Mal-Mart Case Study: Ethical Issues Facing Walmart

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Walmart Case Study This case study involves America’s largest and most recognizable retail chains. Walmart steadily grew from its founding in 1962 as a small Arkansas based retail store into the multi-national giant that it is today. One of the issues that Walmart’s unprecedented growth has raised is how it can maintain the ethical standards and principles held by its founder, Sam Walton, when it has grown past its humble roots and continues to grow in an ever more competitive and hectic world. Some of the current ethical issues that Walmart is facing are the treatment of its employees, the methods it employs to obtain retail goods at low prices, the sustainability of its products, and the use of bribery to further corporate interests (Ferrell…show more content…
Furthermore, this paper will discuss some proposed solutions to the current ethical issues facing Walmart that could assist Walmart in its objective of continued growth in an ethical and sustainable manner. One of the major ways in which Walmart was able to grow and out compete its rivals was through its ability to provide retail goods to consumers at prices lower than competitors (Ferrell 407). Walmart ability to keep prices low is based on its ability to secure cheaply made goods from foreign manufacturers while also keeping the wages for its workforce low. The combination of cheaply made goods and a low paid retail staff means that Walmart can pass the savings to consumers which made it a popular retail shopping spot for lower to middle income Americans…show more content…
The push Walmart is making to build stores in Mexico, South America, and China means that Walmart management in those countries may face the temptation to bribe foreign officials to give Walmart preferential treatment to zoning and other matters that require foreign governmental approval (Ferrell 414). Walmart has already faced this issue with its Walmex branch of operations, which has been accused of bribing Mexican officials to streamline zoning and permit issues that are often more burdensome in Mexico than in the United States (Ferrell 414). Certainly bribery may be more common in the developing countries that Walmart intends to expand its operations into. Therefore, Walmart officials are likely to continue to face the issue of how to ensure that its management of overseas operations maintains ethical standards and avoids the temptation of bribing government officials to give Walmart preferential treatment (Ferrell
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