1. Wal-Mart Supercenters represent nearly the biggest units operated by Walmart both in terms of the product variety and the complexity of the management of operations. That is why such centres pose unique challenges that can be rarely found in other supermarkets or companies. Firstly, management of the large number of people makes it hard to create a sense of common identity and joint motivation in the team. Secondly, diverse and complex tasks require delegation in combination with continuous control. Lastly, the environment and daily operations are highly unpredictable, therefore leaders should be able to adjust to crisis situations and to react immediately (Wal-Mart Stores, Inc., 2012).
2. Transformational leadership is the style that may fit best the challenges and the environment of Walmart Supercentres. As transformational leaders are charismatic, they are able to unite people around common objectives and to motivate them towards higher performance. The ability of transformational leaders to empower their followers facilitates delegation. Moreover, as transformational leaders are able to see a bigger picture and to adjust their style to the current organizational needs, they will be very effective in the unpredictable environment of the Supercentres (Capon, 2008).
3. Formal leadership roles are usually assigned to team or store managers. Employees can take these roles by showing active involvement and demonstrating motivation to take additional responsibilities and the ability to manage crisis situations. However, it is also possible to take the role of an informal leader, as the environment offers numerous opportunities for task delegation. In order to become an informal leader, one should unite people around him/her by motivating co-workers. It is also necessary to show initiative and to ask for additional tasks and responsibilities, as well as to assume the “ownership” of problems and assignments. In this way, an employee can first gain an informal leadership status and may even be further promoted following the formal career path.
Capon, C. (2008). Understanding strategic management. Harlow, England: Pearson Education.
Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (2012). Walmart U.S. Stores. Retrieved from http://corporate.walmart.com/our-story/our-stores/united-states-stores