Walmart Inc. is one of the largest global retailers that operate in many regions across the world. The company is an American multinational retail corporation that operates a chain of businesses including hypermarkets, discount department stores, and the grocery stores. Headquartered in Bentonville, Arkansas, Walmart is an example of effective large-scale human resource management, based on the fact that the business has employed millions of people worldwide. Various reports have shown that the company is one of the largest in the world regarding the organisational size, value, as well as financial performance (Akhtar, 2017). The firms ensure that human resources are supported with the aim of satisfying the needs of the business. Over recent times, Walmart has considered its activities such as the internal processes and management as integral factors that support its human resource activities and the general operation of the business. Also, Walmart's corporate culture and organisational structure recruitment and selection, retention, training, performance management, compensation and the career development as significant contributors of the company's workers. As such, Walmart has been able to gain a tremendous competitive advantage across the globe, there have been serious human resource issues that have negatively impacted its relationship with its employees and the customers, thereby affecting its entire operations (Bailey, Mankin, Kelliher, & Garavan, 2018). To explain these problems, this paper will apply the common fallacies in determining the common issues discussed by Bolman and Deal.
Definition of Fallacies and Application of the Fallacies to the Organisation
Bolman and Deal recognise that even a successful company can face numerous challenges that may end up negatively affecting its operations (Bolman & Deal, 2017). In their analysis, Bolman and Deal attempt to demonstrate that the organisations a pluralistic instead of being fragmented. As such, the management is required to deal with these features, instead of blaming the loopholes within the systems or specific individual in the company. According to Bolman and Deal, various common fallacies can be used to explain multiple problems within the organisation and determine these problems (Bolman & Deal, 2017). The first common fallacy according to Bolman and Deal is Blaming people. This approach attaches issues on the employees having inappropriate attitudes or abrasive personalities and the reason for the company to behave the way it does. When used, fallacies resolves ambiguity, illustrates mystery and provides natural solutions to the problems that the company faces, which primarily revolves around punishing the guilty. It further ignores the failure contributed by the more extensive system thereby oversimplifying them.
Blaming the bureaucracy is the second fallacy and involves an approach of blaming the red tape or the rules that the organisation is stifled. The approach does not, however, provide a solution to the problem directly as releasing the grip often causes more problems (Bolman & Deal, 2017). For instance, tightening it poses tremendous influence on others with the aim of the subject the organisation to change the policies on a constant basis. The blaming bureaucracy is better in providing explanations regarding how organisations should operate than why they often do not.
Blaming the thirst for power is the third fallacy, and involves an approach that is used to blame the management or the individuals who did not complete their assignments on the basis that they possess their agenda which did not align with the task at hand (Bolman & Deal, 2017). Undeniably, this approach can be utilised too efficiently to explain nearly anything that goes wrong within the organisation and societies. In the view of Bolman and Deal, the common fallacies are always the alternative in any managerial quandary, but the problems emanate because the managers are unable to foresee the occurrence of such issues (Bolman & Deal, 2017).
Applying the Bolman and Deal common fallacies to the management of the Walmart Company, it becomes evident that the organisation is involved, surprising, deceptive and ambiguous (Young & Ghoshal, 2016). These qualities imply that these organisations have existing problems being caused by people who work inside and these problems often create future challenges because they create tremendous impediments to getting anything done. As observed, Walmart has gone further than defying the expectations of the people and society and then deceive people with unfulfilled surprises.
How Fallacies Co-exist and Interact With the Walmart’s Management
The challenges surrounding the employees and labour issues have formed one of the significant problems that Walmart undergoes (Young & Ghoshal, 2016). The outward image of an organisation largely determines the customers' acceptance towards it and further influences its success in the market. The customers' perception of an organisation plays a critical role in determining the success of the organisation. Walmart has faced tremendous accusations that involves its employees. These accusations involve forcefully propelling the workers to work off-the-clock and denying them the overtime pay as well as the rest and lunch-breaks. The company faced this lawsuit in various states that included Missouri, Minnesota, and Pennsylvania (Brunn, 2006). Additionally, there were reports that several employees were locked within Walmart's stores during the night time, holding them as prisoners. In reality, this problem has prevented the company from gaining its true image as a global leader across the world.
