Whole Foods Market Essay

910 words - 4 pages

Whole Foods

The mission of Whole Foods Market is "to offer the highest quality, least processed, most flavorful and naturally preserved foods" (Nelson and Quick 352). The company uses rational decision making in merchandising and operations by employing a decentralized business structure. This means that ideas can be thoroughly processed and analyzed because decisions are made by people who will actually see the results of changes made. In addition, Whole Foods uses a regional organizational structure which allows the company to make decisions based on what works well in each of their eight regions. This idea exemplifies a logical decision making process because differences in geographic locations can be accounted for. The textbook also communicates the rationality in decision making at Whole Foods by saying that "even though merchandising and operational differences exist among regions, all of them adhere to the company's core values that are manifested in its mission and vision" (Nelson and Quick 352).

The theory of bounded rationality states "that there are limits to how rational a decision maker can actually be" (Nelson and Quick 319). Although Whole Foods Market seems to have a systematic process of making decisions, decision makers are sometimes limited in how rational they can be in developing resolutions. According to the theory of bounded rationality, managers are often forced to satisfice in situations that demand solutions with little time for analysis. If there was a produce festival at Whole Foods each weekend in the month of October and the head employee quits on September 30th, the supervisor of operations in that department would be forced to make a decision based on the next best alternative. This is a prime example of bounded rationality in the organization's decision making process.

Whole Foods Market also uses self-directed teams in decision making processes. The use of self-directed teams ensures that decisions based on consumer satisfaction are made wisely because they are centered on communications which come directly from customers. Because the objective of Whole Foods Market is to provide customers with quality products, it is only logical to provide them with quality service as well. The company knows that when customers feel like their opinion matters, they are more likely to both respect, and shop with, a company that listens and responds proactively. This method may function well, however it does not account for the random nature of customer feedback. In these cases, decisions are made in terms of the garbage can theory. The garbage can model states "decisions in organizations are random and unsystematic" (Nelson and Quick 319). If, for example, a particular customer is displeased with the actions of an employee of Whole...

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