Strategy of Woolworths Group Australia



Three strategies for implementing change are: economic, organizational development (OD), and a combined economic/OD strategy. Identify which strategy Woolworths Group Australia (WGA) used and in your response outline the situational variables that should have been taken into account.


Hayes (2018) argues that leadership can be fragile when leadership is distributed. Using examples from the case study, explain the breakdown of organizational and environmental coupling in WGA.


  1. WGA encountered significant resistance during the planning and approval process. Explain where this resistance came from and how resistance was demonstrated.
  2. Provide three (3) strategies that the CEO could have used to counter this resistance (these were taught during the trimester). External source is allowed


WGA applied a strategic intervention in merging its drinks and hospitality businesses into a new entity Endeavour Group (EG) to sell that subsidiary at a later date.

  1. Explain your understanding of an intervention, and then what a strategic intervention. External source is allowed
  2. Keeping in mind the focus of a strategic intervention, briefly describe the three separate strategic interventions evidenced within the case study.


In responding to the Gilbert Review, WGA stated:

For some years, the Woolworths (WGA) team has aspired to live our purpose in all that we do.  Our purpose – to create better experiences together for a better tomorrow – is connected to a great deal of our decision making and what we do every day.  The values which flow from our purpose – to do the right thing, to care deeply and to listen and learn – guide how we work as a team within Woolworths, and how we engage with our customers, suppliers, communities and governments.

We acknowledge and fully accept that, in proposing the Darwin Dan Murphy’s in the way that Woolworths did, “Woolworths has not met all of the aspirations and standards” in its purpose and values.

  1. Analyse why WGA was so out of touch with its core values.
  2. Strong leadership is critical to ensuring that change initiatives are successfully implemented. Using several of the key leadership tasks outlined in Table 9.2 of Hayes (2018), advise what you believe WGA leadership should do now and why.


You are advising WGA on the best way to move forward now.

Some of the findings from the Gilbert Review are outlined below:

  • Commercial considerations taking precedence over public interest issues and perceptions about, and the actual possibility of, harm arising from the store.
  • Woolworths’ focus was on mitigating and managing alcohol-related harm around the point of sale, but many community members felt that Woolworths was not listening to them, including health experts with many years of experience in the Northern Territory.
  • The Liquor Commission’s findings on public interest and community impact should have been sufficient to provoke a “deeper consideration” by Woolworths – this did not happen.
  • Having set a “higher bar” for itself, in its aspiration to be a values-driven corporate citizen, Woolworths needed to engage genuinely with key interest groups, including health experts – beyond minimum legal requirements.
  • Not consulting with its Reconciliation Action Plan (RAP) Working Group and its External Indigenous Advisory Panel as part of Woolworths’ decision-making process.
  • Woolworths’ submission to the Legislation Scrutiny Committee in March 2020 may not have been in accordance with the reputation it aspires to.
  • Woolworths has further work to do to meet its RAP commitments.
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