Essays on Corporate Governance Issue at Walmart Case Study

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The paper "Corporate Governance Issue at Walmart" is a great example of a business case study.   There are many corporate governance issues that have attracted the attention of the media including an issue concerning corporate social responsibility, shareholders’ engagement, qualities of directors, transparency in business and audit to name a few (Antal et al. , 2002). Corporate Social Responsibility is a notion that has undergone scrutiny for over 50 years and has become prevalent in recent years. The increasing number of multinational corporations and domestic companies are adapting to a number of Corporate Social Responsibility initiatives that incorporate codes of conducts to improve environmental systems and health and safety and support of community development projects (Dahlsrud, 2006).

The increasing prominence of Corporate Social Responsibility can also be reflected in its revival in public debate (Barnett, 2007). This essay will outline and summarize an article covering the issue of Corporate Governance in Walmart Company. It will discuss the context of the article in relation to the issue of CSR and will give the reasons why Corporate Social Responsibility issue in Walmart has attracted the attention of the media.

The essay will then conclude by a brief summary of the issue discussed in the article and recommend measures for improvement.     Walmart: Company Background Walmart Stores Inc. is a multinational retail company that entails a chain of hypermarkets, departmental stores and grocery stores with its headquarter at Bentonville Arkansas (Lichtenstein, 2009). Walmart Inc. was instituted by Sam Walton in 1962. As from this year, the company has 11,528 stores in more than 27countries. Walmart is considered the largest corporation in the world by revenue and has about 2.2 million employees.

It is a family business controlled by the Walton family. Walmart’ s business operations are categorized into three major divisions including Walmart United States, Walmart International as well as Sam’ s Club (Lichtenstein, 2009). In addition, the company offer a number of retail formats through the divisions such as warehouse clubs, supermarkets, restaurant, drugstores and supercentres. Walmart’ s reputation is as a result of offering products at low prices compared to the competitors. Over the years it has recorded high annual income in terms of revenue and profits. The company operates in countries like the United States, China, United Kingdom, India, South Korea and South America among others (Lichtenstein, 2009).

Another way the company has been able to maintain a high competitive advantage is cutting wages and offering fewer benefits to the employees. Corporate Social Responsibility at Walmart As the largest corporation in America by revenue, Walmart can have substantial effects on the employees, the customers and the environment (Gereffi and Michelle, 2009). Walmart may seem to be the largest company in terms of revenue but has over the years been faced with issues related to Corporate Social Responsibility.

It has been accused of discrimination, environmental crimes and human right violations among other issues. A few years ago, labour unions have hammered on Walmart Stores Inc. for its policies and business practices. Walmart is expected to incur a total of $300 million on regulatory and compliance enhancements which entails dealing with complaints from the National Labour Relations Board (Will, 2006). In addition, the company has attracted the media for its alleged discrimination offences. In the company, it is reported that female workers are discriminated against issues related to promotion and pay.

Recently, the company has received a lot of criticism for neglecting the environmental. Walmart pleaded guilty to many environmental crimes including lack of a program to deal with hazardous waste (Stone, 2008). Lack of environmental program and training led the employees to dispose of the company waste into sewer systems. In addition, Walmart put the community and the environment at risk by improperly handling hazardous products such as pesticides, aerosols and solvents (Stone, 2007). Overall, Walmart has been ranked as one of the companies that offer the worst Corporate Social Responsibility.

References

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Barbaro, M 2007, "It's Not Only about Price at Wal-Mart", The New York Times. Retrieved April 14, 2016.

Barnett, M.L 2007, Stakeholder influence capacity and the variability of financial returns to corporate social responsibility, Academy of Management Review, 32, pp. 794–816.

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Dahlsrud, A 2006, How corporate social responsibility is defined: an analysis of 37 definitions. Corporate Social Responsibility and Environmental Management, Available at: http://www.csr-norway.no/papers/2007_dahlsrud_CSR.pdf

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Gereffi, G. & Michelle, C 2009, "The Impacts of Wal-Mart: The Rise and Consequences of the World's Dominant Retailer", Annual Review of Sociology, 573–591.

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Lichtenstein, N 2009, The Retail Revolution: How Wal-Mart Created a Brave New World of Business, New York, Metropolitan Books.

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Stone, E 2007, "Impact of the Wal-Mart Phenomenon on Rural Communities", Iowa State University.

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Will, G. September 14, 2006, "Democrats Vs. Wal-Mart", The Washington Post. Archived from the original on November 24, 2012.

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