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Whole Foods Market: Nadler-Tushman Inputs

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The Excellent Consulting Group

Communication from Art:

I reviewed your report regarding Organizational Diagnosis, and I thought you did a nice job. I presented your recommendation to ABC Company and Whole Foods Market, and had several discussions with them.

They've finally decided that they want to use the Nadler-Tushman Congruence Model to analyze the overall congruence in the company - they like the Input and Output analysis that this model provides.

First, the company's executives are interested in the Inputs, including the strategy. They are interested in getting an objective opinion of what their critical inputs are and how they align with their strategy. So I suggest that you very quickly brush up more on the Congruence model, particularly for this assignment on inputs.


Nadler, D. A. & Tushman, M. L. (1980) A Model for Diagnosing Organizational Behavior. Organizational Dynamics, 9 (2), 35-51. Retrieved on November 7, 2012 from EBSCO.

Case Assignment

Using the Nadler-Tushman Congruence Model, conduct an analysis of Whole Foods Market's inputs and how they align with the strategy.

For the analysis, I suggest that you start with strategy, since you have already done some work on this aspect in your first report. Review Whole Foods Market's strategy and then determine which one of Porter's competitive strategies fits with this strategy. Then review the company's inputs and determine one or two specific critical inputs from each input category: environment, resources, and history.

Ultimately, I want you to determine how aligned the critical inputs are with the strategy. Is there high congruence (alignment), some congruence, or little to no congruence? I expect you to support your claim with a good, logical argument using the information you have collected.

In order to make this case, you first need to review the strategy and then classify it as one of Porter's competitive strategies. Then identify the Key Input factors in the first three categories. Explain why these are the critical input factors. Then determine how congruent the three input factors are with the strategy.

Be sure to include references. Turn in the 4- to 6-page paper by the end of the module.


Discuss the organization's strategy and classify it according to Porter's three generic competitive strategies.
Identify the most critical inputs in each of the first three categories and justify why they are critical. Also explain what effect the inputs from one category have on inputs from the other categories. How well does the strategy fit with the environmental, resource and historical inputs you identified?

Make a Case for your proposition as to how the Key Inputs support (are congruent with) the Strategy. Specifically make a claim: "The inputs at Whole Foods Market consisting of Organizational Environment factors, Internal Resource factors, and Historical Tradition factors are [highly, partially, or minimally] congruent with the company's strategy."

Support your analysis with objective evidence. Sources of information for the entire project may include interviews, organizational documents and reports, articles in newspapers, and trade publications. Be sure to cite your sources and provide a list of references.

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Solution Preview

Nadler-Tushman Congruence Model has four input categories. These are the environment, resources, history and strategy. The fourth category is strategy.

The strategy of Whole Foods Market is differentiation. The company has the core value of selling the highest quality natural and organic products available. The focus of Whole Foods Market is on quality and not on price. One of the values of Whole Foods Market is to satisfy, delight and nourish the customers. This also requires differentiation. Porter's differentiation strategy is one where the products of a firm are differentiated to compete successfully. The strategy of Whole Foods Market has been successful because till now its target customers have not been price sensitive. There were customers who had the need of using natural and organic foods. These needs were underserved and Whole Foods Market had the resources and capabilities of sourcing natural and organic foods that its customers wanted in ways that are difficult to copy. Currently, the variety and depth of natural and organic foods that are being sold by Whole Foods Market cannot be matched by any competitor. It has the unique ability to source high quality natural and organic foods but also sets high standards for its own products. These standards are hard to emulate. The products of competitors are alleged to be factory made and of low quality. Whole Foods Market has been able to develop a strong reputation and brand recognition for natural and organic foods. In addition, Whole Foods Market has been able to charge premium price for its products. In the past Whole Foods Market has been successful because the uniqueness of its product offering could not be replicated by its competitors. To sum, the strategy of Whole Foods Market is differentiation.

Critical Inputs in First Three Categories:
The first critical input in this category is competition from supermarkets. This is a critical input that is outside Whole Foods Market but has a potential impact on the company. The competition from companies such as Kroger, Wal-Mart, and Costco is important because these companies are offering a wide variety of natural and organic foods and are offering these at very competitive prices.
The second critical input in this category is the ...

Solution Summary

The answer to this problem explains the Nadler-Tushman Congruence Model inputs in the context of Whole Foods Market . The references related to the answer are also included.