walmart-organizational-structure

What is Walmart’s Organizational Structure? The Walmart Organizational Structure In A Nutshell

Walmart has a hybrid hierarchical-functional organizational structure, otherwise referred to as a matrix structure that combines multiple approaches. On the one hand, Walmart follows a hierarchical structure, where the current CEO Doug McMillon is the only employee without a direct superior, and directives are sent from top-level management. On the other hand, the function-based structure of Walmart’s business model is used to categorize employees according to their particular skills and experience.

Understanding Walmart’s organizational structure

Walmart has an organizational structure characterized by the presence of a hierarchy and function-based groups. Since the company combines two different organizational structures, it can be said that Walmart utilizes a matrix organizational structure.

This allows Walmart to operate its vast retail presence in the United States and around the world, with approximately 10,500 stores under 46 banners in 24 countries. In fact, many similar multinational companies use this approach to deal with multiple divisions and functional structures at the same time.

In the following sections, we’ll take a closer look at Walmart’s organizational structure.

Hierarchical structure

Walmart utilizes the hierarchical structure which means that current CEO Doug McMillon is the only employee without a direct superior.

Directives are sent from top-level management to regional managers, district managers, middle managers, store managers, and store team members as required. This allows executives to easily exert their influence on the organization and monitor the impacts of decisions. What’s more, the hierarchical structure allows the company to effectively manage its more than 2.3 million associates.

Walmart has a 12-member Board of Directors with members of the founding Walton family and other individuals. Under the Board of Directors is the Executive Committee comprised of executives in roles such as Chief Financial Officer, Chief Technology Officer, and Chief Legal Officer and Corporate Secretary. 

On the next level down is Senior Leadership consisting of 39 executives across a diverse range of roles in technology, merchandising, compliance, ethics, health & wellness, and international strategy, to name just a few.

Function-based structure

The function-based structure of Walmart is used to categorize employees according to their particular skills and experience.

For example, function-based groups may include human resources, marketing, customer care, and production. Each group is headed by a manager who liaises with individual store managers to meet company objectives.

Furthermore, different Walmart store formats will be comprised of different departments. The member-only retail warehouse Sam’s Club, for example, will possess some functional groups that are not present in a Walmart Discount Store. Walmart Supercentres that incorporate banks, hairdressers, nail salons, pharmacists, restaurants, and optometrists will also incorporate several departments that are not relevant to a standard Walmart Discount Store.

Key takeaways:

  • Walmart has a hybrid hierarchical-functional organizational structure, otherwise referred to as a matrix structure that combines multiple approaches.
  • Walmart utilizes the hierarchical structure which means that current CEO Doug McMillon is the only employee without a direct superior. Directives are sent from top-level management to regional managers, district managers, middle managers, store managers, and store team members when required.
  • The function-based structure of Walmart is used to categorize employees according to their particular skills and experience. Examples include sales, marketing, human resources, customer care, and production.

Read Next: Organizational Structure, Walmart business model.

Read Also: Walmart Business ModelWalmart Mission Statement Analysis, Walmart SWOT AnalysisWho Owns Walmart

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