Designing a Reframed Business Model for Wal-Mart - Research Paper

Paper Type:  Research paper
Pages:  3
Wordcount:  794 Words
Date:  2023-01-16


Organizations are increasingly using reframing by applying organizational metaphors. The reframing approach advocates for the use of analysis and response to organizational situations by using multiple frames and is centrally implicated in the corporate change process (Kezar, 2011). Reframing enables analysis and action as well as a change to take place. The following paper will be based on my business model canvas for Wal-Mart while identifying the design, patterns and business strategy for the multinational company. Framing applications, as well as metaphoric, will be used to build on the business model.

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Bolman and Deal (2003) established a four-frame model used in organizational diagnosis, change, and development (Defoe, 2013). These frames are; political, human resource, symbolic and structural frame. Organizations are viewed through four images or frames presented as metaphors. These frames comprise assumptions and ideas which aid in assembling information in a coherent and consistent pattern. Frames, therefore, aim to map, lens, tool, orient, filter, and perspective (Defoe, 2013). The different frames capture crucial aspects of organizational life and contribute to the larger picture.

Wal-Mart uses the system theory in its management to analyze and think about the organization and in providing alternative approaches. The system theory measures performance computes and controls interactions between personnel in various departments and as such, encourages the development and growth of an organization (Kezar, 2011). Bolman and Deal (2003) highlighted that the structural frame has a significant emphasis on organizational architecture, which includes technology, goals, structure, roles, responsibilities, and coordination. Factory or machine is the metaphor for this frame (Rivera & Carlos, 2014). When structures fail to fit into the system, challenges may arise. Managers are tasked to design, maintain, and align structural forms with immediate technology, tasks, circumstances, goals, and environment (Defoe, 2013). Wal-Mart was started with the significant purposes of helping customer's access to quality goods and services at a lower price and hence live better by saving money. Employees in the organization have assigned tasks in their different departments, such as the Co-managers role of the right hand to the store manager. The Co-manager has various functions from the front office to back office, among others. Wal-Mart's business model indicates that different stakeholders, such as suppliers, met in 2014 and the "Sustainable Product Expo," which aimed to accelerate innovation in sustaining recycling and agriculture.

The human resource frame stresses organizational relationship with people as they have needs, prejudice, feelings, fears, development opportunities, and skills (Defoe, 2013). Family is the metaphor for this frame as organizations are taken as an extended family (Rivera & Carlos, 2014). The primary focus is attending to people so that they meet individual needs as well as organizational needs. The business model for Wal-Mart depicts that the organization is concerned with the relationship between employees, clients, and supply chain. For example, there was a collaboration with other firms in availing recycling to Americans, which facilitates for lower prices. The organization is cautious about the fit with individuals.

The political frame views organizations as contests, arenas or jungles and stress on competition, power, and winning the scarce resources (Defoe, 2013). The jungle is the metaphor for this frame (Rivera & Carlos, 2014). Wal-Mart's business model illustrates this frame by their thirst to enhance competitive advantage and take the market leadership. Wal-Mart has a competitive advantage in that it strives to provide customers with quality goods at lower prices.

The symbolic frame stresses on organizational life through the metaphor carnivals, temples, or theatre where the organization is the theatre (Rivera & Carlos, 2014). Meaning and faith are the primary focus of the frame. Symbols, culture, and spirit provide the pathway to the effectiveness of organizations (Defoe, 2013). Wal-Mart has, for long built a positive reputation as a low price retailer. The organization has grown over the past and has stores in different countries, which illustrates that the culture of low prices has worked.


In conclusion, from the business model, it is evident that there has been a consistent growth pattern by the organization, and there has also been a consistent pattern in their low prices on goods and services. The design strategy used is a collaboration with the different stakeholders in the market to accelerate innovation from raw materials, manufacturing, and distribution of services. This has changed the supply chain management, and Wal-Mart delivers more. The overall business strategy for Wal-Mart is achieving competitive advantage in terms of pricing since its primary goal is keeping prices as low as possible.


Defoe, D. Understanding organizations using the four frame model: factories or machines (structure), family (human resources), jungle (politics), and theatres, temples or carnivals (symbols) [Internet]. Psycolawlogy; 2013 [Cited 2018 May 25].

Kezar, A. (2011). Organizational theory. Student services: A handbook for the profession, 5, 226-241. doi:10.1353/csd.2017.0024

Rivera, A., & Carlos, J. (2014). Metaphors of organizational creativity: From symbolic interactionism and constructivism. Review of Business & Finance Studies, 5(2), 67-74. doi:10.17092/jibr.2009.6.4.313

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