Wal-Mart’s Values

Published: 2021-09-01 11:50:12
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Then search the Web for some recent stories about Wal-Mart’s global purchasing practices and reports on the enforcement of its code of conduct. I. “Brief” Summary of the exercise Wal-Mart was founded back in 1962 by Sam Walton who instilled values and the three basic beliefs that remain as the core principles in the company today.
These principles are: “Respect for the individual, Service to the customer, and Strive for excellence“ (Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. ). One of the main core values that Wal-Mart holds with high importance is integrity, which is based on their “Statement of Ethics”. “Nothing is more important to a company and its ability to lead than integrity. It’s more important than sales or earnings or stock growth” (Lee, p. 3). With the ability to expand its borders beyond the United States, the “Statement of Ethics” has been an asset that helps “maintain” these core values.
Wal-Mart also encourages all employees globally to adhere to the “Statement of Ethics,” unless it goes against the law of that country (Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. ). The Social Responsibility of Wal-Mart is clearly defined. Employees should adhere to the “Statement of Ethics” and are encouraged to use the “Open-Door Policy” as well as utilize the Global Ethics Office when there is unethical behavior that doesn’t protect the well-being of their stakeholders.
Wal-Mart as well as other companies should maintain a positive influence in the way they conduct themselves, so that healthy relationships are developed with their stakeholders worldwide. In recent articles, we find that Wal-Mart strives to uphold their core values by helping the economy of Guatemala. However, there is a compromising of behavior in these core values being questioned in China. Because of these two complete different situations, we can conclude that there will always be issues that will contradict Wal-Mart’s values.
As much as they try to achieve their goals of holding high integrity standards, the response that Wal-Mart gives needs to leave a lasting impression on those stakeholders. In a recent article in the Los Angeles Times, Marla Dickerson pointed out that Wal-Mart has teamed up with the “U. S. Agency for international Development and two nonprofit organizations” to contribute to Guatemala, a predominantly poor country, by investing in the education of its growers to better the produce that is sold in the store they call Maxi Bodega (Dickerson, 2008).
From experience, the produce I have seen in a regular market is poorly handled but, that the majority of the self-employed people and the customers buying in those markets are fairly poor people. The article also debates the concept that small farmers may not have a place to go with their produce, because of the new and fast growing up rise of supermarket shelves (Berdegue & Dickerson, 2008). I believe that Wal-Mart is “Striving for Excellence” by helping this economy and not hurting it (Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. As you can see in the recent Fact Sheet for August 2008, it states that “In 2007, Wal-Mart in Guatemala raised and contributed over $270,000 to support the local community” (Walmartstores, 2008). They have definitely shown integrity by helping the economy with their bountiful contribution. Also, they are providing the education the farmers’ need that in return will develop a healthy lifestyle within their environment by producing better quality produce.
Wal-Mart’s code of ethics states the following: “We’re committed to the health and safety of our customers, members, and associates, because we care for one another (p. 25). ” In regards to this previous statement we come to see that there are always two sides to a story. Wal-Mart’s integrity is questioned in the next article, “Domination of World’s Leading Retailer Wal-Mart, “Save Money, Live Better”;Workers’ Nightmare,” which describes a factory in China named “Hantai Shoe Production Ltd” who’s primary client is Wal-Mart.
The global outsourcing in this predicament, no matter how much it “benefits the shareholders and the customers in the United States” has become harsh reality to the workers in China (Jones, 2008, p. 139). As stated in our textbook, “numerous products sold in U. S. stores have been outsourced to countries that do not have U. S. -style regulations and laws to protect the workers who make the products (Jones, 2008, p. 35) These workers have not been compensated for working overtime, are not allowed to use the bathroom facilities during work hours, and it is very hard to ask off for a sick day (China Labor Watch, 2008). As a result of these bad ethical standards, the “Business and Human Rights” has sent Wal-Mart these allegations and their response was sent back on July 29, 2008 reporting that they “have launched an investigation of the factory to assess the allegations” and stated that they “maintain a very strict code of conduct (Business and Human Rights Resource Center, 2008).
Wal-Mart needs to put into consideration that “The result of this unethical behavior could lose: their reputation and resources, shareholders who sell their shares, skilled managers and employees who leave the company and customers who turn to the products of more reputable companies” (Jones, 2008, p. 138). Wal-Mart may hold firm to their core beliefs in order to help communities in need like Guatemala, but we find the exact opposite with the dispute that was made about the harsh work environment that goes against their “Statement of Ethics. This leads to conclude that this company, because of it global outsourcing, needs to be more aware of their environment as a whole and not in part as well as take action immediately when their code of ethics has been violated. This will benefit the company as well as its stakeholders. II. Typed questions with answers 1. What ethical principles guide Wall-Mart’s approach to global purchasing? Wal-Mart uses the strategy of low cost production that led them to move their manufacturing to other countries that can supply this demand.
They also had the advantage of “internal efficiency” from the ability to obtain knowledge before other retailers in the technology field (Smith, 2004). In the view of the stakeholders, this benefited the customers in the United States with the availability to purchase goods at a very low price. It hurt the employees of the manufacturing companies here in the U. S. , but provided more jobs globally. 2. Does Wal-Mart appear to be doing a good job of enforcing its global code of conduct?
As shown in the issue with China and the allegations of poor ethical behavior that violated their code of conduct, the response that Wal-Mart gave implied that they “employ approximately 200 individuals to monitor the adherence to the code by their suppliers and their designated factories” (Business and Human Rights Resource Center, 2008). This is just one way of enforcing its global code of conduct. Also, as mentioned in the “Fact Sheet” for Guatemala posted August 2008, it implies that Wal-Mart is “Striving for Excellence” in contributing to their economy (Walmartstores, 2008).
If you were on the board of Wal-Mart or a C-Level executive, what actions do you think you could realistically take in order to improve the ethical conduct of the company? I asked my father this question, since he is one of the District Manager’s in the TLE department and his response was as follows: “To hold with highest regards the integrity of the company, and not to run from our critics, because any successful company will tell you, the more successful you become, the more criticism you will receive. It goes hand in hand (King, 2008). If I was personally on the board of Wal-Mart executive, I would send out a questionnaire twice a year to all of the stakeholders that focus primarily on their position within the company, which will educate us with their concerns and problematic issues. Now, although we can’t agree to everyone’s demand, we can at least see the overall picture that will help us strategically plan to better the ethical standards of the company. This will develop more overall trust within the company as well.

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