages to the employees due to which they are not able to meet their psychological needs. In order to maintain their livelihood and live a satisfactory life the employees are required to get the subsidies and the food stamps as well.
Physiological Needs- these type of needs involve the biological requirements of the individuals which acts as the basis of their survival such as shelter, food air, clothing, sleep, warmth, etc. If these needs are not fulfilled then the optimal functioning of the human body is not possible which affects the Walmart organizational behaviour. The physiological needs have been regarded as the most important by Maslow and other needs are considered as secondary which are required to be fulfilled only when these needs are met.
Safety Needs- these needs cover security, protection from different elements, law and order, stability and freedom from fear.
Love and Belongingness Needs- Singh and Behera (2016) provide that after the satisfaction of physiological and safety needs, an individual moves towards the third level which involves the feeling of love and belongingness. The behaviour is therefore, motivated by the interpersonal relationships. The examples of Love and Belongingness Needs include intimacy, acceptance, loyalty, friendship, love and affection.
Esteem Needs- esteem need has been classified by Maslow in two categories. The first need is concerned with the desire for respect and reputation from others. For example: prestige and status. Additionally, the second is esteem for oneself i.e. achievement, dignity, independence, mastery, etc. The esteem needs of the female employees are also not being fulfilled while working at Walmart.
Self- Actualization needs- These needs are concerned with self- fulfilment, realizing personal potential along with seeking peak experiences and personal growth.
According to Alshmemri, Shahwan- Akl and Maude (2017), it has been noted in this study of Walmart organizational behaviour there are two main factors that are linked with the Herzberg’s Two Factor Motivation Theory regarding the employee motivation while working.
Working conditions, procedures and policies of the organization, management and supervision, job security, salary and interpersonal relations are some of the major factors included in he organizational hygiene. As a consequence, the performance of the employees gets impacted due to these factors. Adequate salary is not being offered by Walmart to the employees which are one of the most significant hygiene factors. Moreover, the motivating factors are another important set of factors associated with the theory that encourages the employees to work harder for the achievement of goals. Motivators include responsibility, achievement, growth, advancement, recognition and the work itself.
Furthermore, the cognitive dissonance theory and self- perception theory can be applied to the identified issues. The self- perception theory requires the individuals to gain an understanding of their own emotions, attitudes and states by observing their own situations or behaviour. Moreover, the cognitive dissonance theory provides for the individual having two thoughts that are in contradiction with each other (Pitcher, 2015).
The managers of Walmart needs to understand the importance of the perception theories and should apply it in case of the organization and from the viewpoint of the employees. The managers are further required to pay close attention on how the management actions and jobs are perceived by the employees. If an employee quits the company due to the inaccurate perception, then it results in a great loss to the organization as compared to the employee who leaves the organization for a valid reason (Uysal, Aydemir and Genç, 2017).
Evaluation of possible alternative solutions
Given details are based on the Walmart organizational behaviour issues currently being faced by the company. The organizational culture at Walmart is unable to provide a positive working environment to its employees. The organizational policies and the leadership style have also failed in providing the needed motivation to the employees in order to enhance their performance and productivity. Following are the possible alternative solutions which can be implemented by Walmart organizational behaviour for the purpose of improving the situation.
Firstly, the management of Walmart should focus on providing a standard wage rate to its employees. The wage rate offered to the employees should be competitive such that the employees do not leave the organization for this reason. The company should always keep in mind that it is the employees of the organization who make their best possible efforts for the purpose of achieving the organizational goals. Therefore, the management should increase the salaries or wages of the employees in accordance with the present economic status of their respective country. Secondly, it should be ensured that a two way communication is maintained at the workplace which offers an opportunity to the employees to express their views and opinions in respect of various issues (Tasselli, Kilduff and Landis, 2018).
Thirdly, the development of organic culture needs to be ensured that offers ample growth opportunities to the employees along with supporting innovation in the processes. The fourth alternative solution in order to deal with Walmart organizational behaviour issue is to improve the morale of employees by eliminating gender discrimination in the organization. For this purpose, the organization needs to create an anti- discrimination policy along with ensuring its implementation in an effective manner. Also, training should be provided to the middle level management regarding the manner in which they can enhance communication with the subordinates. The motivation level of the employees should be further enhanced by distributing the responsibilities among the workers effectively along with explaining the duties clearly (Kanfer and Chen, 2016).Motivating the employees is necessary for the management for meeting the organizational goals. The demotivated employees have the capability of putting the organization in a risky position. Therefore, Walmart should make the best possible efforts for motivating the employees such that their productivity can be improved and organization can achieve a higher output levels (L?z?roiu, 2015).
