W.W. Grainger Organizational Structure: a brief overview

By John Dudovskiy
August 17, 2020

W.W. Grainger organizational structure can be classified as hierarchical. The decision making power is concentrated on the hands of Chairman and CEO DG Macpherson. The global industrial supply company maintains hierarchical type of organizational structure due to the massive size of the company that comprises about 2500 employees working in 457 branches, 31 distribution centres and offices worldwide.[1]

Grainger organizational structure was subjected to major changes in 2013 “to provide greater focus and a more consistent integrated approach to pursue growth opportunities”[2]. Specifically, the B2B distributor established Americas business to include Canada, the U.S., Mexico, Panama, Puerto Rico, Dominican Republic, Costa Rica, Colombia and Peru.

The figure below illustrates the top layer of Grainger organizational structure.

W.W. Grainger Organizational Structure

Grainger Organizational Structure

Hierarchical nature of Grainger corporate structure provides the worldwide distributor of industrial products a set of advantages. Specifically, the current pattern of Grainger corporate structure has a clear line of leadership, authority and responsibility. Moreover, hierarchical organizational structure is associated with employees having a narrow field of focus and accordingly, there is a potential for employees to become highly qualified experts in their fields.

At the same time, hierarchical organizational structure is also linked to certain shortcomings that can have detrimental effects on Industrial products distributor’s long-term growth prospects. In hierarchical companies there is a risk of rivalry between different departments with negative implications for the overall profitability of the business. Moreover, centralization of power and authority at the highest level in hierarchical organizational structures may leave little room for initiatives for floor-level and medium level employees to adopt a creative and innovative approach to deal with various business processes.

W.W. Grainger Report contains the above analysis of W.W. Grainger organizational structure. The report illustrates the application of the major analytical strategic frameworks in business studies such as SWOT, PESTEL, Porter’s Five Forces, Value Chain analysis, Ansoff Matrix and McKinsey 7S Model on W.W. Grainger. Moreover, the report contains analyses of W.W. Grainger leadership, business strategy and organizational culture. The report also comprises discussions of W.W. Grainger marketing strategy, ecosystem and addresses issues of corporate social responsibility.

W.W. Grainger Report

[1] Fact Book 2019 (2020) W.W. Grainger

[2] Grainger (2013) Available at: https://pressroom.grainger.com/news/press-release-details/2013/Grainger-Modifies-Structure-For-Greater-Focus-And-Consistency/default.aspx

Category: Management