Business ethics entails the moral obligation and duty governing individuals' discipline in handling behavioral good and wrong conduct (Cavaliere, 2015). This paper will discuss the business ethics conducted by Wal-Mart Company. Wal-Mart Company is among America's largest retail institution with a virtual position in the world's economy due to its size and commercial responsibility of the millions of employees and billions of clients. The social and moral responsibilities banks on this multi-billion company place Wal-Mart Company in controversial problems with business conduct and ethics due to alleged anti-employee practices, leadership misconduct, immigration issues, environmental concerns, and discrimination disputes. In this light of issues facing Wal-Mart Company over years, this paper will address the ethical concerns guided by the Caux Round Table principles for business to evaluate the extent to which the company adheres to international business laws. The paper will adopt two out of the seven principals namely the first principal; respect stakeholders beyond shareholders and the third principals; build trust by going beyond the letter of the law.
Since 2001, Wal-Mart Company has faced series of anti-employee practices with numerous lawsuits owing to gender discrimination. Female employees were receiving unfair treatments being denied job promotion chances and lack of pay increase. This gender-based violation of labor laws violated the CRT principal three and one concurrently (Clemente, 2015). For instance, Betty Dukes files a lawsuit against the company in 2003 alleging the discriminatory nature of Wal-Mart's policy that discriminated against women's position in the company. Later in 2012 another lawsuit alleging female discrimination against promotion and pay increase emerged from Cheryl Phipps (Frank, 2015). The company's violation of the Caux Round Table principle on respecting stakeholders beyond shareholders is constantly not meet with the overwhelming dissatisfaction of female employees' complaint of low pay, denied promotion and poor treatment. The policies of Wal-Mart advocating for employee discrimination violates the international agreement of stakeholder respect (Kabia, 2015).
According to the CRT principle's stipulation on the business companies upholding of the economic health and feasibility equally for stakeholders as well as shareholders, Wal-Mart Company respects and values their shareholders more than they respect the stakeholders who equally contribute to the success of the business. In line with the tenets of this practice, Wal-Mart utilitarianism affects a very large population of Americas. Through the huge number of people depending on Wal-Mart Company as employees, their immediate families, and the general society, its ethical obligation to ensure that it maximizes the number of people's happiness affected by the business's responsibilities and actions the opposite has been happening. Wal-Mart Policies have remained unchanged for many years exposing their employees and the people directly linked to its benefits in suffering. In the bid to solve dissatisfaction issues for direct beneficiaries numerous lawsuits following the continued tax burden on the general public. However, the company disobeys the third CRT principle in building trust beyond the law letter, Wal-Mart fails to uphold a strong utilitarianism due to its continued employee mistreatment and cost ineffectiveness of the expectations of the indirect beneficiaries. The unethical trend caused by lack of utilitarian denies the American public equal employment opportunities.
Another warranting challenge facing ethical conduct of Wal-Mart Company involves individualism. The aim of a business organization to maximize its profitability within the law dictates that resources, funds, employees, benefits, and donations are properly distributed and utilized. The policy advocates against stealing and corrupting company's properties. In the company, Wal-Mart has over the years suffered from leadership issues where top management are known to scandal huge sums of money from the company into their pockets. The individualist perspective of the numerous lawsuits that employees file against the company shows unethical following of the law by providing diminishing evidence to have cases dismissed over lack of substantial evidence. The decision-making process in the company has contributed to the growing number of lawsuits filed mainly by dissatisfied employees owing to unfair treatment. Failure to adhere to the CRT principles has placed Wal-Mart Company in bad books with the public and legal entities. This trend is not business friendly for the prosperity of the business's future. Taking the capital value and economic worth advantages have made Wal-Mart the most corrupt institution in public domain in the American economy. The growing number of corruption cases and leadership inappropriateness has contributed to breaking the principle of going beyond the written business laws.
The foreign expansion policy applied by Wal-Mart Company to expand its territories has in recent years suffered different unethical allegations due to overlooked international laws and policies. The company follows diminishing trends that overlook the respect of other minority countries globalization policies. The large contribution and capital value of Wal-Mart Company overlook the consequences suffered by other countries in their expansion venture. In this bid, the company fails to adhere to the CRT principles in respecting the stakeholders as well as shareholders and the business law policies (Harvey, 2015).
In conclusion, business ethics requires considerable fulfillment of international business principles especially on the Caux Round Table principles for business. Wal-Mart Company is among the largest retail enterprises in American economy thus contributing to the large labor market and interpersonal relationship with the American tax system. Following the misconduct and policy discrimination from the company's gender discrimination of pay raise and promotion criteria, the company finds itself in wrong books with international expectations of CRT principles.
Caux Round Table, "Principles for Business" Cornerstone Content Management System, May 2010 Available at http://www.cauxroundtable.org/index.cfm?menuid=8 Accessed on 20th March 2018.
Cavaliere, V. "Tennessee women file sex discrimination lawsuit against Walmart." New York Daily News. 2 October 2012. Web. 23 Nov. 2015. http://www.nydailynews.com/news/national/walmart-hit-new-discrimination-lawsuit-article-1.1173047
Clemente, F. "Walmart's Small Wage Increase Not Enough for Employees, Taxpayers." The Huffington Post. The HuffingtonPost.com. 7 April 2015. Web. 24 Oct. 2015.http://www.huffingtonpost.com/frank-clemente/walmarts-small-wage-incre_b_7019234.html
Frank, T. "A Brief History of Walmart." Reclaim Democracy. 17 May 2006. Web. 24 Oct. 2015. http://reclaimdemocracy.org/brief-history-of-walmart/
Harvey, S. "Case Study: Wal-Mart V. Dukes - Law360. " Case Study: Wal-Mart V. Dukes - Law360. 21 June 2011. Web. 24 Oct. 2015. http://www.law360.com/articles/253008/case-study-wal-mart-v-dukes
Kabia, F. "Gender Discrimination." Gender Discrimination. Web. 24 Oct. 2015.http://courses2.cit.cornell.edu/sociallaw/student_projects/GenderDiscrimination.html
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