Organizational context is considered as an entity scope such as department or division, parent organization, work role, work unit, and enterprise. Wal-Mart Company is an example of an organization that has hundreds of employees in different countries. It is a multinational company and operates many departmental warehouses and stores in America. According to the report released by New York Times (2007), it is believed to be one of the biggest companies in America with a revenue estimate as high as three hundreds billion dollars. It operates more than 3500 stores in the world with more than 90% of them located in the America. Because of its good performance, it has opened various branches in many countries such as Germany, Mexico, Brazil, China, and India (Dowjl, 2004).
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According to the Administrative Management Theory, leadership and management skills are fundamental entities when it comes to decision making. Since an effective decision should start with a problem statement, management skills are required because decisions are critical when in running of a business. This identifies the problem or challenges to be solved by the intended decision. Exhaustive and detailed problems should be identified. Efficient determination of the problems bears many benefits because it provides the basis for decision-making.
At Wal-Mart, there are a number of situations where leadership and management skills are required. Behavioral leadership theory argues that people can learn to improve their traits and become good leaders through observation and teaching. According to this theory, people can be taught to conduct and implement plans that require knowledge. For instance, when the company plans to start a new store, management skills are required. Before arriving at such as a strategic decision, the management has to conduct market research and consider factors that are crucial in the determination of business location. In such as situation, management and leadership skills are required to gather adequate information can facilitate effective decision-making process. In this process, various factors such as economic status, security, nearness to the customers, potential customers, and infrastructure has to be considered (Casestudyinc.com, 2010).
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Leadership, management skills and styles are also required is in cases of poor economic experiences. This may be contributed by stiff competition and unstable global economy. In facing the global harsh economy, Wal-Mart has been keeping an eye on its leadership and management skills. Leaders at Wal-Mart observed that for the company to counteract with the harsh economic times, it must drive down the cost of its products. In addition, leaders embarked on controlling inventories leading to streamlining its merchandise costs. The company was able to meet its growth sales through its strategy formulation. Leaders influenced a store clean up and provided a faster and friendly customer experience. As noted by the Theory of Scientific Management by Frederick Taylor, Wal-Mart can improve its economic status through improving individual performance achieved through motivation (Greatleadershipbydan.com, 2008).
At Wal-Mart, visionary leadership contributes to the efficiency of employees. This is guided by policies laid down by the leaders who believe that decision-making is a frontline responsibility. When employees are given responsibility, supervision becomes minimal. However, some employees have a human instinct of desire to be controlled. In such a situation, standard leadership is applied where high levels of supervision are required. This is a mood changing style of leadership, which is seen to reduce efficiency. According to Behavioral Theory of Management, workers morale is built through motivation, involvement and helping them develop a sense of belonging. This makes them feel as part of the system and thus, improve their performance. At Wal-Mart, all levels of management require decision-making responsibility.
A store manager at Wal-Mart Company plays a managerial and is accountable for many activities that take both inside and outside the store. This manager plans and organizes for the movement of products in the store; he educates customers on the use and availability of products and safeguard customers’ records. He should update his records from time to time and supervise the staff working under him. Enter data into the computer system. In his management roles, he is required to coordinate people in different sections of the store and ensure he provides favorable working conditions for the workers. This manager is obliged to motivate his staff and encourage teamwork among them in order to realize improve performance and productivity.
For this manager to serve he must have considerable leadership qualities such as good communication, ability to delegate, honesty, confidence, sense of humor, commitment, role model, positive attitude, intuition, ability to inspire, and creativity. For the other people who report to him to depend and rely on him, he must demonstrate courageous and high integrity level. He must not fear taking a risk in order to achieve his set targets. It is crucial for this manager to be honest in his duties both externally and internally. The vital aspect of integrity is based on truthfulness where managers are expected to provide the correct information to all people at all the time. In the leadership, this manager is required to be decisive and strong, and the same time demonstrates humbleness. In case of work related conflict, which generates negative impact on the general performance, the manager must have substantial skills to resolve the issues before they fuel up to bigger problems. He must be able to understand his people based on performance, attitude and initiative. This helps him determine staff members who require support to achieve the expected results.
For a store manager to meet his role, some pre-set objectives and targets that determine performance are crucial. For instance, an objective can specify the expected sales increase within a period of one year. With such a target, the manager must develop effective plans to facilitate the realization of the sales increase. In his plan, he must consider the availability of additional stock to serve the new market. He should also consider additional work force to address the additional labor (FOH, n.d).
An effective development plan can help a store manager meet his requirements in the organization. The plan entails the planned goals and targets, identification of what should be learnt, identification of development action to be satisfied, assignment of costs, dates and responsibility, plan discussion, and finally plan implementation and monitoring. During the process of goal setting, it is crucial to define the reasons behind the development, such as a need for improvement or motivation. The second stage involves identification of the important competencies such as attributes, skills and knowledge that are required to facilitate goals achievements. A manager who is struggling in his roles should include performance appraisal at this stage. In the third stage, the development actions are pointed out. This includes identifying the roles required in preparation for the lateral move.
Requirements are addressed in the fourth stage including the cost involved, dates for the plan implementation and the responsible people for the plan. The cost set must be reasonable, dates must be specific, and the responsible people must be prepared. The discussion stage involves consideration of comments from different parties such as stakeholders, staff and top management. In the last stage, plans are implemented, and monitoring emphasized. A reflection of what was learnt facilitates effective monitoring process. This plan has the potential to facilitate the realization of the leadership requirements because it enables adequate preparations, considers all the crucial factors during the process of gathering information and facilitates effective implementation and monitoring process (Urgo, 2009).
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