The most important factor that will help in dealing with the issue in the context of Walmart organizational behaviour is the redesigning of the reward and recognition policy for encouraging the employees to improve their productivity and achieving excellence. The company should also be aware of the fact that if adequate opportunities are not provided to the employees on timely basis then they leave the organization for some competitor. Career growth opportunities should therefore, be provided to the employees for the purpose of attracting and retaining the talented workforce within the organization. Attracting and retaining talented workforce is an integral function of human resource management. These measures will improve the employee satisfaction levels to a great extent. Employee satisfaction or job satisfaction implies the measure of connectedness of the workers with their jobs in respect of supervision, nature of work, etc. (Miner, 2015)
Recommendations of Suitable Strategies
Following are some of the strategies that are suitable in case of issues being faced by Walmart organizational behaviour.
Positive Reinforcement Strategy- The term positive reinforcement implies giving something to the subject when the desired action is performed by them. This is done by way of associating the action with the reward. Therefore, from the overall analysis on the study of Walmart organizational behaviour, it can be said that the reward is the reinforcing incentive. In simple words, it can be said that positive reinforcement is concerned with providing rewards to the employees whenever any good behaviour is noticed among them. This strategy can be adopted by Walmart in the form of extra benefits or bonuses. The high performing employees should be given trophies and awards for encouraging them further (Cairns, 2018).
Leading by Example- Walmart should demonstrate the commitment towards the organization by setting an example. Firstly, the company should implement two way communication systems within the workplace which allows the employees to express their views and opinions regarding various aspects. This can be done by way of conducting informal meetings and sessions that allows the employees to give their feedback. The superiors should also act in a frank way with the employees and should eliminate the culture of blame. The leaders should further act in a receptive and supportive way towards the followers (Higgs and Dulewicz, 2016).
Reward and Recognition Strategy- The reward and recognition strategy should be redesigned by the experts of Walmart for taking into consideration various organizational behaviour issues of the organization. The employee dissatisfaction can be treated to a great extent with the help of an effective reward and recognition strategy. The strategy should basically focus on providing opportunities to the employees. There are some workers whose nature of work is such that they are unable to get a chance to excel in their jobs. Such employees should also be able to receive opportunities for training that provides job advancement and expanded responsibilities. The employee’s accomplishments should also be publicised across different forums such as dashboards, company newsletters and in team meetings (McManus and Mosca, 2015).
Eliminating Gender Based Roles- the Company should recognize the unique abilities of the female employees such that in case of areas critical to advancing business like team management and adaptability. In order to enhance the Walmart organizational behaviour, the company should develop all the employees equally and is recommended to close the gender gaps by offering equal opportunities right from the entry level (Grover, 2015). The company will get assistance in advancing towards the competitive landscape when training will be provided to women in specialized skills along with recognizing the power brought by them to the organization. There should be equality among the male and female employees in terms of the opportunities available to them. The board should also be diversified and should provide consist of female directors as well. A culture of meritocracy should be promoted in the organization where the ideas from all the levels, races and genders are welcome. Active encouragement should be offered to women to progress by promoting them and increasing their pay if they deserve (Wynn and Correll, 2018).
Finally, it is concluded that organizational behaviour is the study of individual and group performance and activities that takes place within an organization. This assignment focused on the organization Walmart and analysed the organizational behaviour issue faced by it along with providing the overview of applicable theories and recommendations. Walmart is a multinational retail corporation from America that runs its operations in the form of discount departmental stores, chain of hypermarkets and grocery stores. Walmart is encountering some issues in the context of organizational behaviour.
The major issues encountered by Walmart organizational behaviour include gender discrimination, low wages and authoritarian culture which are resulting in dissatisfaction among the employees. Walmart have developed an authoritarian culture where leader has the ultimate decision making ability and there is centralization of power. The theories which can be applied in case of the identified issues are Maslow’s Need Hierarchy theory, Herzberg’s Two Factor Motivation Theory and perception theories such as cognitive dissonance theory and self- perception theory. The alternative solutions can be implemented in Walmart by governing the standard wage rate, facilitating two way communication, providing ample opportunities to female employees and motivating the employees for performing to the best of their abilities. The company is further recommended to adopt the positive reinforcement strategy, reward and recognition strategy, and the strategy that eliminates gender based roles and lead the employees by example in order to deal with these Walmart organizational behaviour issues.
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