Blaming People fallacy best explains this situation as encountered by the employees. The fallacy primarily attaches issues on the employees having inappropriate attitudes or abrasive personalities and the reason for the company to behave the way it does. According to the company's management, the policy was aimed at protecting the workers and the content of the stores in high-crime areas. The company further acknowledged that its employees were inconvenienced in some occasion for early one hour as they had challenges locating a manager with the key. Surprisingly, the fire officials further confirmed that at no time where the fire exists locked or the employees prevented from escaping (Deresky, 2017). The management used the fallacy of "Blaming People" as an approach to resolve the ambiguity, explain the mystery surrounding this problem as well as giving an easy solution to the presented allegations and claims, which is generally centred towards punishing the guilty. It is, however, important to note that the blaming people approach ignores the more substantial system failure and oversimplifies the problem of employee mistreatment, low pay and long working hours.
Blaming the Thirst for Power fallacy can further offer good explanations regarding Walmart's policies. Broadly, this approach blames the management, or any other senior individual did not put more effort to achieve the objective of the task at hand. This could be because they had their agenda which did not align with the expectations and goals of the company. In the case of Walmart, the company has been tremendously criticised for failing to provide adequate supervision of its foreign suppliers. Notably, the company has further been criticised for using the sweatshops and prison labour. Other reports also revealed that teenagers in Bangladesh were subjected to harsh working conditions comprising of nearly 80 hours per week. Undeniably, the documentary film, Walmart: The High Cost of Low Price illustrated the numerous images of Walmart good-producing factories in poor conditions as well as the employees subject to abuse and conditions that the documentary producers considered inhumane. As a response, the Walmart argued that the mistreatment and the alleged actions emanated from few individuals within the management who frequently compelled the workers to work beyond the required time limit in a day with the aim of benefitting. In some circumstances, Walmart argued that the decisions and the allegations do not appear to be convincing or based on real facts. While these explanations by the Walmart are tailored towards explaining what goes on in the company, they are not conclusive.
Importance of Fallacy Identification for the Improvement of Organizational and Leadership System
Managers face numerous challenges. While these challenges can arise at any at any point in the manager's career, these challenges can be particularly prevalent for the managers who are new to their task and who have no adequate leadership skills. Fundamentally, leadership constantly presents challenges to a leader and their abilities. The identification of the common fallacies can help determine the nature of organisational policies and the strategies applied to the improvement of your organisation's systems that deals with the specific leadership opportunities (Brunn, 2006).
Fundamentally, the identification of the fallacy helps identify an organizational problem such as complacency among the leaders (Young & Ghoshal, 2016). Leaders and their teams reach a point where it is easier to continue along the path of least resistance, and this is aimed at pushing forwards towards the development and innovation. Blaming People fallacy can play a crucial role in identifying this problem among the leaders. To overcome the complacency, leaders and teams must engage in learning new concepts and skills. The continuous learning among managers can help replace the complacency with motivation and excitement (Song, 2018).
The identification of fallacy will further play a crucial role in identifying over-control as a challenge to leadership within organisations. Many leaders cannot indeed delegate effectively. This establishes a culture of micromanagement that stifles the independent thinking, crushes the creativity, and leaves leaders too focused on the short-term. Additionally, they may embrace small-picture thinking when, as their organisations thought should be going big.
In sum, the common fallacies play a crucial role in determining and explaining role in explaining the policy framework and structures of an organisation. In the paper, the common fallacies have helped to give the explanations regarding the Walmart Inc policies, as well as the challenges faced by the company when it comes to the management of people, marketing and the protection of its employees. For instance, the fallacies have helped explain this situation as encountered by the employees. Such fallacies primarily attached various issues on employees and portrayed them as people having inappropriate attitudes or abrasive personalities and the reason for the company to behave the way it does. However, identification of such fallacies can help determine the nature of organisational policies and the strategies applied to the improvement of your organisation's systems that deals with the specific leadership opportunities.
Akhtar, N. A. (2017). Hotel and Retail Management: Challenges in the Customer Service Communities.
Bailey, C., Mankin, D., Kelliher, C., & Garavan, T. (2018). Strategic human resource management. Oxford University Press.
Bolman, L. G., & Deal, T. E. (2017). Reframing organizations: Artistry, choice, and leadership. John Wiley & Sons
Brunn, S. (2006). Wal-Mart World: The World's Biggest Corporation in the Global Economy. Routledge: New York
Deresky, H. (2017). International management: Managing across borders and cultures. Pearson Education India.
Song, X. (2018, June). A Stud...
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