Many companies today are competing for survival in the world market. Technology has also played very vital role in terms of boosting the competitiveness of organizations in the world market. In addition, leaders of different organizations are adopting different leadership strategies to enable their organizations to become competitive in the global market.
As a result, it is important for leaders of organizations to adopt leadership strategies that will boost the performance of their organizations thereby enable them to compete effectively in the global market. There are trends that are being observed in the business environment which are making it important for leaders to formulate leadership strategies that can enable their organizations to remain competitive in the world economy.
However, leaders often face challenges which make it difficult for them to implement effective strategies to improve the performance of their organizations (Kouzes & Posner, 2008). As a result, many leaders are being forced to engage in thorough research so as to enable them to come up with effective leadership strategies that will enable them to increase the profitability of their organizations considerably.
Technology plays a major role in terms of boosting the competitiveness of organizations in the world market. Organizations are adopting technology so as to enable them to become efficient in their production processes. This has made them to be able to provide consumers with products that meet their needs adequately.
Globalization is also growing at a very high rate. Many organizations have therefore taken advantage of globalization so as to enable them to increase their market share. This has made many organizations to be able to increase their profitability significantly.
Since major organizations in the world today have made most of their operations to become global, they have been able to come into contact with different kinds of consumers who have different tastes for the products that the organizations manufacture (Kouzes & Posner, 2008). As a result, organizations have been forced to be innovative while producing their products in order to make their products to be more appealing to consumers.
With the advent of technology, organizations have become very competitive. In addition, organizations have realized that their productivity relies on the commitment of their employees. As a result, many organizations are employing complex measures to enable them motivate their employees so that they can also boost their productivity. However, globalization and advancement in technology have provided new opportunities for employment to people.
As a result, employees are finding it easy to shift from one job to another easily. However, most employees do not have the right skills which most organizations require. As a result, many leaders of organizations are implementing strategies to enable them retain the most productive employees.
It is therefore true that leaders of different organizations all over the world are being faced with the challenge of handling emerging trends in the global business environment. Most leaders are therefore implementing strategies aimed at ensuring that their organizations adopt sophisticated technology to enable them provide quality products to their customers.
In addition, they are focusing on adopting globalization and diversity so that they can be able to address the different needs of customers in different parts of the world. In addition, they are focusing on extending their supply chains so that they can be able to minimize the costs of the products that they manufacture. Moreover, they are ensuring that they retain their most productive employees so that the productivity of their organization can keep rising.
Wal-Mart present form analysis
Wal-Mart is a multinational corporation which has its headquarters in the US. It is one of the main private employers in the world. It has an employee base of about 2 million. Regional Vice Presidents (RVP) are the ones who manage the organization at the regional level.
The RVPs are based in Bentonville but they usually travel to their respective regions for three weeks every month in order to ensure that the operations of the regions are in line with the expectations of the company. All the regional managers are required to meet with the Bentonville-based executive leaders so that they can be able to discuss the various challenges that face all Wal-Mart’s stores.
Every region has about eleven districts. Each district usually has about 7 stores. However, it is the goal of a district manager to ensure that all the activities of the organization are run smoothly at the district level. The District Managers usually work hand in hand with the Regional Personnel Managers (RPMs) to ensure that any issues relating to the operations of the stores are addressed adequately. It is the duty of the RPMs to select the people who manage individual stores.
Wal-Mart stores are therefore designed in such a manner that the managers of the organization are the ones who allocate duties as well as monitor the activities of employees within the organization. The managers also identify any changes that need to be implemented to the stores in order to ensure that all the production processes within the stores are in line with the goals of the entire organization (The Wall Street Journal, 2012).
Wal-Mart treats all employees equally. As a result, Wal-Mart ensures that all the employees within the organization have equal rights with regard to accessing the resources of the organization. It ensures that all the employees are given sufficient support so that they can be able to achieve their full potential thereby increasing their productivity significantly.
Wal-Mart believes that diversity is the foundation of a sustainable business. As a result, it respects all the employees who work in it. It ensures that its employees work together thereby ensuring that the organization continues being the leader in the provision of quality products and services to its customers.
To ensure that it continues being a global leader in all the activities that it engages in, Wal-Mart adopts diversity a part of its business plan to enable it incorporate all the needs of its employees in an effective manner. Wal-Mart believes that respecting diversity enables its employees to live with each other in a peaceful manner (The Wall Street Journal, 2012).
Most business enterprises engage in production processes which please their customers. With the advent of globalization therefore, most business enterprises in the world today engage in production processes which enable them to produce products that meet the exact needs of their customers.
Therefore, many multinational corporations look for markets in different parts of the world where customers have different tastes. To increase their sales therefore, most organizations produce goods which address the needs of the different types of customers adequately.
In order to capture a large market share, Wal-Mart provides its customers with a wide range of products to choose from. It also customizes its products depending on the needs of its customers in different parts of the world.
