Managing Team Structures

Learning Activity #1

In the case of Wal-Mart, the organization initially introduced teams with the goal of growing the e-commerce platform. The company merged its technology divisions in a bid to catch up with companies such as Amazon and Whole Foods (Lindner, 2016). Teams provide the organization with a diversity of skills (Bergdahl, 2010). Working together in an organization has the potential to deliver the desired outcome. In Wal-Mart, the types of teams used include manager-led teams. The role of the manager is to set team goals, assign duties and monitor the performance of the team. Similarly, Wal-Mart has cross-functional teams. The company used a task force to design the e-commerce platform.

Wal-Mart faced the problem of intra-team conflict when merging technology innovation groups with information system divisions. There was a disagreement on the type of technology to use due to different ideas and team culture. Wal-Mart overcame this problem by holding a meeting to discuss the issue and encourage the team to cooperate towards achieving the organization’s goals (Berfield, 2015). Another problem included minimizing evaluative pressure. In a manager-led team, the leader has sole authority to evaluate the progress of the team. Increased evaluative pressure tend to decrease motivation and inhibit performance (Peterson, 2015). The organization overcame this problem by encouraging its leaders to use legitimate authority and avoid over attention.

Learning Activity #2

Both the manager-led teams and cross-functional teams have been successful in creating the new Wal-Mart technology unit. According to Bergdahl (2010), the teamwork has helped the organization in aligning functional areas with services. With a team culture, every member focused on enhancing the services offered to customers. The organization has a team that prevents it from offending customers with controversial products (Peterson, 2015). A range of ideas and skills ensured high performance and delivery of high-quality products to customers.



Berfield, S. (2015, Nov. 24). How Wal-Mart keeps an eye on its massive workforce. Bloomberg Businessweek. Retrieved from

Bergdahl, M. (2010, Sept. 21). How the HR division at Wal-Mart drives the company’s success through people. HR Magazine. Retrieved from

Lindner, M. (2016, January 19). Wal-Mart combines its e-commerce and tech teams. Internet Retailer. Retrieved from

Peterson, H. (2015, Apr. 2). Wal-Mart CEO reveals the company’s 8 biggest problems. Business Insider. Retrieved from

Peterson, H. (2015, Oct. 30). Wal-Mart has a team assigned to keep the company from offending customers. Business Insider. Retrieved from

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