Walmart Manages Ethics and Compliance Challenges

Examine the manner in which Walmart’s business philosophy has impacted its perception of being unethical towards supply and employee stakeholders. Provide one example of Walmart in an unethical situation. Wal-Mart stores, Inc. is the world’s largest retail enterprise.

It is also the world’s largest employer. Mr. Walton the founder of Walmart always believed that customer service and low pricing where the main ingredients for a successful company. Mr. Walton had a 10 foot rule from the beginning which meant that if his employees where within 10 feet from a customer that they must greet the customer and ask if help was needed. He also believed that you shouldn’t wait for tomorrow what you could do today.

During past years Walmart has changed Mr. Walton’s philosophy by trying to make everybody happy instead of keeping with the original mantra. Walmart started to compete with other retailers and started to raise prices and remove certain items that Walmart originally sold. One unethical situation that Walmart was involved in is their reluctance to be unionized. Walmart went out of their way to threaten workers not to join unions or they would be terminated.

Another unethical decision Walmart made was hiring people as part time workers so they would not have to pay medical benefits, also by making employees only eligible for benefits if they work 30 hours or more, and when they fell short of 30 hours they would lose their benefits.

Determine the major effects that Walmart’s business philosophy has had on its human resource practices and policies. Walmart’s human resource department is also known as the people division. Wal-Mart employs more than two million employees around the globe. There are many business risks that the HR department encounters as any given time. The HR department is looked at as a valued business partner to maintain the culture, align people, drive performance, reduce risks, and insure results. By aligning their business strategies with their

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human resources practices, Wal-Mart can accomplish their 7 overriding strategies, which are price, operations, culture, key item/products, expenses, talent and service (Kampf, C. 2007.) HR strategy to allow the lowest possible price is to focus Wal-Mart’s employees to do everything they possibly can to hold down costs. To foster a culture committed to business Human Resources goes far and beyond to make sure they are aligned with the stores practices and

policies. During the first week of employment newly hired managers go through cultural orientation, which includes working in a Wal-Mart store serving customers and seeing firsthand what employees do all day. They also attend a week long cultural training at the Walton Institute. HR arranges for all new managers to go through this cultural indoctrination to acclimate them to the Wall-Mart way of doing things.

Analyze two (2) of the legal mandates that workers and U.S government has accused Walmart of violating. Provide an explanation as to why these legal mandates were violated, citing specific violations. Walmart claimed that the closing of a unionized store in Quebec was closed for economic reason. However those claims were denied because there was evidence that the store would reopen.

The finding were that the court did not find the closing of the store in to be real, genuine and definitive under the province’s law. Wal-Mart denied suggestions that the store’s closing was related to the successful drive to organize its employees by the United Food and Commercial Workers-Canada, but that the store was unprofitable.

The board said the closing was not permanent, making the dismissal of its workers illegal under Quebec law. Wal-Mart had to pay suit to over 100 employees that they fired. Wal-Mart has be accused several times of firing employees who wish to join unions or finding reasons to close a store or a department as a means to keep employees from becoming unionized. Wal-Mart was also accused of exploitation of its workers. Wal-Mart had a class-action lawsuit filed against them from the international Labor

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Rights Fund alleging the Wal-Mart denied minimum wage, required overtime, and punished union activity. Wal-Mart was also accused of failing to provide adequate safety equipment to its fabric cutters and seamstresses overseas (Iacovone, L., Javorcik, B., Keller, W., & Tybout, J.2009).

Evaluate the efficiency of the structure of the ethical decision making framework that Walmart has used in making its decisions. Provide a rationale for your response. I believe that what Mr. Walton wanted when he started his first store was a place where he could provide an outlet for lower income families with an emphasis on high customer service, however as the company grew in revenue and in size some of those old fashioned ways got lost.

With new executives and CEO the company took a huge turn away from the family friendly store and more into a monopolizing company the has put other companies who cannot compete with Walmart’s prices out of business. When Wal-Mart expanded internationally the company faced more problems like zoning bids and safe work environments.

The decisions made thus far from Wal-Mart seem more business guided than what the founder had in mind. Wal-Mart has since tried to rebuild its reputation back to the way Mr. Walton originally ran the store, but skeptics are hesitant to believe that Wal-Mart is what it used to be. When you have a company this big with that much revenue it hard to decrease the risk factors that come with a billion dollar company.

Recommend two actions that Walmart’s Human Resources Department should take in order to improve the employees’ perspectives of Walmart’s human resources policies. Provide a rationale for your recommendations. Based on the idea of managing people to believe that the staff is very important for the specific business and its continued success. Wal-Mart can gain a competitive advantage only by using its staff effectively, drawing plans on the basis of their expertise and skills in order to achieve well-defined objectives (Courtemanche, C., & Carden, A. Walmart 5 (2011.)

Human Resources plays a crucial role because they are responsible for dealing with diverse staff. HR should always focus and take responsibility to improve the performance of the employee. To improve employee’s perspective HR should ensure that the company’s code of conduct and compliance are maintained and verified.

The code of compliance should be monitored by the board audit committee, which would take appropriate action in case of incomplete or poor compliance. Human resources should hire managers and continue to put them through rigorous training and also have outside auditors monitoring upper management and executives to make sure they are following and abiding by laws and policies. Walmart is a huge company that has been accused many times of bribery and unfair employment practices. Walmart needs to be very careful who they hire to represent their company.

In Conclusion Wal-Mart has been accused of and sued for many reasons, including bribery, unfair work practices, unsafe factories, and other unethical business practices. Wal-Mart has since tried to rectify a lot of the issues that have surfaced in the last few years. Wal-Mart seems to be working diligently to become the store they once were. I don’t believe they can go back to how they once were, however I do believe they can move forward and become better and get back the trust they lost from their customers, employees and business partners.

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Reference

  • Page Courtemanche, C., & Carden, A. (2011). Supersizing supercenters? The impact of Walmart Supercenters on body mass index and obesity. Journal of Urban Economics, 69(2), 165- 181.
  • Iacovone, L., Javorcik, B., Keller, W., & Tybout, J. (2009). Walmart in Mexico: The impact of FDI on innovation and industry productivity.
  • University of Colorado.Kampf, C. (2007). Corporate social responsibility: WalMart, Maersk and the cultural bounds of representation in corporate web sites. Corporate Communications: An International, 12(1), 41-57.