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Whole Food Nadler-Tushmand

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The inputs and outputs within an organization are extremely important when determining if their strategic goals and desired outcomes are being or will be achieved. This paper will continue to examine Whole Foods through the Nadler-Tushman Congruence Model; zeroing in on performance as it relates to organization goals and outcomes based on the congruency of it outputs across the models three levels.

Whole Foods continues with the Nadler-Tushman Congruence Model this time examining organizational outputs. In addition, the following will discuss the way in which the company identifies its groups, individual functions, and the interactions among different organizational outputs. Organizational Level ~ Outputs

Outputs vary by company and are contingent to the structure within the organization, its objectives, and the nature of its business. Whole Foods is extremely focused on providing the highest quality products, and a unique customer shopping experience; this is in contrast to that of many of its competitors. Whole Foods presents an inviting atmosphere to its customers and strives to achieve its vision to “satisfy, delight, and nourish” their customers. Each Whole Foods store offers a wide variety of brand-name and store-brand products, to include produce, gelato and coffee bar, fresh bakery, and deli offerings. Whole Foods also extends the total customer experience with more specialized services such as cooking classes. (Whole Foods, 2014)

Caring for is a service is something that goes beyond the four walls of an average grocery store. Whole Foods works individually directly within its own community and strives to service and meet the needs of the local environment. Community giving exceeds five percent (5%) of total net profit each year. Success of any organization is determined by whether-or-not the company’s objectives have been met. “The ultimate purpose of the enterprise is to produce output-the pattern of activities, behavior, and performance of the system. (Mercer, 2003) The Nadler-Tushman Congruence Model separates outputs into three main categories: the total system, units within the system, and individuals.

The total system includes the goods and services produced; as well as revenues, profits, job creation, shareholder return, community impact, and service outcomes. The units within the system include different divisional outputs such as department and team performance. Lastly, individual outputs include behaviors, activities, and an individual’s performances. Each category of outputs within the model is applicable to the Whole Food organization. The company must ensure that it has a keen eye both sales and customer experiences; but, also on internal departments and individual employee performance. Company Identifies Groups

As a part of the grocery industry, Whole Foods identifies and creates groups based on internal practices/processes. Examples of this would be store managers, department supervisors, and employees. Each would be grouped according to their duties, job descriptions, and/or/ responsibilities within the establishment. The organizations shareholders could be considered within a group because this element keeps the companies outputs in their forefront.

The output from each group is vital to the organizations success/failure. Store managers are responsible for the overall daily activities/functions; their interaction with customers can have either positive or negative effect on their consumer experience. This can be further viewed from an employee standpoint. Those employees that work as frontend personnel/cashiers can have the same positive or negative effect on the customer’s overall experience.

It should be the company’s goal to create an inviting environment one that engages the client and makes them feel welcome, a mindset of, take your time, and look around. It should not be an environment whereas the customer is unwelcome, a bother, or feels the need to shop in an expeditious manner. Failure to deliver on this output may cause damage to Whole Foods reputation, loss of clientele, and financial well-being in the long run.

As mentioned earlier, financial managers within the organization such as accountants or stakeholders could be categorized into a separate group. Whole Foods has in the past analyzed its outputs from this group to determine its overall financial success and sustainability of company. In 2008, Whole Foods executed the conservative growth and business strategy financial changes and to determine success of these inputs, the financial outputs were analyzed. According to financial output, by lowering sales volumes in-turn it delivered a 16% increase in adjusted EBITDA* on a 1% increase in sales. (Whole Foods) Financial outputs are possibly one of the most telling categories as to a company’s overall financial staying power. Key Individual Functions

This organization consists of individuals and functions which are utilized in strategic decisions for strategic output. An example, the Whole Foods Company faces concerns in particular to their limited customer demographics; this is due to limited products and price outputs. In order for the organization to compensate for the use of high end suppliers, and their expensive infrastructure, the company must sell products at a higher cost than most of its competitors. This would suggest a weakness within the Whole Foods organizations as it only targets consumers who are willing to pay higher than average prices for groceries. The cost of growing and selling organic foods is typically 25-75% more than conventionally grown items.

