The overall expectations of the society to conduct and operate a business ethically and responsibly have significantly increased as there is a need for more transparency through the company's performance. According to different studies, they deliver a significant relationship between a company's performance and its social benefit which also offers a direct impact on the stakeholders. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. is one of the world's largest public corporations that run a chain of substantial discount stored, and a chain of warehouse stores has delivered significant impacts to the economy and the society as a whole. With its headquarters based in Bentonville, Arkansas, it is providing a notable dominance in the United States retailer markets. For instance, in 2009, Wal-Mart generated almost 51% of its US$258 billion sales for the grocery business in the United States. Also, as of 31st January 20178, the company had 11718 stores in 28 countries within which it is operating under 59 different names which on the other hand delivers a competitive advantage over other retail markets such as K-Mart and Target. In most of the cases, Wal-Mart provides a significant focus on customer satisfaction and store environments more than other sectors and is willing to do anything to ensure the emphasis of the two.
However, within the operation of the multinational retail corporation, there are different aspects relating to the company's behavior, actions and also communications. It delivers various social performance practices which also offer a significant impact to the society's expectations concerning how the company conducts its operations. The focus of this report is based on the behaviors, actions, and communications of Wal-Mart as it acts on social issues facing it in different society along with other societal expectations. Also, this report will examine the various social performance approaches by Wal-Mart as it makes the necessary actions towards the stakeholders and its performance in the society.
Although Wal-Mart delivers a significant number of benefits to the customers and the society as a whole, deriving that it is the world's largest company by revenue that is making over US$500 billion according to the 2018 Fortune Global 500 list, it renders different shortcomings. Employment is amongst the significant elements that Wal-Mart is failing at which range from a series of practices including, the Anti-Union Stance, Workers exploitation, wage Law Violations, and healthcare actions.
A case against Wal-Mart Company
With consideration to the employee behaviors and actions that Wal-Mart is posing to the society, the issue concerning the violation of wage laws is stirring different feelings. For instance, in California, some of the Wal-Mart employees approximately, 116, 000 individuals joined a lawsuit against the Wal-Mart claiming that it was infringing the California law that requires every employer to provide at least 30-minute lunch break to workers working at least six hours. Following the proceedings of the lawsuit, the California Wal-Mart employees managed to gain compensatory damages equaling up to $57 million among other punitive damage compensations. Within the same period, other states secured a similar victory such as Colorado and Oregon which pushed Wal-Mart layers back in court although the retailer was ordered to obey the laws.
On the other hand, similar lawsuits were filed against Wal-Mart alleging that the retailer did not compensate workers for hours they worked. The allegations were countered by Walmart claiming that it is its policy to pay workers for every minute they work which later on pushed Wal-Mart to deliver a "flexible scheduling" policy that would seek employees to work in shift rotations rather than having regular shifts. A majority of employees claimed that the plan was meant to push full-time workers into changing to a part-time schedule. Thus Wal-Mart was trying to minimize salaries and benefits.
Furthermore, the exploitation of workers is another behavior within employment that requires improvement. There has been the development of different cases in different foreign countries where it is alleged that Wal-Mart was violating the workers' rights which may entail issues such as denied wages, punished union activities, and required overtime. For example, some workers claim that supervisors harass them to the extent of beating them. Some of the exploitations go to a degree for instance where a worker works for seven days a week without any day off in six months. In other cases, the retailer company was accused of delivering poor work conditions for employees where is a specific example the company failed to provide enough safety materials (such as gloves) for the fabric cutters overseas. According to a cost-benefit analysis of the company, it derived that it was cheaper to clean any blood stains from the clothing before shipping them than it was to source gloves.
In most of the cases, Wal-Mart notices the public outcry but does not deliver sufficient actions over the exploitation of employees. For example, the retailer chain provides an announcement that it was about to start holding the suppliers accountable for the violations of workers' right rather than taking the appropriate actions to curb the issue. Thus, creating an area requiring immediate action and improvement concerning the welfare of the society.
Case for Wal-Mart Company
Nonetheless, Wal-Mart has delivered major impacts to both the society and shareholders. Regardless of Wal-Mart's actions to its employees, the retail chain is offering low price commodities and the developing the entire economy as a whole. As a competitive advantage, Wal-Mart provides a great deal of low priced items than other retailer companies. The company is significantly known for their low price which ranges from almost every commodity from electronics to food and other products.
Wal-Mart economy has been fulfilling the social expectations since it is one of the improvement areas. Individuals can purchase commodities at a lower price compared to other retail stores. Moreover, it is evident that the company is providing a significant impact, especially on the US economy as it is creating high revenue. It is also providing millions of employment which delivers that individuals can pay their taxes among other happenings. In consideration of the actions of the company to the society, it is playing a significant role in developing the lives of people by raising the levels of standards and creating more opportunities. As for the stakeholders, there are acquiring high returns from the retailer company which is evident from the revenues it is accumulating.
For more improvements, it is essential to consider both the customer and employee satisfaction. It seeks proper sustainability which equally maintains a regular social occurrence. As noted in Wal-Mart's shortcomings, the company does not take the appropriate actions required to counter the problems and delivers a poor communication concerning the emerging issues. To ensure the significant improvement of practices and fulfill the customer expectations, the company is entitled to undertake appropriate actions such as handling all emerging matters with considerate magnitude. For most of the problems, they involve employee treatment thus the company can efficiently manage and contain the problem.
In consideration of the impacts and implication of Wal-Mart's actions on the society and stakeholders, the retailer company is delivering both positive and negative effects. Over the past, Wal-Mart is continually engaging stakeholders in the strive to understand their perspective on the nature of the business. Its actions are improving the effectiveness and relevance of the stakeholders in increasing transparency and trust. Also, they look at increasing the collaboration in addressing both the societal and business challenges. Although the perspectives of the stakeholders may vary, the actions have impacted the ability of stakeholders to enforce the expectation that Wal-Mart should ensure the use of its strengths and collaborate with others to facilitate the environmental and social systems which benefit both the business and the society.
Additionally, Wal-Mart is creating more impacts in the society making various societal changes concerning the environment. Sustainability has been the primary focus in overseeing its actions which are delivering a positive impact to the community. For example, the company is making various donations which are providing significant help to those in need.
In conclusion, Wal-Mart is delivering significant performance in the society as a whole. Wal-Mart is increasing economic opportunities in the community by enhancing mobility and frontline workers in the supply chain. It is also promoting the growth of suppliers within the society delivering a significant impact. Wal-Mart's performance in the nation is also creating a substantial effect on strengthening local communities. In the performance, Wal-Mart is enhancing disaster resilience in the cities which are critical in ensuring the fulfillment of social expectation. It is also developing communities by providing the engagement of customers and associates and even the company without forgetting its focus on enhancing sustainability which helps the society by creating food security.
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