Walmart's Commitment to CSR: Protecting Stakeholders and the Environment - Essay Sample

Paper Type:  Essay
Pages:  7
Wordcount:  1735 Words
Date:  2023-04-28


CSR is a self-regulating business model that assists organizations to be socially accountable. CSR encourages organizations to protect the environment by practicing sustainability (Harrison, 2019). The regulation also protects a business's stakeholders who include the consumers, investors, the community, and employees, among others. Walmart is committed to protecting the environment and promoting the health and safety of is employees (Harrison, 2019). Thus, Walmart complies with all the policies and regulations from the government that involve environmental protection. The goal is to help citizens live better and create a better environment for future generations.

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The company is also strict on health and safety in its premises, and it cares for the well-being of all its associates. Thus, all business activities conducted in the organizations follow the state's rules and regulations of safety (Harrison, 2019). The objective is to provide a safe working and shopping environment.

The business is also committed to ensuring the safety of food, and the law is part of the organization's culture. Walmart follows all the government food and product safety rules every day (Harrison, 2019). The company also ensures that its suppliers strictly adhere to the regulations too.

Code of Ethics and Compliance With Legal Mandates

Walmart's guidelines are not thorough in explaining its compliance with the law. The guideline only mentions that the company is committed to fully complying with the laws and regulations of environmental responsibility and health and safety. However, the guideline does not mention the specific bodies that regulate the policies with which the organization is complying. For example, the FDA is not mentioned, yet it is the regulatory body that provides regulations relating to food safety.

Ramifications Noncompliance With Legal Mandates

There are no specific consequences that are addressed in the Global Statement of Ethics, but the organization is held accountable for unethical activities (Jorgensen, 2018). The ramifications are mostly in the form of fines since the entire organization cannot be incarcerated. The number of penalties varies depending on the extent of the legislation. In 2017, Walmart was significantly fined by Kreider for selling warranties without a license (Jorgensen, 2018).

Ethical Safeguards

The most significant ethical safeguard that Walmart has is the Guildline that addresses particular matters. The Guildline addresses all the legal requirements that the company is required by law to follow (Kullberg & Braekkan, 2018). The guideline also contains ethical values and wording. Wording ensures that everyone working in the organization knows the role to play in abiding by the regulations.

The first safeguard that Walmart should put in place to prevent illegal acts is employee training. Workers should be educated of the company's ethical requirements and rules so that they do not have excuses after violating the firm's guildline (Jorgensen, 2018).

The second ethical safeguard that would be effective in preventing illegal acts is performing internal ethics audits (Kullberg & Braekkan, 2018). The organization can use an auditor or committee to complete the audit and report if there are changes that should be made. Audits can be done through surveys, interviews, focus groups, or direct observation. The inspections would play a significant role in evaluating and executing the effectiveness of the company's ethical guidelines and procedures

Code of Ethics and the Development of an Ethical Culture

Walmart's guidelines facilitate the development of an ethical culture in the organization, as explained in the Global Statement of Ethics report (Kullberg & Braekkan, 2018). There are various sections of the organization's ethical report that address different issues regarding unacceptable behaviors. Some of the issues that are contained in the report relate to anti-corruption, anti-money laundering, environmental responsibility, media statements, discrimination and harassment, retaliation, fair competition, financial integrity, and intentional dishonesty, among others (Jorgensen, 2018). All these issues significantly assist in developing an ethical culture in the company.

Raising an Ethical Issue

Walmart has created an environment with a variety of resources that employees can use to report an ethical issue. However, the resource chosen depends on the severity of the problem. Walmart encourages its employees first to address an issue with the responsible person to let them explain and clarify. However, if someone is not comfortable approaching the accountable person, they should contact the alternative resources provided by the organization (Jorgensen, 2018). The process that employees should follow is easy to follow and straight-forward too. Walmart aims at being transparent in all its processes, and workers are encouraged to choose the resource that is appropriate and comfortable for the to use when reporting (Kullberg & Braekkan, 2018). The organization is strict on ethical misconduct, and upon failure of an employee to report such cases, they are held accountable for their actions.

The first resource that is available to use when reporting a case in Walmart is the open-door communication process. The open-door process is the easiest and most reliable method of raising ethical issues in the company since an employee reports to the manager directly (Jorgensen, 2018). However, if an employee is aware that their immediate manager is involved in an ethical issue, they should report to the next management level if they are not involved in any way. Walmart also provides a helpline to reach the managers is one cannot meet them physically.

