Kudler Fine Foods is an upscale specialty store in southern California. The store’s primary market focus is to customers requiring gourmet and organic foods. Kathy Kudler’s mission is to provide the finest selected foodstuffs, wines, and related needs coupled with helpful and knowledgeable staff to provide the customer the best experience possible. This analysis will examine Kudler Fine Foods’ culture, organizational structure, leadership style, and identify factors that will drive change to improve the company’s competitive advantage.
Culture at Kudler Fine Foods
Kudler Fine Foods, like every company, has an organizational culture. Organizational culture is a system of meanings shared in degrees within the organization and is the outcome of human activity. Kudler Fine Foods’ socially constructed culture allows its employees to “create, shape, change and manage the culture according to their beliefs, values, knowledge and needs” (Hammal & Vadi, 2010, p. 5). As the founder and president of Kudler Fine Foods, Kathy Kudler is the source of the organization’s culture. Upon hiring and verified when Kathy puts in hours at each store location, her vision, goals, and expectations are clear to her employees.
Kathy Kudler performs most of the hiring and firing personally. Kudler’s key management and specialists are full-time, salaried positions, while the remaining staff consists of hourly employees; typically college students employed full or part time. Within the specialty shops of each location are professionals such as Bakers, Delicatessens, Butchers ,and a Wine Steward. The company has developed into a baseball team culture. According to Balkin and Gomez-Mejia (2002), baseball team cultures are typically “found in organizations in rapidly changing environments, with short product life cycles, with high-risk decision making, and dependent on continuous innovation for survival” (p. 116). By definition the baseball culture...