Wal-Mart One of the Key Changes Essay

Pages: 2 (748 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 1  ·  File: .docx  ·  Level: College Senior  ·  Topic: Healthcare

¶ … Wal-Mart

One of the key changes in the 21st century is globalization. This has had a profound effect on retailing, particularly for organizations like Wal-Mart. Wal-Mart is the 3rd largest corporation globally, the largest private employer in the world (2 million employees) and the largest retailer in the world with revenues nearing $450B (Wal-Mart, 2013). When a company is this large and has millions of employees, they are clearly in the public light. Numerous books have been written about the company, there has been enormous media attention, and even though the company is a megacorporation, it must remain somewhat sensitive to the public perception of its operations.

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The social initiatives put forward by Wal-Mart are often aligned with the concept of utilitarianism and social equity. The idea of the "greatest good for the greatest number" fits well within this model since it seems to be a law of numbers that drives the company's views. One would expect, for instance, that with 2 million employees, there would be a percentage that are disgruntled, believe the company unfair, etc. The company has no real choice than to subscribe to some of the basic principles of Corporate Social Responsibility -- this is what stakeholders and customers demand of a 21st century organization. Whether the motivation for such is in the interests of the company or the consumer is moot. The company has no choice but to subscribe to principles of equality, diversity, fairness, and to donate and/or sponsor causes that it can use to buttress its reputation.

There is a clear dichotomy in many megacorporations, and Wal-Mart is no exception. In fact, there seems to be two Wal-Marts: one good, one not so good. The good Wal-Mart is thrifty, offers great prices to customers, serves society with a superb model of distribution, fights inflation and provides opportunities for many. The other side is the company wants to grow even more. This part uses illegal immigrants, is often discriminatory, pays the lowest wages possible, and holds suppliers hostage (Seglin, 2004).

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Which is the real Wal-Mart? The answer is that they both are real. In a company with thousands of stores, thousands of executives, millions of employees and customers, there are those who are ethical and believe… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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