Whole Foods Market With Retail Term Paper

Excerpt from Term Paper :

Whole Foods Market was ranked by Fortune Magazine as one of "The 100 Top Companies to Work for in America." But with the impeding allegations that are being hurled to WFM's management amongst other such as unpaid employee's insurance coverage, the assessment and evaluation of Fortune Magazine is seemingly unjustifiable.

The organizational culture of Whole Foods Market is directly distinctive among other companies in the same industry. WFM detest Union formation within the company's employee ranks. In a statement made by CEO, John Mackey in his 19-page discourse refers to unions as "parasites feeding on union dues" further comparing it to having herpes. It doesn't kill you, but it's unpleasant and inconvenient and it stops a lot of people from becoming your lover." (John Mackey, 1988) This company position has earned a lot of criticism from labor unions and other followers of the labor creed. The wages and benefits at Whole Foods contrast sharply with those provided to grocery workers who belong to a union (Eric Bates, 1998). However, WFM's management claims that such stand have not affected the present situation and mind-set of current employees and staff.

According to some observers, WFM's management approach evokes a paternalist nature wherein such revulsion with labor unions has overturned the issue of who would have the last say and the overall decision maker. "Unions are not part of the solution at Whole Foods Market," he wrote. "Rather, they are part of the problem, stuck in the old paradigm that all employees are weak and powerless (childlike?), and that all employers are greedy and exploitative, interested only in profits and self-aggrandizement." Competition for labor, not unions and their "Marxist socialist rhetoric," raises wages and working standards, he argued (Forbes, 1998). The choice is not 'Work for WFM on our terms or starve,' but rather 'Work for us on the terms we offer, or work for...other employers on the terms they offer.' John Mackey adds (The Coastal Post, 1997). This condition depicts a tone of a father towards his children, a paternal adherence of which WFM wants to impose on its employees.


Following all disclosed items contrary to the management and policies of Whole Foods Market, have not directly affected the present standing of the company in terms of growth and company development. Whole Foods certainly isn't hurting for money: sales in the last quarter alone shot up 25%, to $325 million. The chain has grown 900% in the nineties, and some analysts predict it will continue to grow 25% annually for the next five years (Texas Observer, 1998) This just proves that such prediction have materialized 5 years prior to the articles writing.

However with such criticism on important areas of concern within the company, it is important to note that, historically companies imploring policies that are contradictory to the reality such as that of Whole Foods Market have faltered in a path of its future existence. Whole Foods Markets system of management and organizational culture may cause some risk to the company with the number of resistance the company is gaining from activist and labor union that, in the future may gain the sympathy of from WFM's customer base. It would be wise to resolve issues in human resources, concerns in wages and benefits and labor union conflicts before it can affect the stable future of the company.


Colman McCarthy, A CEO who cares: Whole Foods founder John Mackey thinks profits and ethics can mix (2005) National Catholic Reporter, Gale Group (2005) Extracted; Aug 25, 2006; Website: http://www.findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m1141/is_6_42/ai_n15956843/print

Eric Bates, Minding the Store (1998) Texas Observer (1998) Extracted; Aug 25, 2006; Website: http://www.organicconsumers.org/Corp/wholefood.htm

Stephen Shapin, Paradise Sold (2006) New Yorker (2006) Extracted; Aug 25, 2006; Website;


Karen Nakamura, Whole Foods And The Union (1997) Extracted; Aug 25, 2006; Website: http://www.coastalpost.com/97/6/7.htm

Media Clips, Whole Foods Market: Anti-Union, low wages, Hugh Forrest,

Austin Chronicle, (1991), p. 8; Extracted Aug 25, 2006; Website: http://michaelbluejay.com/main/wholefoods.html

New Age Capitalist, Forbes (1998) Extracted; Aug 25, 2006; Website;


John Mackey, et. al. Rethinking the Social Responsibility of Business (2005) Reason Foundation (2005) Gale Group (2006) Extracted: Aug, 25, 2006; Website: http://www.findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m1568/is_5_37/ai_n15998646/print

Whole Foods Market, Wikipedia Encyclopedia (2006) Extracted: Aug 25, 2006; website:


Online Sources Used in Document:

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