To read the full version of this content please select one of the options below:

To nurture transformational technology, build a community like Sam Walton’s

Osvald M. Bjelland (Xyntéo Ltd, London, UK and Oslo, Norway)
Robert Chapman Wood (San José State University, San José, CA, USA)

Strategy & Leadership

ISSN: 1087-8572

Article publication date: 16 March 2015



The authors examine the approach by which Sam Walton, a 48-year-old when he took his first technology course, drove creation of a new set of technology for retailing.


By breaking Walton’s approach into five stages, the authors show how his way of working points to a credible path for leaders with limited background in technology to lead technological change.


Senior leaders can apply Walton’s systematic way of leading for creation of excellent processes to accomplish customer-focused technology innovation in the modern era.

Practical implications

Five elements of Walton’s tech innovation leadership are reviewed and analyzed.


This article offers insights about how Walton was able to form a tech savvy team of managers and synthesize a vision about the potential of technology to produce operational breakthroughs far in advance of his competition.



Bjelland, O.M. and Wood, R.C. (2015), "To nurture transformational technology, build a community like Sam Walton’s", Strategy & Leadership, Vol. 43 No. 2, pp. 41-46.



Emerald Group Publishing Limited

Copyright © 2015, Emerald Group Publishing Limited