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Whole Foods Case Study Essay

Explanation/Definition: Top Management Buy-In can be defined by an action or a series of actions imposed, by which an employee of senior level administration within a company aims to have the rest of the staff implement a certain conviction within the company. Often motivated by an aspiration to improve the firm; it is driven by a change forward and dictates the success of any transformation. For this reason, getting their stakeholders and employees to believe in their mission statement, is invaluable tool utilized throughout a company.

Significance/Relevance: One of the greatest challenges to accomplish within an organization is the successful implementation of its core values. This is because; it is not simply executing a certain procedure, but the necessary beliefs that motivate the company’s culture. Failure to implement the company’s values can be tied to a lack of management buy-in. Without this “buy-in”, the cultural inertia will object what is proposed; causing failure regardless of its important to the company’s future success.

Wholefoods Market can mark this hitch as a success with their management buy-in and is exemplified through their practices. Wholefoods Co-Founder John Mackey has expressed not only a unique belief about the environment in business, but a conscious one; conveying the environment as a “major stakeholder. ” Mackey recognized this early on in the beginning stages of his business in 1978 and described it back then as a “fundamental attribute of what it means to be conscious. We need to address key environmental issues creatively and in an integrated way.

A conscious business seeks to minimize its environmental impact…” This philosophy is shared by Patagonia founder Yvon Chouinard, as he believed that business had the “potential to alleviate” some the world’s economic, social and environmental problems as well as saw Patagonia’s commitment to the environment as a “prime importance to its mission. ” This philosophy is directed into the makings of the products they sell as well. Wholefood’s is involved with a number of important environmental initiatives. Their 3 chief efforts are: sustainable livestock production, animal welfare and seafood sustainability.

Wholefoods refuses to sell commercial veal, force-fed ducks, pork using gestation curates and eggs from caged hens. Over the past 8 years, they developed a step-rated animal welfare standards a number of livestock by setting up a nonprofit company called the Global Animal Partnership to oversee the certifications. Since seafood sustainability is a stern environmental issue, as many important seafood species are being fished beyond sustainability. Wholefoods is working with the Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) to purchase seafood that is certified sustainable.

Moreover, Wholefoods is also working with Monterey Bay Aquarium (MBA) and Blue Ocean Institute (BOI) to raise consciousness to consumers, team members in addition to the media. All of their seafood carries these labels assuring the customer of the seafood they’re consuming. Furthermore, in 2012 Wholefoods eliminated all red-rated species (indicating low sustainability) from their stores. In similar fashion, Patagonia’s commitment to lessen environmental impact includes “less environmentally damaging dye to reduce packaging.

In spring 1996, Patagonia decided to manufacture all its cotton products; making up one fifth of Patagonia’s business. The measures employed to assure the company’s goals (by Wholefoods and Patagonia) present the matter of Operational Footprint from RILA’s 2012 Retail Sustainability Report. Wholefoods commitments to reducing direct environmental impacts provide opportunities to streamline business operations and save costs. Each Wholefoods location promotes local citizenship to its team members by becoming involved in the local community activities.

Each member is vested to do three to four “5% days” a year; when 5% of the gross sales (not profits) are donated to various local nonprofit organizations chosen by the store’s team members. Members of the nonprofit organizations are encouraged to shop these days as it will benefit their organization and inspire them to shop (more) at Wholefoods, creating an equal pleasing operation. “A conscious business behaves like a responsible citizen in its communities. ” This voluntary sense of responsibility raises community awareness as well as fellowship amongst its team members.

Employee engagement, such as Wholefoods demonstrates, is a key topic discussed in RILA’s 2012 Retail Sustainability Report and fosters “collaboration across functional areas… harnesses grassroots passion. ” Wholefoods’ “5% days” also reaches one of the “Four key trends” identified in RILA’s report. Integrated in Community is Wholefood’s motivation as “retailers thrive when their customers and communities thrive. ” This evident as Wholefoods Co-Founder John Mackey has expressed that a “well-run, values-centered business can contribute to humankind in more tangible ways that any other organization in society.

The difference of management and leadership is a question that is being discussed more and more in today’s corporate environment. Leadership is certainly encouraged in our class and was developed on our sustainability dialogue online. The term Top Management Buy-In can surely be applied to the definitions. For example, the definition “Sustainability are actions that meet the needs of your business operations without compromising the environment of future generations or acting in a way that has minimal damage to the environment and natural resources.

A company gaining acceptance of this idea, by its senior administration is Top Management Buy-In. ” This important in that this term (associated with a company’s responsibility) is unmentioned is also overlooked. Retailers identify many benefits while pursuing more sustainable products, a means to develop new product and enter new markets, as well as improved reputation with customers and stakeholders. With the examples of Wholefoods, Patagonia and those mentioned in the RILA report, hopefully these won’t just be variations of business, but will become the standard by which to operate in the years to come.


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