Essays on Corporate Social Responsibility at Walmart Case Study

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The paper "Corporate Social Responsibility at Walmart " is a great example of a business case study.   Wal-Mart was started with an aim to cater to small rural towns whose population was less than 10,000 people. This was meant to help these towns with fast, friendly service and offer low prices. The stores were able to offer convenience and serve the consumers well. The store expanded and became a multinational. With the expansion, Wal-Mart has faced social and ethical issues. The major issues that have been discussed in this case are the company corporate social responsibility, the responsibility to the competitors, Barriers to domestic expansion, the threat of putting small merchants out of business, creating urban sprawl, traffic congestion in areas where they relocate, impact on the local community, pressure from labor unions and gender discrimination (Paruchuri, Joel & David, 2009). Corporate social responsibility involves keenly considering the effects that a firm has on the community.

The business has to be responsible for their actions. Corporate social responsibility can be divided into four parts. The parts are economic responsibilities, legal responsibilities, ethical responsibilities and philanthropic responsibilities.

Economic responsibilities involve activities that help the economy of the country of operation. This involves the provision of employment, invest in human capital, safe products and generate investment and income (Kotler & Lee, 2005). Wal-Mart has been able to satisfy its economic responsibilities. The company has provided jobs and has a high-income generation with net sales being high. Legal responsibilities involve having a good relationship with government officials and legal organs (Kotler & Lee, 2005). Wal-Mart has not performed well in this area. Wal-Mart has been engaged in a lot of legal cases.

The company has been branded as the most sued company in America. Among the legal cases that face Wal-Mart are questionable labor practices, discrimination and eliminating small merchants. Ethical responsibilities involve the adoption of a voluntary code of governance and ethics (Kotler & Lee, 2005). Wal-Mart has put some efforts in this area. This is notably by their earlier campaigns on “ buy American” and “ Environmental Awareness” . Sam Walton was among the first people to implement environmental awareness campaign in their firms. The company made a commitment to land, air and water.

This was started by using shelf tags that were made from recycled paper. The company in response to reducing the loss of American jobs introduced the “ buy America” . This was through giving the American manufacturers large orders. On the other hand, Wal-Mart has faced accusation of eliminating small merchandisers. This is due to the fact that the company offers their products at lower prices (Paruchuri, Joel & David, 2009). This has made its expansion in some cities in America to be opposed. Philanthropic responsibilities involve setting aside funds which can be used for community projects (Kotler & Lee, 2005).

Wal-Mart has put efforts into being good neighbors to the community they operate in. The Wal-Mart foundation together with the company gave more than $378 in 2009. The company and its foundation were able to give $423 in the same year globally. This shows that the company takes part in every community it serves. “ The Wal-Mart Way” and Sam Walton Motivation Sam Walton was a motivation genius. Sam made working at Wal-Mart more enjoyable as he acted as a partner rather than the boss.

The profit-sharing plan in 1970 was the first of its kind in the business. The employees were able to share the profitability of the store. This act by Sam Walton demonstrated that he respected the workers. The workers were encouraged in their efforts. Sharing the profit-motivated his associates. This led to competition among workers which made them work hard. He also rewarded the winners well in his challenges. Information flow was also encouraged under his leadership. This enabled the employees to understand well the operations of his business.

Walton worked hard to make sure that his employees were appreciated and felt valued (Michael, 2014).


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Carroll, A & Ann K 2008, Business & Society: Ethics and Stakeholder Management, Mason, OH: South-Western Cengage Learning.

Kotler, P &, Lee, N 2005, Corporate Social Responsibility: Doing the most Good for Your Company and Your Cause. New York: Prentice-Hall.

Mark L & Michael B 2006, ‘Wal-Mart Finds That Its Formula Doesn’t Fit Every Culture’, The New York Times, August 2, Viewed 21 June 2014,

Michael, B 2014,’ ‘“The Wal-Mart Way”...Cultural Kool-Aid Creates Cult-Like Commitment’, Global Bussiness News. Viewed 21 June 2014,

Paruchuri, S., Joel A.C, and David, P 2009, ‘The Wal-Mart Effect: Wave of Destruction Creative Destruction?’ Economic Geography, Vol. 85, no. 2, p. 3-5.

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