Analyze the pros and cons of your company’s structure

Q1. Analyze the pros and cons of your company’s structure (or that of a company with which you’re familiar) and compare it to the pros and cons of another company’s structure. The evaluation needs to consider the rationale behind the framework. (AC 1.1)

Walmart, a multinational retail behemoth noted for its extensive store network, has a one-of-a kind corporate structure built to accommodate its massive commercial operations. Here, we compare the benefits and drawbacks of Walmart’s structure with another popular approach, the “flat” structure. When it comes to company structure, Walmart is just one of many that opts for a hybrid of flat and hierarchical models. Using this flexible strategy, businesses can alter their organizational structures to meet their demands, striking a balance between the benefits of being innovative and responsive and the benefits of being clear and in charge.

Advantages of Organizational Structure of Walmart

  1. Walmart’s hierarchical structure and supply chain management skills complement one another. The company’s distribution network and unified logistics and inventory management allow for quick and efficient product distribution. Thus, this centralized approach helps keep prices down and ensures a steady supply of commodities.
  2. There is a distinct line of authority inside Walmart’s organizational structure. The clarity of the hierarchy facilitates the distribution of tasks and responsibilities by making it simpler to assign accountability for actions and to arrive at informed decisions. A precise environment is conducive to the kind of careful deliberation and creative problem-solving that can only come from such precision.
  3. Due to its massive size and ability to make decisions centrally, Walmart enjoys huge economies of scale. Walmart’s bargaining position with its suppliers, its ability to buy in bulk, and the resulting cost savings allow it to offer its customers extremely low prices, which they appreciate.

Disadvantages of Organizational Structure of Walmart

  1. The hierarchical system is useful for establishing order, but it also has the potential to stifle innovation within bureaucracies. Slow decision-making processes and multiple levels of management could reduce the company’s agility in responding to changing market conditions.
  2. In a highly structured corporate environment like Walmart’s, innovation may be suppressed unintentionally. Staff members who are overly concerned with adhering to norms may be less likely to try out novel ideas or innovative approaches, potentially costing the company valuable talent and growth opportunities.
  3. Many hierarchical architectures are top-heavy and include multiple levels of management. The company’s bottom line and efficiency could take a hit if the added cost of employing so many extra managers sap its profit margins.

Flat Organizational Structure Model Advantages

  1. In an organization that is flat, decisions can be made rapidly since there are fewer layers of management. When workers are given more agency to make decisions within the scope of their expertise, the business is better able to adapt to shifting market conditions.
  2. A culture of innovation is often fostered in flat organizations. Workers like it when they are given the leeway to propose and act on innovative ideas without being stifled by cumbersome bureaucratic red tape. This unrestricted atmosphere is ideal for fostering innovation and productivity.
  3. As there are fewer people to go through to get their message across in a flat structure, information can flow more freely. Employees are more likely to work together and contribute to shared goals when they are able to more freely exchange ideas and information.

Flat Organizational Structure Model Disadvantages

  1. One major drawback of flat structures is the potential for inconsistency in the notion of hierarchy. Uncertainty regarding who has the previous say can complicate business governance if roles and responsibilities are not established.
  2. Flat organizational systems often prove most effective for smaller businesses. As an organization expands, it may become more challenging to keep its structure as flat as possible, which can lead to ineffective management of larger teams and more intricate coordination.
  3. In a flat organization, employees often have multiple responsibilities. While it’s great to have options, giving workers too much freedom may lead to burnout and less overall job satisfaction.

Q2. Analyze connections between your organization’s strategy (or an organization with which you are familiar) and its products or services, and customers. (AC 1.2)

Walmart’s approach is well-grounded and consistent across all of its offerings, which contributes to the company’s dominance in the retail industry. Walmart’s strategy revolves around its commitment to low-cost leadership, that’s a major bearing on the prices at which it sells its products and services. The company is dedicated to locating low-priced goods, improving its supply base, and diligently passing the savings on to its customers. Walmart’s ability to offer a large selection of products at rock-bottom prices thanks to this partnership will undoubtedly appeal to those on a limited budget.

The fact that Walmart is dedicated to the principle of everyday low prices (EDLP) also helps this strategy. The company has eliminated the need for regular offers and discounts by maintaining consistently low prices across all of its offerings, every day. Pricing and stock management are both made easier as a result. This tactic earns the trust of its customers by reliably meeting their needs within their price range. Walmart’s extensive product variety is also an integral part of the company’s strategy. The inclusion of food, technology, and clothing is both deliberate and practical, as it caters to a wide variety of clients. Walmart promotes itself as an ideal destination for many needs, ensuring that it can effectively service a wide range of customer demographics.

