Walmart Business Ethics Case Study


Wal-Mart is an American company which runs a chain of discount stores. It is rated as the largest public corporation in terms of re venue and the largest private employer. It was established in 1960 by Sam Walton through the knowledge he had gained from mass merchandise. it first started as retail market in Rogers, Arkansas where it was established on the basis of good concept. This meant that the new discount store would be committed to offering large variety of goods at low prices. This actually worked and facilitated the company’s growth and by 1970, it was the leading discount store in the United States. Its growth continued in the 1980s when the management opened a super center. In less than 50 years, the company has grown to be the largest chain of discount stores (Bianco and Wendy 100)

Company’s Ethics

Culture and ethics are some of the fundamental issues that have been instrumental in the success of Wal-Mart. The company embraces respect for its customers, integrity, and responsibility. The management encourages all the employees to embrace ethics in their daily undertakings at the store (Bianco and Wendy 102). A strong commitment to ethics and integrity is what has earned the company respect and this has ensured the success of Wal-Mart. In addition, commitment to culture and ethics has ensured improved quality of service to the customers.

This means that the company is very much aware of the likes and dislikes of their customers, and therefore, they are mindful of this in offering their products. This means that the quality of the company’s products is superior. Where the company’s laws conflict with those of the authority they involve global ethics is order to solve problems. For the employees maintaining good working conditions and reasonable working hours is a show of commitment (Bowermaster 65).

Using Kohlberg’s Levels of Moral Development was developed on the basis of how a child develops simply by testing them. He showed their development in reasoning and the moral behavior. Through the six stages that are divided in three levels simply explains how the children develops. The same was this is relate to the CEO way of management and this explains his mode of thinking. The CEO at the Wal- Mart is also committed to advancing moral development within the organization (Useem 63).

Stage one orients the employees to be obedient, though there may be no punishment as they believe in the guidance of ethical statement. In the second stage, the CEO encourages the workers to work better by offering the best performing worker(s) such reward systems as entertainment and promotion. Here, there is more focus on stage utility.

In the third and fourth stages focus is on behavioral motivation through accepting the rules and regulation. The fifth and sixth stage focuses on moral principles that are prior rights of employees and consumers. Also it also concerns focuses on equality that is every individual is due to consideration of interest hence motivation (Useem 64).

When applied at an organizational level, these stages are emphasizes on how the organization would function exclusively on a structural frame. This perspective takes into account how the ethical issue and how they will contribute to the well performing organization. The CEO Wal-Mart company has put various ethical rules that are to be followed and emphasizes on them so much such no drugs should be used in the work place since may affect the growth of the company. He also emphasizes on the respect for individuals quality service for customers and always strive to excellence.

The role of ethics and compliance in the organization is essential for the future existence of the Company. The wal- malt management is required to be familiar with the statement of ethics. The company has separate code of ethics that is mostly referred to the top officials of the company. On top of that it has ethics applicable to all associates and the CEO to enable them supposed to observe honest compliance with the law and ethical conduct. Though it was wal mart is the largest employer it has recently been reported to have deteriorated work conditions. This observed employees are over worked with poor pay also there are noted of discrimination in the company (Daniels 82).

Business Ethics and Technology

Wal-Mart company uses various technologies in the organization with the most common one being e-commerce. Through its websites, the company is able to do promotion and online sales and purchases. They also use the media for adverting hence increased sales. There are negative effects; where there is a need to be training in which is time consuming and extra resources are used to implement (Daniels 80). There is also resistance on the part of the employees’ due to fear of unknown when using the new technology.

Business Ethics in the Global Arena

The company is dedicated to distributing its products globally. Accordingly, Wal-Mart has increased its market, and this has also translated into increased sales as well.

On the other hand, it poses a challenge of conflicting ethical rules in the global market where it has to apply global ethics. Due to stiff and unfavorable market conditions and competition may lead to closure in such markets as in Germany and South Korea. Wal-Mart is engaged in pricing war and on the part of authority in terms of taxes it pays lesser taxes due to mitigation of saving hence they end up paying lesser tax which leads to conflict with the authorities. The company has tried to resolve this by improving the ethical values and in ethical matters it applies global ethics (Useem 68).

Work Cited

Bianco, Anthony and Wendy Zellner, “Is Wal-Mart Too Powerful?,” Business Week, 2003. Web.

Bowermaster, Jon, “When Wal-Mart Comes to Town,” New York Times Magazine, 1989. Web.

Cora, Daniels. “Women vs. Wal-Mart,” Fortune. 2003. Web.

Useem, Jerry, “One Nation under Wal-Mart,” Fortune. 2003. Web.

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