The second resource that is available in Walmart for reporting ethical issues is Global Ethics. However, employees can only contact global ethics through telephone, and the helpline is open throughout and handles all languages. Employees reporting a case may choose to remain anonymous for personal reasons. Global ethics ensures that the privacy of callers is respected as required by the law (Jorgensen, 2018). When a Walmart employee calls the organization, the operator records and relays the information to Global ethics, and the caller is given a case number and callback date if need be. Global Ethics can be contacted through their helpline and via email.

The third resource that is used is reporting an ethical issue to human resource management. HRM investigates misconduct and other incidences involving the conduct of employees and managers. They take appropriate action after completing the investigations.

Resources to Report an Ethical Issue

The resource I would most likely use to report an ethical issue is notifying HRM to protect my privacy. Moreover, it would be challenging to report to the manager, especially if they are involved in such cases.

Personal and Organizational Factors in Whistle Blowing

The first factor that an employee should consider before blowing the whistle is thinking deeply about the issue and determine how they feel about it. Secondly, an employee should consider their real intention and reason for reporting. For instance, the reporting could be a personal agenda to harm others, which is unethical and unacceptable. Thirdly, the employee should think about the risk or benefit of reporting. For example, whistleblowing may affect specific reputations and destroy another person's career in a situation that could be avoided. Timing is also a crucial factor, and employees should think and report at the most appropriate time and avoid rushing to report before taking enough time to consider the consequences of their actions (Jorgensen, 2018). The final factor that should be considered is alternative solutions to reporting. A person should have a contingency plan if the initial one fails or is not addressed adequately.

The Internal and External Reporting Steps

When a worker decides to report a case regarding ethical misconduct, they should follow specific steps. The first person to approach is the employee's direct manager or supervisor. However, if either of the two parties is involved in the unethical misconduct, an employee should report to the next management level (Jorgensen, 2018). The second step is informing a close associate or family member regarding the case to get more insight and advice on how to address the matter. Thirdly, an employee should take the matter to the next management level if they are unsatisfied with the outcome from the immediate manager. In the fourth step, an employee can consider reporting the case to the company's ethics office (Kullberg & Braekkan, 2018). The next step is seeking alternative avenues to report the case if the organization does not have a formal procedure of handling ethical issues. An employee can thus contact regulators that are not part of the organization, and the final step would be resigning from work and leaving the company.

Advantages and Disadvantages of Paying Whistle-Blowers

False Claims Act and Dodd-Frank Wall Street and Consumer Protection Act

The False Claims Act imposes liability on organizations which defy government programs. The Dodd-Frank Wall Street and Consumer Protection Act is a federal law that protects consumers and modulates financial markets in the United States (Seitz, 2018). The law contains strict regulations and policies on financial institutions to protect consumers and prevent the occurrence of another economic recession. One of the advantages of the act is that it encourages people to report fraud by paying them 30% of the total amount that the government recovers (Seitz, 2018). The other benefit of compensating whistle-blowers is that it leads to the exposure of unethical and fraudulent activities in financial institutions. However, there are shortcomings in paying whistle-blowers. First, it encourages many people to be always aggressive, searching for unethical behaviors for payment. Secondly, the reports given might be biased and inaccurate since people may report just to get paid.

Effect of the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines on Operations

The U.S sentencing procedures have a significant impact on the operations of organizations. The primary purpose of USSG is to prosecute organizations and individuals who commit felonies like tax evasions, fraud, and security (Seitz, 2018). According to the regulation, an entire organization can be charged based on the fault of a single individual. The punishment for such crimes is often fines and restitution. Therefore, organizations strive to implement effective compliance programs to avoid violating the USSG regulations.

Culpability Factors

Mitigating and aggregating factors influence culpability scores. The first factor is having a history of the same conduct before (Kullberg & Braekkan, 2018). The culpability score increases by two points if an organization repeats a similar offense.

The second factor is the role an organization plays in the obstruction of justice. Organizations are required to be fully cooperative when they are being investigated (Jorgensen, 2018). Obstruction of justice elevates the culpability score by three or fewer points.

The third factor is if a company had a program that deals with ethical issues (Jorgensen, 2018). If an organization has such a program, three points are deducted from the score.


Harrison, V. (2019). Legitimizing private legal systems through CSR communication: a Walmart case study. Corporate Communications: An International Journal.


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Walmart's Commitment to CSR: Protecting Stakeholders and the Environment - Essay Sample. (2023, Apr 28). Retrieved from

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