This may pose as a serious challenge for the business as they are unable to market to cost-conscious consumers. Even with the 365 everyday brands the company may continue to have limited demographics. This may in-turn have an impact on the company’s potential outputs for future sales and/or/ statistics. Health conscious consumers seek organic fare, however; Whole Foods high prices seem to push away certain consumer demographics from the organic food industry. This alone is a good example of an output that could further be explored, and analyzed. A viable solution might be to reevaluate the input which corresponds with the company’s output. By Whole Foods analyzing the supply chain management input system, it might allow the company to readjust or lower consumer pricing. Another approach might be to reexamine their marketing campaign inputs which could increase output. Output Interact with Each Other

The Nadler-Tushman Congruence Model strives to accomplish three main tasks. It is used to identify the inputs based on the organizations environment, resources, and history. Next, it is used to identify the outputs based on the company’s system, unit, and individual. Lastly and probably most importantly, it is to identify the congruence of these inputs and outputs. The following list is of the organizational outputs which will be further analyzed as to their interactions with one another:

•Financial outputs
•Competitive advantage
•Innovative change
•Shareholder satisfaction
•Employee performance
•Customer feedback

Whole Foods inputs and outputs are quite intertwined. This organization relies on their positive financial outputs to ensure a competitive/strategic advantage over its main competitors, such as; Wal-Mart, Trader Joe’s, and Sprouts Famers Market. Lacking the ability to measure financial outputs directly, the organization cannot determine whether particular strategic inputs were successful such as changes in pricing, supply chain management, or changes in strategy. Likewise, shareholder management, employee performance, and customer feedback are intimately connected and have a large impact on the organizations financial outputs. Each of these outputs plays a huge role and places a large focus on shareholder groups.

There is the desire not only for the company to perform well financially, but to also indicate long-term sustainability through customer satisfaction and an ideal product pricing strategy. A thought, the company’s original mission and objective is extremely focused on providing the highest quality products, and a unique customer shopping experience. This may be the main focus, but the shareholders group may also pay special attention to the organizations innovation change outputs; which in-turn will be used to determine whether the company’s contributions towards those innovative changes provided any overall beneficial output for the company. It is important that every company’s output is closely related to one another this helps to determine whether or not the outputs are overall congruent with the company’s strategy. Looking at the outputs discussed for Whole Foods market they are highly congruent within their strategy.

Since its inception in 1980, Whole Foods has developed and implemented various strategic goals that have allowed the company to operate within a growing and competitive industry. This organization believes in their delivery/selling of high quality products, creating a fabulous customer atmosphere, and providing services unlike their competitors. This while servicing surrounding communities, creating ongoing partnerships with suppliers, growers, and promoting healthier living/eating decisions. Whole Foods works hard to accomplish all of their goals and/or/ objectives. The company must rely heavily on their data from which they must analyze; this to ensure they are and can withstand any challenges that may exist. From an outsider’s perspective, the greatest challenge for Whole Foods appears to be a competitor capable of challenging and succeeding in out bidding Whole Foods breaking their current supply chain partnerships.

At present, Whole Foods success and capability to compete on a grand scale is large-in-part to the domination within the supply channel. This prevents its closest competitors the same advantage and limits those to be being able to offer the same competitive prices and products. If Whole Foods lost their bargaining power, resources would become limited, and a rival could/would swoop in and take their position within the industry. If this were to happen the likelihood of Whole Foods remaining a dominant force in the organic food industry would be unlikely. A follow-on issue that could potentially change the success within the Whole Foods organization would be changes in consumer trends specifically within the organic food industry. At present, consumers are riding the healthier lifestyle wave; this has made Whole Foods quite appealing. If however; current trends take a turn possibly due to cost, reduction in product availability, or government policy changes would likely occur it could impact the Whole Foods organization greatly given its current strategy and/or/ objectives within the organization. Conclusion

Whole Foods outputs are congruent amongst all three levels; variations to any would impact the organization. It is imperative that analysis from across all three be considered when making strategic decisions for the good of the organization, its goods and service and finally to the clientele it services.


“The Congruence Model: A Roadmap for Understanding Organizational Performance”.
(2003). Mercer Delta Consulting. Retrieved from http://ldt.stanford.edu/~gwarman/Files/Congruence_Model.pdf Mission and Values. (2014). Whole Foods. Retrieved August 4, 2014 from http://www.wholefoodsmarket.com/mission-values Nadler, D.A. & Tushman, M.L. (1980) A Model for Diagnosing Organizational Behavior Organizational Dynamics, 9 (2), 35-51. Retrieved July 27, 2014 from EBSCO Porter’s Generic Strategies. Mind Tools. Retrieved July 28, 2014, from http://www.mindtools.com/pages/article/newSTR_82.htm

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