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Copyright ©2008 Cengage Learning.  All rights reserved

Decentralization at Whole Foods

Operating decisions at Whole Foods—from what to stock, what to charge for it, and whom to hire—are made not from the top, but by individual work teams.

Each team is in charge of a department, like wine or seafood, or produce.

New employees are assigned to a team for a 4-week trial. At the end of 4 weeks, the new member must be approved by 2/3 vote of the team to remain on it.

Whole Foods believes that decisions should be made by those most impacted by them.

Source: “Break Free!,” Fortune, 1 October 2007, 122-123.

Beyond the Book

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