To ensure that the customers remain satisfied with the products that they obtain from Wal-Mart, the company engages in market research in order to identify the exact needs of its customers. This strategy guides Wal-Mart while customizing the products for its different types of customers who are located in different parts of the world (Lueneburger & Goleman, 2010).
Advancements in information technology have played a vital role in terms of revolutionizing the manner in which businesses communicate with their customers.
Advancements in information technology have made it easy for organizations to communicate with their customers in an efficient and faster manner. It has also enabled organizations to reduce their costs of production drastically. As part of its growth strategy therefore, Wal-Mart has invested in a communication infrastructure which has enabled it to improve the way it interacts with its customers.
Wal-Mart has a satellite communication system in the United States which links all its stores to the headquarters. This has made the process of managing the organization easier. Wal-Mart also uses Retail Link and EDI applications over the internet thereby making it possible for the company to exchange data with its suppliers easily all over the world. In addition, it uses Web 2.0 and social networking tools to enable it interact with its customers more effectively.
Wal-Mart Future trends
The workplace today is experiencing significant changes. This is because people are getting more educated thereby impacting on the way in which they conduct their daily operations.
People today are more efficient in the activities that they perform. In addition, education has become global thereby enabling people from all over the world to share ideas and improve their working skills. In the case of Wal-Mart, it hires qualified personnel from different parts of the world thereby enabling it to benefit from the diverse skills which the employees possess (Lueneburger & Goleman, 2010).
Technology has also played a major role in terms of enabling people to perform their daily activities more efficiently. By adopting technology, organizations are able to improve the productivity of their employees thereby impacting positively on their profitability. This state of affairs has enabled organizations to increase their sizes and competitiveness significantly. In addition, technology and globalization have made it possible for people to move from one country to another in search of descent jobs.
The work environment is experiencing exponential change today. As a result, the manner in which people perform their daily activities is also changing. Therefore, by year 2020, workforce will be completely different than it is today. For example, it is said that employee diversity is expected to prevail in 2020.
This is because organizations will experience cultural diversity in the workplace. As a result, employees within the organization will have a broader set of values and believes than today. It is said that the generational divide will create disparity in the way young and old people work. It is therefore important for organizations to learn how to manage the different cultures and expectations. Since Wal-Mart operates globally, it encounters people who come from diverse cultural backgrounds.
Wal-Mart will therefore be required to devise leadership strategies which will enable it to unite the different groups of people working within the organization so that they can contribute towards the overall productivity of the organization (Lueneburger & Goleman, 2010).
Employment will be expected to shift to deployment since labor force will be more mobile. In addition, it will be possible to work in any part of the world at any time. In order to ensure that it provides the best quality products to its customers therefore, Wal-Mart should ensure that it hires highly qualified personnel from different parts of the world. It should also pay its employees competitive wages so as to ensure that it retains the most productive and talented employees.
The jobs available in 2020 will also require high level qualifications. However, since there is a shortage in the number of people who are qualified, growth and innovation is expected to experience serious challenges. It is said that most of the population in developing economies is aging. By the year 2020, approximately 25 percent of Europeans will be over 60 years old. As a result, the aging workforce will either want to retire early or wish to work for few hours thereby reducing the profitability of organizations.
By 2020, more than one third of the data will be sent through the cloud. Therefore, technology will bring together employees, clients and partners. This will enhance collaboration and improve transparency in organizations. In order to be ready for the transformation, Wal-Mart should hire highly qualified personnel who will enable it to remain competitive in the global business environment as well as enable it to cope with the various challenges that are brought about by globalization.
More women are expected to take up most leadership positions in the work environment by 2020. It is said that 1 out of every 3 workers will be a woman. This will change the culture of many companies since the management style that women adopt is different from the one that men adopt.
In a research that was conducted on 500 fortune 500 companies, it was observed that the companies which had more women in leadership positions attained higher return on equity. Studies reveal that most women usually manage organizations in a more cautious manner than men.
Many women focus on the long term goals of their organization (Kouzes & Posner, 2008). It is therefore important for Wal-Mart to consider the issue of hiring more women in positions of leadership in order to ensure that it benefits from the unique leadership style that women practice.
Telecommuting is a different kind of work atmosphere that is expected to have significant impact in the way organizations carry out their daily operations. Many organizations are adopting this type of job structure because of its convenience. Telecommuting provides opportunities such as video conferencing, Hot Desks, and smaller offices.
By adopting telecommuting, organizations end up with flexible workforce and they also reduce recruitment costs. When companies enable remote working conditions, issues such as traffic congestion will reduce significantly. It is therefore important for Wal-Mart to incorporate some aspects of telecommuting to enable it reduce the time wasted while commuting as well as enable its employees to be flexible while working within the organization.
Leadership trends impacting on Wal-Mart
Wal-Mart implements unique leadership strategies which enable it to become successful in its operations. The company ensures that information flows smoothly from the headquarters to every store. The people from the headquarters are the ones who are sent to the stores so that they can gather information about competitors and other challenges that the stores might be facing.
