Walmart Attributes Thesis

Pages: 4 (1299 words)  ·  Style: MLA  ·  Bibliography Sources: 5  ·  File: .docx  ·  Level: College Senior  ·  Topic: Business

¶ … Wal-Mart's Products, Services, and Social Responsibilities

Wal-Mart's Social Responsibility

Most corporations understand that there exists a level of social responsibility, and Wal-Mart is certainly no exception. The company has quite a large corporate footprint in American business, and realizes that be cause it has been so successful, it must become socially and environmentally aware of its impact. Over the past decade, Wal-Mart has grown exponentially as a company and now has stores in every U.S. state and dozens of other countries abroad. It employs hundreds of thousands of workers and even helps to support many local economies. But Wal-Mart is also viewed as a major obstacle in the fight to reduce consumption in the U.S., and has been the target of many smear campaigns that try to downplay Wal-Mart's role as a socially responsible company. Both in larger and small ways, Wal-Mart is dedicated to the idea of social responsibility. Its executives share their passion for community reinvestment and the numbers to support their claims are indisputable.

Communities that have been exposed to Wal-Mart often demand that the company do more with their profits by reinvesting in the communities that support the stores. David Blackwell, Wal-Mart's Vice President and CFO of Global Procurement states that,

"We have a very serious problem with consumption in the world, and something has to change" (Ferdinand).

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Blackwell's stance that Wal-Mart was founded on the idea of taking care of its customers and reinvesting its profits into the community is shared by many of the upper level managers and executives, and tends to play out well in Wal-Mart's corporate behavior relative to its own perception of a need for social responsibility. He implies that due to Wal-Mart's size, it has to have a huge positive impact on the communities that support it, in order make good on their goal of taking care of its customers. "Our company's ideals worked very well up until 2000 when we became the world's largest company," Blackwell said. "For several years, we tried to ignore the situation, but when you're that big you can't ignore it" (Ferdinand).

Thesis on Walmart Attributes Assignment

One great example of the idea social responsibility as it pertains to Wal-Mart is the fact that the company reached out to help those who were most affected by Hurricane Katrina in 2005. The company delivered food, water, and medicine when the U.S. Government was unable to (Ferdinand). This event helped to define Wal-Mart as a pillar of the community, and showed the world that it really did intend on honoring its promise of taking care of its customers. Wal-Mart also likes to point out the fact that it leads by example. The relief effort for victims of Hurricane Katrina is just the tip of the iceberg. Mr. Blackwell emphasizes this point in his statement, "If we convince our suppliers to be socially responsible, it won't just affect Wal-Mart, it will affect Target, K-Mart, Sears, HEB, etc." (Ferdinand). In this way, Wal-Mart's social responsibility rests not only on its own shoulders, but on the shoulders if its suppliers and competition, as well as with the customers.

Even on a more intimate, individual basis, Wal-Mart has been committed to the idea of social responsibility since being founded (Ferdinand). In its own report, Wal-Mart states that it has made cash and in-kind contributions of over $378 million in 2009. This is quite a large amount for a corporation, but given its size, and its 2008 worldwide sales of over $400 billion, the company can easily stand to donate such a large sum. What's more, the same company sustainability report states that, as confirmed by an independent study, it has saved the average American household over $3,100 annually (2009 Wal-Mart Global Sustainability Report 3-7).

Quality of Products and Services

The quality of Wal-Mart's products and services is perceived differently by different people and groups. Inside the company there has been a concerted effort… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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