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3 pages/≈825 words
Business & Marketing
Case Study
English (U.S.)
MS Word
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Organizational Learning (Case Study Sample)


The task required an analysis of Whole Foods in line with the various tools used. It required an analysis of the balancing and reinforcing loops and how these could help Whole Foods increase profitability.


Organizational Learning
Organizational Learning
Executive summary
Whole Foods Company has in the recent past embarked on an ambitious plan aimed at strengthening its market performance and the company’s profitability. Among the notable activities include the company’s acquisition of Wild Oats which is the company’s major competitor. Secondly, the company intends to include children’s products in its product portfolio. In order to understand the influence these have on the company’s ultimate profitability and market stability, the management is obliged to consider the various loops that these two major changes belong. Notably, they are balancing and reinforcing loops given the company’s intended outcomes. The outcomes of these initiatives are ideal in Whole Foods’ organizational learning.
Organizational Learning
Organizational learning has been employed for decades in management of development in organizations. In order to understand and implement strategic plans for development purposes, an organization needs to exemplify the feedback loops taking into consideration the causal effects of each activity. Most importantly, it is the role of management to explore the strengths and weaknesses of its strategic plans over a period. Organizational learning theory espouses that there are three approaches to learning. These include single loop where a single feedback loop is considered. In this approach, the organization modifies its strategies in reaction to result in error correction. It should be noted that management is obliged to make inquiries into the possible causes of a situation and consequently design corrective mechanisms against the inherent risks associated with the identified causes. The second level of organizational learning is the double loop approach. Bellinger (2004) posits that an organization reconsiders its strategies, values and assumptions that direct production. After this evaluation, the leaders can create an environment that favors affectivity and efficiency. For instance, Whole Foods Company can adequately craft new strategies based on this model. According to Larsen, McInerney, Nyquist, Santos & Silsbee (1996), embracing systems thinking within organizational set ups results in whole systems with complete departments that are coordinating in lieu of the general company objectives. Notably, the two main feedback loops employed in this aspect are balancing loops and reinforcing loops. In order to understand how the feedbacks are applicable to Whole Foods Company analysis, it is paramount to explore the two.
Balancing loops
The negative feedback loops, often referred to as balancing loops are a series of cause and effect mechanisms that an organization implements to counter a change that impacts on the productivity of an organization. It is imperative to note that the effects of balancing loops result in the stability of the internal and external organization environment. In Whole Foods scenario, the company has reported a decline in profits. In this regard, it is important for the management to ascertain the causes of the decline and craft remedial mechanisms. The systems could either fix the internal environment or create an unintended effect on the company’s fortunes.
Balancing loops can offer valuable insights into the strengths and weaknesses of organizational features. It is common knowledge that each strategic plan is designed to reflect the aspirations and the probable paths to realizing the organization’s objectives. As a matter of fact, Whole Foods Company has the possibility of strengthening their market presence through the analysis of their competitive advantage, marketing strategies and the human resource capability. This enables the management to learn the desired changes that will result in profitability. As noted earlier, the company has reported a decline in sales and profits. Taking this into consideration, it is necessary that the management institutes changes that will result in the company maximizing its customer base and production levels. According to data obtained from the company’s database, the main threats that the company faces include competition from local producers and low awareness on organic foods. Whereas the threats exist, it is admissible that there are opportunities presented by the same (Whole Foods, n.d). For instance the company acquir...
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