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Corinne Benson Whole Foods Case Study Organization Behavior Prof.

. Laura Paul June 3, 2012 Whole Foods Market was started in 1980, with one small store in Austin, Texas. Today, they are the worlds leader in natural and organic foods, with more than 310 stores in North America and the United Kingdom. Their mission is Whole Foods Whole People Whole Planet. All of these elements all play a huge role in Whole Foods success. Whole Foods stands for searching for the highest quality, least processed, most flavorful and natural foods possible. They believe that food in its purest state when it is unadulterated by artificial additives, sweeteners, colorings and preservatives is it also the best tasting and most nutritious food there is. Whole People means the people they hire are passionate about healthy food and a healthy planet. They take full advantage of the decentralized, self-directed team culture and create a respectful workplace where people are treated fairly and are highly motivated to succeed. Whole Planet means they are committed to helping take care of the world around us, and their active support of organic farming and sustainable agriculture helps protect our planet. Whole Foods also assists their global neighbors through the Whole Planet Foundations micro-lending operations. Whole foods also supports local food banks, sponsor neighborhood events and donate to local non-profit groups around each and every one of their stores. (Whole Foods) In 1960, Douglas McGregor wrote a book and formulated two contrasting assumptions about human nature; Theory X and Theory Y. Theory X assumptions were negative and pessimistic. McGregor felt this was the typical behavior of how managers were perceived by employees. Theory Y was a modern and positive set of assumptions about people. McGregor believed that managers could accomplish more through others by viewing themselves as self-energized, committed, responsible and creative beings (Kreitner & Kinicki, p9). McGregors Theory Y plays a very important role at Whole Foods. In the table on page 9 Number 3 under the Theory Y column states that people generally become committed to organizational objectives if they are rewarded for doing so. John Mackey the CEO of Whole Foods states that they want their employees to be happy because happy employees make happy customers and happy customers will refer people to the place of business there for bringing more customers (Kreitner & Kinicki, p30). Whole Foods builds human and social capital in many different ways. According to Whole Foods they hire individuals and train their team mambers to be highly

knowledgeable in a specific product or service area (e.g., prepared foods, meats and poultry, customer service). Team members report to a team leader, who then works with store management, referred to as store team leaders. These team members operate much differently than most "employees" in retail grocery outlets. These team members work together with their team leader to make a number of decisions with regard to their specific areas, and they contribute to store level decisions as well. In the social aspect Whole Foods Market emphasizes the importance of sustainable agriculture. Whole Foods tries to support organic farmers, growers, and the environment by a commitment to using sustainable agriculture and expanding the market for organic products. They launched a program to loan approximately $10 million annually to help independent local producers around the country to expand. It holds seminars and teaches producers how to move their products onto grocery shelves and how to command and receive premium prices for their products. In addition the company promotes active involvement in local communities by giving a minimum of 5 percent of its profits each year to a variety of community and nonprofit organizations (Hitt). This case brings the profile of the 21st century manager to life by implementing many if not all of the items listed in table 1-3 on page 19. Whole Foods is a cooperative business they strive for win-win situations. For example as stated above if the employees are happy, the customers are happy and that results in passing the word along. The end result is usually more business. Whole Foods refers to their employees at team members, they compensate based on skills and results. The team members are a critically important part of the Whole Foods operation (Whole Foods). Corporate social responsibility (CSR) is defined as the notion that corporations have an obligation to constituent groups in society other then stockholders and beyond that prescribed b low or union contract. The theory behind the pyramid though is that the lower levels must be satisfied in order for the upper levels to be achieved. There are four layers to Carrolls Global Corporate Social Responsibility Pyramid. The first and bottom tier is Economic Responsibility and being profitable, the next up is Legal Responsibility and obeying the law, the third up is Ethical Responsibility and being ethical and the top layer is Philanthropic Responsibility which is to be a good global corporate citizen (Kreitner & Kinicki, 21). According to Whole Foods website they promise to donate 5% of net profits on designated days called 5% days to local nonprofit or educational organizations. That being said the first tier, Economic Responsibility being profitable isnt met, it if wasnt met the not-for-profits will be not be getting the 5% donations. Whole Foods values seem to address each level of the pyramid. Whole foods seem to address the next steps up, Legal Responsibility and Ethical Responsibility under their values Caring about our Communities & Our Environment and Creating ongoing Win-Win Partnerships with our Suppliers where, they promise Integrity in all Business Dealings and Transparency. The top layer Philanthropic Responsibility is being met with the promise in the company values to give profits to not-for-profits. So it seems, as long as Whole Foods follows all of their stated company values, they should be solidly at the top of the pyramid (Whole Foods).

There are seven moral principles that Kent Hodgson has created to take managrs a step closer to ethical decision. On Page 24 of Organizational behavior 11th edition in Table 1 4 they are listed; Dignity of human life, autonomy, honesty, loyalty, fairness, humaneness, and the common good. There are quite a few of the seven moral principles that appear to be in force at Whole Foods. First and foremost is Fairness. They treat all of their employees with fairness and everyone is able to put in their opinion and make decisions as a team. Another principal I see present is Autonomy, Honesty and Loyalty. Whole Foods Market wants to keep their team members happy so that they will get more business. They treat their team members with respect and compensate them for their knowledge and skills not based on rank. Whole Foods also provides on-going training to keep team members educated on all the most up to date information. After researching on Whole Foods Website and reading their Core Values I would not mind working at Whole Foods. What appeals to me the most is the support of their team members happiness and excellence. Another thing that appeals to me is in their core values that they care about their communities and the environment. This overall seems to be a great company. They are there to provide excellent customer service and provide knowledgeable team members to help educate their ever growing customer base.
Kreitner, R. & Kinicki, A. (2013). York:McGraw-Hill.

Organizational Behavior (10th ed.). New

Hitt, Michael A., Chet Miller, C., & Colella, A. (2011). Organizational Behavior (3rd ed.) New Jersey: John Wiley & Sons, Inc. from ion_of_in