When thinking about a specific company I wanted to learn more about, I instantly thought of Whole Foods. It’s a company that has been briefly discussed in many of my classes here at Bucknell but I’ve never had the opportunity to really explore the company in depth. I thought this would be the perfect opportunity condisering Whole Foods is known for being an ethical company and a leader in management innovation. I found a Harvard Business Review Case entitled: “Creating a Community of Purpose: Whole Foods Market: Management Innovation in Action”, that I will use as my foundation for the paper. There are other HBR cases that I can reference as well. This specific case discusses Whole Foods’ different business model and the fact that the company is trying to make a difference in the world. They are leaders in innovative management styles and in the idea of a company being concerned with the communitys best interest first.

In the paper, I plan to discuss the basic management structure that Whole Foods uses, then go into its ethical decisions and the reasons why this company is known for being so ethical. I feel that this company can be a positive representation of business ethics but can also address other topics from class including community, capitalism ideas, and management structures. I think Whole Foods is more of a stakeholder company and I can discuss this in my paper as well. Also, I might explore John Mackey as a CEO and his methods and practices of running a successful company. Overall, I believe that this case and this company provide a good starting point for paper 2.

5 responses »

  1. Charles says:

    I think that Whole Foods will be a very interesting company to investigate and see how this company has managed to be so ethical yet profitable. I think that they can even be a model and a defense to businesses who think that ethics and profitable business do not correlate.

  2. Matt says:

    I mentioned Whole Foods in my first paper, where I thought it was a pretty unique company in terms of ethics. I wasn’t convinced it was entirely a stakeholder-minded company, but that was just my opinion. It could prove a cool opportunity to evaluate differing levels or perspectives on stakeholder-ism. I think further research into it would reveal some surprising facts and provide a really good case to be analyzed. I also agree that Whole Foods is mentioned all the time but never truly analyzed (at least at Bucknell), and it would be nice to have some full, in-depth research on them.

  3. wesmw says:

    I think it would be a great change of pace to discuss a company that is known for being ethical. Specifically, I would personally like to know about the decision making processes that take place at Whole Foods and how they tie into the company’s image of being ethical. In addition, I think it would be a good idea to see if both the type of clientele Whole Foods serves and the market niche they are in make it easier for the company to make ethical decisions.

  4. Jordi says:

    Maybe caseplace is another source of cases on Whole Foods or other useful information.


    Also, ECCH ias a case search engine. Does this URL work?

    Finally, as I point out on the writing resources page, the Global Issues In Context database that you CAN ONLY GET through Bucknell may also be useful.

  5. Jordi says:

    Another wrinkle is that the CEO, whose name escapes me just this second, is also quite a libertarian in his outlook. So, for example, even though the stereotype of his customers is “crunchy nutty” and therefore “liberal,” he was quite vocal in opposing the Affordable Care act (Obamacare). Wrote op-eds and such.

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