In addition, Walmart’s omnichannel strategy, which incorporates on the internet as well as offline retail, has allowed the company to increase the breadth of its product offering. Customers may enjoy a streamlined purchasing experience whether they like to shop in-store or online thanks to this tactic. It offers a level of convenience that enhances the client relationship and acknowledges the varying needs of modern consumers. All of Walmart’s decisions, from stock selection to store layout to service offerings, are made with the customer in mind. The company actively seeks out customer feedback and incorporates it into its ongoing process of innovation. This tailored approach to retail is highly valued by customers since it increases loyalty and satisfaction.

Q3. Explain the impact of three external events or trends on your company (or a company with which you have familiar) today. These variables or trends may have a good, neutral, or negative effect, and while some may be temporary, others may be more permanent. The results of the analysis should be used to establish organizational priorities. (AC 1.3)

These are the three external elements influencing Walmart:

  1. Supply Chain Disruptions and Resilience

The spread of COVID-19 threatens the stability of global supply chains. Disruptions in the supply chain can have an impact on product availability and delivery, and they can be caused by anything from pandemics to natural disasters to geopolitical conflicts. The supply chain is an area of focus for Walmart. Improving supply chain resilience calls for stocking up on more of the right stuff and shopping from a wider range of vendors. Supply chain visibility in real time requires investment in technology. The supply chain needs to be resilient so that customers can continue to get service even if there are disruptions.


  1. Sustainability and Environmental Concerns

There is a growing awareness among consumers and other stakeholders about the importance of corporate accountability and environmental sustainability. Companies are under increasing pressure to implement eco-friendly policies and reduce their negative effects on the natural world. After acknowledging the importance of sustainability, Walmart has made a commitment to transform into an environmentally conscious and socially responsible company. Reducing waste, encouraging sustainable procurement, and cutting down on emissions of greenhouse gases are all top priorities. Sustainability initiatives not only appeal to customers’ preferences but also help businesses save money in the long term.

  1. E-commerce and Online Retail Competition

Walmart has been seriously impacted by the relentless expansion of e-commerce & the rise of electronic retail behemoths like Amazon. Walmart is facing stiffer competition as more customers move their shopping habits online. Walmart’s future depends on the success of its internet strategy. It has made strides in improving the quality and reach of its digital infrastructure and the effectiveness of its online supply chain. To keep up with the rising demand for online shopping, investments in technology and logistics are necessary.

Q4. When setting out its view on automation, AI and technology, the CIPD states, ‘Automation, artificial intelligence (AI) and other workplace technologies are bringing major changes to work and employment.’ Assess the scale of technology within organizations and how it impacts work. (AC 1.4)

Massive investments in automation, artificial intelligence (AI), and other types of technology have caused Walmart, one of the largest and most prominent merchants in the world, to experience major changes across many of its operations. Walmart’s technological advancements have farreaching and subtle effects. The corporation uses a wide variety of automation technologies across its extensive system of distribution centers and supply chain operations to speed up processes like inventory management and order fulfillment. These products include conveyor systems, complex logistics software, and autonomous robots. Although this has improved accuracy and productivity, it has also led to a shift in responsibilities, with an increased focus on using technology to manage systems. Walmart has also utilized AI and data analytics to better predict demand, streamline inventory, and establish prices. Decision-making has been affected by this shift toward a more data-driven approach in fields like marketing and commerce, where workers now rely largely on AI-driven insights. There is a need for people skilled in data processing and the upkeep of AI systems.

Self-checkout kiosks and mobile payment alternatives are just two ways Walmart has made it easier for customers to handle their own transactions. The company uses automated shelf-scanning robots in conjunction with RFID technology for its inventory management system. Although this technology has reduced the need for cashiers, there has been a rise in the demand for people with expertise in customer service and technical assistance. Walmart has invested extensively in its online presence, and as a result, new jobs have been created in online order delivery and fulfillment, while in-store staff have had to learn new skills to keep up with altering client preferences. After adopting HRM and personnel management tools, Walmart finally embraces technology. Automating processes like hiring, performance reviews, and staffing can save time and effort. As a result of these reforms, HR departments now have more time to devote to strategic goals like increasing employee engagement and teaching valuable new skills.

