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Elm City Market: Organizational Structure

Autor:   •  January 30, 2015  •  Essay  •  1,014 Words (5 Pages)  •  2,106 Views

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Classroom Application: Instructors will find this video useful in the study of the organizational structure of businesses. Elm City Market has a unique organizational structure in that it is a co-op, with ownership of the business being shared by the organization’s members. Providing students with such knowledge can help them to gain perspective on the variety of organizational structures featured in today’s businesses.


This video takes a look at the organizational structure of Elm City Market in the city of New Haven. Elm City Market is a food co-op, in which local vendors supply the products sold and share ownership of the business. This organization is lead by a board of seven members, whose members are now elected by the members of the co-op. The board sets general policy for the organization, such as financial budgets. However, in-store management carries out the daily operations. The local vendors who share ownership of the organization are who has the main voice in how the business is ran. Elm City Market has no main headquarters, as all decisions are made in-house. This allows for faster decision-making. Being both a start-up company and a co-op, Elm City Market is not focused on profit alone. In addition to profit, Elm City Market aims to fulfill the mission of providing healthy food, meeting the diversity needs of their community, offering education and enrichment, and enhancing the quality of life of the community in which they are located.

Discussion Questions

1. How does a food co-op differ from a regular grocery store?

With a food co-op, ownership is shared among many members who are supplying food to the organization to be sold. This is in contrast to most grocery stores, where an individual or group owns the store and foods are purchased from various vendors that do not retain any form of ownership in the company.

2. How did Elm City Market gain ideas for the organizational structure of their co-op?

The original leadership team for Elm City Market visited other co-ops in New England to gain ideas for the organizational structure of their company. These other co-ops were very willing to share financial information and organizational charts with Elm City Market to aid in the start-up of their organization.

3. Why did the founders of Elm City Market feel a co-op would better serve their community than a grocery store with a different organizational structure?

The founders of Elm City Market believed that the co-op model gave local vendors more of a voice in the organization. By actually having ownership in the company, vendors are more connected to the organization. Because so many local vendors own Elm City Market and many of these members are also


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