Case Study: Wal-Mart's History With China

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1.3 Wal-Mart’s History with China The Nelson sprinkler company had been producing high-quality sprinklers in the U.S. since 1911 and was very proud of the fact they were selling American-made goods. However, in the early 2000’s, the company’s strategy shifted due to their biggest customer’s demands. Changes were slowly seen by U.S. factory employees as parts of the sprinkler they used to assemble themselves, arrived completed from China leaving just packaging for them. Then rounds of layoffs began happening and finally in 2005 the majority of the Nelson workforce was let go. A Nelson Executive was explaining the layoff by saying, “They had to go to China to compete, to get our costs down because of Wal-Mart. All these other sprinklers are…show more content…
The Index will initially be used inside the business to inform buying decisions about suppliers, raw materials, products to stock. But the ultimate goal is to put this information into customers’ hands [2].

Wal-Mart hopes that this internal rating system will be used beyond their retail store. Other businesses, competitors, too, are invited to use it as well so that The Index will become a ubiquitous industry standard.

1.5 Research Questions
This essay will be studying CSR issues management at Wal-Mart to see if there is a difference between Wal-Mart China and Wal-Mart United States. This topic is worth studying because Wal-Mart is a global retail leader and they set the tone for how other retailers run their business. This essay will seek out the answers to the following questions:

1. Are there differences in the scope of CSR issues managed, the type of CSR issues managed, and the type of reporting done on the issues?
2. If there are, what are the possible reasons?
3. What suggestions can be made?

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American scholars Bowen, Heald and Carroll have all given a slightly different meaning to Corporate Social Responsibility.
In general, though, we can understand that at the core of Corporate Social Responsibility there are transparent and well-communicated policies and practices a firm does to express responsibility of the business for a wider societal good. However, the exact creation and execution of these responsibilities come from the discretion of an individual corporation, so CSR is dynamic from corporation to corporation and from company to company. We can assume, though, that in one country, CSR practices across companies are fundamentally the same, with slight differences, but differences in CSR strategies are more prominent from country to country due to a “variety of longstanding, historically entrenched institutions” [17].
2.2 CSR Issue
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