Q5. Explain Edgar Schein’s model of organizational culture and explain one theory or model which examines human behavior. (AC 2.1)

The many facets of an organization can be better understood with the help of Edgar Schein’s idea of organizational culture. At its core, Schein’s worldview acknowledges that culture is not a monolithic but rather tri-level construct. The most obvious  manifestations of a culture are its objects and customs. As obvious as rituals and ceremonies and the regularity of employee interaction are, so too are physical indications like office design and uniform regulations. As the model progresses, it comes into contact with the world of professed values and beliefs, with the components of culture that have been passed down on purpose. The organization’s guiding principles, mission, and vision can be gleaned from anything that has been formally published or told about it. However, the core beliefs and hidden principles of the company are what make it tick. These are the unquestioned assumptions that employees make about their work environment, their colleagues, and themselves. All subsequent judgments are based on these presumptions. Schein’s approach acknowledges that changing the outward manifestations of a company’s culture is insufficient for long-term success without also addressing the underlying beliefs and concepts that drive employees’ actions.

However, the Hierarchy of Needs hypothesis proposed by Abraham Maslow can be used as a useful tool for exploring the nature of human behavior. Physiological needs, such as food and shelter, are at the bottom of Maslow’s hierarchy of needs. After these requirements have been satisfied, people shift their focus to finding a sense of security, and only then do they begin to look for love and companionship among their peers. People also exert considerable effort in pursuit of their esteem needs, which include things like success and public acclaim. Self-actualization, the process of becoming one’s best possible self, should be treated as a top priority. According to Maslow’s theory, humans are driven by a hierarchy of needs, with the fulfillment of more basic desires requiring attention to more fundamental requirements. Performance and morale can both benefit from management practices that take employees’ motivations and preferences into consideration. To do this, it helps to be familiar with Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs. A emphasis on employees’ growth and development, for example, can enhance morale and output in the workplace and go a long way toward satisfying employees’ demand for respect.

Q6. Assess how people practice in your organization (or one with which you are familiar) impact. both on organizational culture and behavior, drawing on examples to support your arguments. (AC 2.2)

Employees’ actions and the company’s culture are profoundly impacted by the habits of Walmart’s employees. The Walmart Academy is only one example of the company’s dedication to its employees’ training and development, which in turn fosters a culture of lifelong learning and improvement. By investing in their professional growth, businesses may ensure that their staff is better able to satisfy customers and uphold the company’s values. In addition, Walmart’s diverse staff and supplier base exemplify the company’s commitment to promoting an inclusive and welcoming environment for all employees. Employees that are more accepting and compassionate as a result of initiatives like the Women’s Advisory Council and the Veterans Visit Home Commitment are a direct effect of these programs. Walmart’s preference for employee participation through recognition and prizes also helps to cultivate a way of life of gratitude and cooperation. Employees are more likely to perform in ways that reflect Walmart’s values when they are rewarded for their efforts. Because of the company’s commitment to health and safety, customers have more faith in adhering to these guidelines. Walmart’s human resources practices are essential to building a happy and productive workplace, which in turn benefits the company’s customers.

Q7. Peter Cheese, current CEO of CIPD asserts, ‘People professionals are a vital function in

supporting businesses to adapt to rapidly changing circumstances. Explain two different models

or theories for managing change. (AC 2.3)

Peter Cheese’s assertion emphasizes the significance of human resources professionals in supporting businesses with the challenges brought on by rapid change. There are many other strategic approaches to managing change, but two of the most well-known are Kotter’s 8-Step Change Model and Lewin’s 3-Step Change Model. The Kotter model is an in-depth eight-step procedure, beginning with creating an urgent need and concluding with integrating the new way of doing things into everyday life. Human resource specialists contribute significantly at multiple stages by easing dialogue, increasing agency, and uniting diverse cultural groups. In contrast, Lewin’s paradigm requires three main actions: modification, thawing, and refreezing. Here, human resources experts guide workers through the mental and physical effects of change, with the goal of fostering awareness, buy-in, and sustainability. These examples illustrate the value of HR professionals as catalysts for organizational change, enabling businesses to proactively respond to shifting market demands.