However, Wal-Mart’s competitors require the people from the local stores to go to the headquarters in order to give out information about the performance of the businesses. The unique practice by Wal-Mart enables the local stores to develop a close relationship with the people at the headquarters. This state of affairs has enabled Wal-Mart to be able to respond to the demands of its customers on a timely basis (Businessweek, 2010).
The relationship between senior executives and employees at Wal-Mart is based on close communication, respect and high expectations. Though the employees are not given high salaries, they usually enjoy other benefits such as health care plans, profit incentives, and retirement schemes.
The company also advocates for an open-door policy and provides a variety of promotion opportunities thereby enabling the employees to remain committed to realizing the goals of the organization. Though this strategy is not common in large organizations, it usually adds value to Wal-Mart’s employees thereby enabling them to devote themselves to their jobs as well as offer the customers high quality services.
Technology has played a very important role in enabling Wal-Mart to be successful in its operations. Technology has helped Wal-Mart to improve the relationship it has with its customers and employees.
The customers can therefore easily access the various services that the company offers through the internet. As a result, it is possible for customers to find more information about the products before making an actual purchase. In addition, the company has a very responsive support team who usually address any queries that the customers make.
Recommended Changes for the future
Leadership actions to be taken
The global business world is very competitive today. As a result, it is important for an organization to ensure that it implements strategies which can enable it to run smoothly. Therefore, in order for Wal-Mart to continue being competitive in the world today, there are certain measures that it should adopt.
Wal-Mart should invest in its employees. It should ensure that its employees are versant with the most complex means of production. Since technology keeps advancing, Wal-Mart should ensure that its employees get relevant training regarding the technology is use. This would ensure that the productivity of the employees within the organization remains consistent. In addition, the company should consider hiring talented people who would be responsible for handling sensitive tasks within the organization.
In order to attract highly talented people, Wal-Mart should award its employees competitive salaries as well as give them rewards whenever they demonstrate exemplary performance. This would have the effect of boosting the productivity of the employees within the organization thus increasing its competitiveness (Businessweek, 2010).
Digital proficiency is also an issue that organizations need to consider while carrying out their usual activities. The organizations that implement digital technology in their operations are usually very efficient in their production processes. As a result, it is important for Wal-Mart to ensure that it implements digital technology in all its operations in order for it to make its production processes faster and more efficient (Businessweek, 2010).
The leaders at Wal-Mart should take time to learn about the strategies that the competitors implement. This way, the company would be well aware of the strategies that is should adopt so as to enable it to cope with the competitive pressure in the global market.
The company can therefore be able to implement other strategies which would counter the strategies that the competitors adopt. It is therefore important for Wal-Mart to hire a team of researchers once in a while to enable it understand the market trends and the kind of strategies that it should adopt so as to succeed in the market.
Diversity management refers to a situation whereby an organization is able to handle a diverse group of employees who work within the same organization. Diversity in organizations is usually observed when they employ people who belong to different cultures or whereby young and old people are made to work together in an organization.
In the case of Wal-Mart, diversity management is observed because the company is able to manage the different groups of employees within the organization thereby enabling them to work together to realize the goals of the organization.
Leadership models refer to a situation whereby certain key employees within an organization are allocated the duty of managing other employees in the same organization. In the case of Wal-Mart, the leadership process is hierarchical in nature. At Wal-Mart, the Regional Personnel Managers are the ones who manage all the activities of the stores in all the regions. The District managers on the other hand are the ones who give out information to the RPMs regarding the performance of the stores at district levels.
Ethics refer to the acceptable codes of conduct in every organization. Wal-Mart practices ethics by ensuring that all the rights of the employees within the organization are respected. It also ensures that the customers are treated fairly and that the employees receive fair salaries. Moreover, Wal-Mart adopts production processes that are friendly to the environment.
Decision making models
These refer to the manner in which decisions are made within an organization. In the case of Wal-Mart, the top-level managers give employees an opportunity to participate in the decision making process in order to ensure that the decisions made within the organization are effective and that every employee within the organization is able to comply with them.
This refers to a situation whereby an organization is able to address any problems that arise within it on a timely basis. For example, Wal-Mart is usually very cautious with regard to addressing issues such as production of defective products. It always ensures that any problems that arise are addressed in the shortest time possible in order to ensure that customers remain loyal to the organization.
Conflict management processes
Conflict management refers to a situation whereby an organization is able to address any conflicts that arise between employees and customers. Wal-Mart ensures that its employees and customers relate positively with each other. It does this by ensuring that the employees are well-trained to handle all customers’ queries politely. This makes the customers to trust in the products and services that Wal-Mart offers.
Businessweek. (2010). Methodology: Best Companies for Leadership. Web.
Kouzes, J. M., & Posner, B. Z. (2008). The Leadership Challenge. New York: John Wiley and Sons.
Lueneburger, C., & Goleman, D. (2010). The Change Leadership Management Sustainability Demands. Web.
The Wall Street Journal. (2012). Global Leaders Urged to Support New Action Plan to Wipe Out Illiteracy by 2020. Web.