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Whole Foods Market Inc.’s Conscious Capitalism

The concept of conscious capitalism was developed by Mackey and Sisodia (2013) and signifies a socially responsible philosophy of economics and doing business. The critical idea of conscious capitalism is that, in pursuit of profit, businesses should still act ethically and should not neglect the needs of a company’s stakeholders. The current paper describes such a company as Whole Foods in terms of its practice of conscious capitalism.

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Whole Foods Market Inc. is an American chain of supermarkets that sell organic food without artificial preservatives and colorants, trans fatty acids, and flavor enhancers. One of the features that characterize companies adherent to conscious capitalism is that they set higher goals apart from making a profit (Mackey and Sisodia, 2013). The CEO of Whole Foods, John Mackey, created the Whole Planet Foundation that alleviates poverty in underdeveloped countries via microcredits (Whole Planet Foundation, n.d.). Therefore, Whole Foods Market Inc. worries not only about increasing sales but also about how to extract other people from poverty. Additionally, it promotes “the environmental benefits that accompany the increasing number of organic farms, dairies, ranches, and sustainable agricultural practices” (Mackey and Sisodia, 2013, p. 67).

Another characteristic of conscious capitalistic businesses is that they are administrated by conscious leaders (Mackey and Sisodia, 2013). The head of a company’s consciousness implies that he or she admits that the firm’s achievements were made due to employees’ efforts (Mackey and Sisodia, 2013). The fact that recognized as the best CEO and the most inspiring entrepreneur by Esquire, Ernst & Young, Fortune proves that he abides consciousness with respect to his subordinates.

A conscious culture is an indispensable part of a company that considers itself to be conscious capitalistic. The critical aspects of conscious culture are accountability, caring, transparency, integrity, loyalty, trust, and egalitarianism (Mackey and Sisodia, 2013). For instance, in Whole Foods, “team members vote every three years on the benefits they want” (Mackey and Sisodia, 2013). This illustrates that the company is egalitarian since it pays attention to the votes of every team member and allows them to make decisions that concern them.

To conclude, Whole Foods Market Inc. is regarded to be an exemplary company that obeys the core principles of conscious capitalism. It is characterized by wise leadership, the corporate culture promoting the well-being of stakeholders, and efforts to change the world for the better. Besides, Whole Foods is a prosperous company that motivates other entrepreneurs to follow its steps.


Mackey, J., & Sisodia, R. (2013). Conscious capitalism: Liberating the heroic spirit of business. Harvard Business Review Press.

Whole Planet Foundation (n.d.). About us. Web.

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