Q8. A variety of models have been developed to explain how change is experienced. Discuss onemodel that explains how change is experienced. (AC 2.4)

The Kübler-Ross Change Curve is a useful tool for understanding people’s reactions to change; it was first devised to describe the stages of bereavement. There are five stages in total, and they are denial, anger, bargaining, grief, and acceptance. After initially resisting or denying the need for change, people often go through an angry period where they can let out their frustration and hostility. Following this, individuals may enter the bargaining phase, during which they try to come to terms with the change or devise methods to mitigate its effects. Depression is an expression of loss and grief felt as the repercussions of change become more apparent. When people begin to embrace the new reality and work toward positive outcomes, they make progress toward acceptance. Even while not everyone follows this model in a linear fashion, the Kübler Ross Change Curve provides a framework for leaders and change agents to understand and manage the emotional reactions people have during times of transformation. Based on an individual’s position on this curve, organizations can tailor their communication and support strategies to facilitate a more positive transformation experience.

Q9. The CIPD’s Health and wellbeing at work survey 2022 found, ‘There is less management focus on health and wellbeing compared with the first year of the pandemic and goes on to remark that this is disappointing. Assess the importance of wellbeing at work and factors which impact wellbeing. (AC 2.5)

The results of the CIPD’s Health and Wellbeing at Work Survey 2022 show that management is paying less attention to employees’ health and wellbeing than they did in the early stages of the pandemic. This prompts vital inquiries into the nature of today’s workplaces. The well-being and contentment of employees are paramount in this setting. It’s associated with worker satisfaction, health, and output. People are more likely to give their jobs their all when they too are happy and healthy. Second, there is a strong relationship between a company’s success and the happiness of its workers. It’s common knowledge that employees who are both physically and mentally well are more invested in the success of their firm. Your capacity to retain and attract great talent will also improve noticeably if you prioritize the requirements of your employees. Companies that care about their employees’ welfare tend to hold on to their most talented employees. When employees are content, they are less likely to call out sick or show up late for work, both of which can have a negative effect on productivity and, ultimately, a business’ bottom line. The way a firm treats its employees may make or break its reputation. Businesses with stellar reputations for their cultures of care and inclusion attract and retain the best talent and win the admiration of their clientele, shareholders, and the general public.

Many factors contribute to whether or not workers are happy in their jobs. Factors such as job requirements, work-life harmony, job control and autonomy, workplace setting, availability of mental health resources, management style, social support networks, recognition and rewards, and similar elements all play a role. Excessive stress, long hours, and unrealistic expectations can all lead to burnout and their associated health risks. On the other hand, a supportive workplace that emphasizes individual initiative, equitable distribution of tasks, and camaraderie may do wonders for an employee’s sense of purpose and contentment. To the contrary, overcrowding and poor ventilation in the workplace are damaging to the physical health of employees. Having access to mental health support services is also important because dealing with mental health difficulties can have a major impact on one’s standard of living. An effective and healthy workplace is the result of many factors, including the leadership and management style of the business owners and managers in charge. Systems of social support and recognition and reward in the workplace also play a role in the well-being and success of workers.

Management’s interest in employee health has declined, according to a new survey, therefore companies should reconsider their approaches to improving workplace wellness. Companies should continue to prioritize their employees’ health and safety even when workplace dynamics change, and they should implement preventative measures to address the wide range of factors that can have an effect. A more charitable and accountable corporate culture may help businesses recover from the effects of the epidemic by attracting and retaining talented workers.

Q10. The CIPD Profession Map states ‘People practices are the processes and approaches that we use across the employee lifecycle’. Discuss the links between the employee lifecycle and different people practice roles. (AC 3.1)

There is a strong correlation between the many people behavior roles and an worker lifecycle, a comprehensive framework for an employee’s whole path inside an organization, from hiring to firing. These roles are essential for building a happy, productive workplace culture. Human resources professionals whose work involves talent acquisition make ensuring that the right people are hired and given an appropriate introduction to the company’s values, vision, and culture during the onboarding process. This immediately creates a more positive environment for workers.

Experts in this field help employers and employees set objectives, evaluate progress, and consider new opportunities. This process is vital for the employee’s career progression as it affects skill development, promotions, and compatibility with company goals. Employee engagement and fitness responsibilities encompass an individual’s whole working life, and include things like fostering a positive work environment, promoting a healthy work-life balance, and caring for an employee’s physical and mental well-being. These measures improve employees’ well-being, productivity, and contentment at work.

