In order to help prevent this, Wal-Mart and Wal-Mart.com must create incentives for managers at both organizations to follow technological developments. Managers should focus on more than simple NPV and DCF analysis and factor in some benefit of being a part of the technology. The introduction of real options could potentially solve this problem. Although it may be difficult to implement at present, keeping it in mind in going through project decision analysis will benefit Wal-Mart.
There are three unique ways for Wal-Mart to access disruptive industry changes: partnerships with third parties (like the Accel deal), the acquisition of companies with complementary technologies, or through internal development. Wal-Mart.com can become a breeding ground for technological and managerial innovation. Since Wal-Mart is a well-established firm, it requires large scale projects with high ROI's. This characteristic may prevent adaptation and adoption. In contrast, Wal-Mart.com will be smaller in scope and potential projects, making it easier to experiment with new means of serving the customer. Regardless, a system of knowledge management must be created to allow the two companies to share innovations and great ideas. Whether these systems are institutionalized (ex - group of Wal-Mart and Wal-Mart.com people who meet semi-regularly) or informal (ex - Wal-Mart encourages people to meet cross-company for events or discussions), the management of both sides must explicitly support the sharing of information. …
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