Experts in compensation and benefits, along with administrators of reward systems, guarantee market-competitive pay and accolades. This is crucial for attracting and retaining top talent, motivating employees, and rewarding their efforts.Experts in managerial succession and career development map out long-term career paths for employees while also looking for rising stars to promote into leadership roles. This method guarantees a steady flow of talent, keeps workers interested, and builds loyalty. The duties associated with an employee’s departure include overseeing their transfer out of the company and doing exit interviews to get insight. This step is often overlooked, but the insights it provides are crucial for sustaining growth and preserving a positive reputation as an employer.

Q11. Analyze how people practice connects with other areas of an organization and supports wider people and organizational strategies. (AC 3.2)

When it comes to achieving larger human and organizational efforts, people practice serves as a connecting link that links diverse elements of an organization together. Its primary objective is to coordinate human resources (HR) strategies and programs with the organization’s overarching objectives and strategic plans. This congruence entails, among other things, sustaining a healthy work environment and high levels of worker morale through measures like employee engagement and wellbeing programs. When workers are satisfied in their jobs and invested in their work, they are more likely to go above and beyond for their employers and their customers. People development also has a constructive effect on two other critical success factors for every organization: the attraction and retention of top talent. Strategic hiring, training, and management ensure that an organization’s workforce possesses the know-how to put its business strategies into action successfully. Additionally, firms can reduce turnover and keep valuable employees by implementing retention strategies including career advancement and appreciation programs.

Organizational culture and values cannot be created or maintained without attention to human practices. The culture includes HR regulations, leadership development, and communication processes, all of which work to build a sense of community and common purpose among employees. Leadership and management training are integral parts of successful HR practices because they equip managers with the skills they need to steer their teams toward success. These methods yield skilled leaders who boost morale and productivity by inspiring their teams to work together and think creatively. In addition to these fundamentals, people practice also involves abiding by applicable labor laws, regulations, and ethical standards. Human resources departments work hard to mitigate potential lawsuits, ethical lapses, and workplace disputes. Compliance and risk management are crucial for protecting the company’s good name and avoiding any financial losses. Therefore, human behavior influences the development and implementation of policies meant to lessen danger.

Q12. Discuss processes you have, or could use, for consulting and engaging with internal customers of the people function in order to understand their needs. (AC 3.2)

In a large company like Walmart, the difficulty of researching and connecting with individuals within the people function takes on added significance. Due to the large and diverse employee base, it is crucial that HR services effectively satisfy the varying needs as well as standards of managers and workers. A comprehensive and methodical plan is needed for this.

One of the most common methods is the utilization of surveys and other feedback instruments. Walmart may routinely use internet-based technologies to conduct surveys of its staff to gauge their level of contentment with HR services, identify areas for improvement, and spot emerging trends. HR may gain crucial information as to what is working well and what ought to be changed because employees and managers can provide feedback in an anonymous manner. These findings serve as the foundation for data-driven decision making, allowing Walmart to fine-tune its HR approach. Two more productive methods of communicating with internal customers are focus groups and seminars. Walmart may encourage in-depth discussions regarding HR by convening cross-functional teams or people from different departments to share perspectives on opportunities and challenges. Qualitative information is shared during these gatherings, allowing HR professionals to delve more deeply into issues and collaboratively discuss potential solutions.

Individualized approaches to meeting needs are also provided through private consultations. Private meetings of HR experts can be arranged by employees and managers to address concerns, solicit opinions, and provide suggestions. These consultations not only show that HR cares about the needs of each employee, but they also help HR gain the trust and respect of their staff. The establishment of an HR help desk and questions platform facilitates exchange between Hp and internal customers. This strategy makes use of ticketing mechanisms to keep track of and respond to questions, concerns, and issues raised by employees and managers. This ensures that questions will be answered quickly, which fosters a customer service mentality inside HR. Human resources our suppliers may be assigned to Walmart units in order to better coordinate HR offerings with functional needs. These human resources experts facilitate communication between HR and the business side of things by consulting with upper-level management to learn more about their unique requirements. This approach ensures that HR initiatives are tailored to the specific needs of each department.

Teams committed to continual improvement, comprised of HR specialists and individuals from diverse business units, may focus on identifying issues and developing solutions to better HR practices. These interdisciplinary groups work together to innovate HR practices and ensure that they can always adjust to meet the evolving needs of the business.HR conferences, town hall meetings, and tech-enabled feedback platforms are a few more ways that people can become involved. These channels provide employees with access to HR professionals, who can answer their questions and address their concerns, as well as news and updates about HR programs, policies, and procedures. Technology-driven channels, such as chatbots like virtual assistants, make it simple and quick for employees to get the answers they need.


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