Many people may ask there selves how a big company, such as Walmart, manages Ethics and Social Responsibility as one of the largest corporations in the world. Kate Patrick of Supply Chain Dive, who has a degree in business and finance, states that “Walmart has invested $100 million in programs to help workers advance their careers in retail and is funding the training for one million farmers at the supplier level. The company also is holding its seafood suppliers to a set of Sustainability standards and is working to eliminate unethical labor practices at the supplier level. Walmart's report states the company is collaborating with industry experts, NGOs, suppliers and the company's own research to address risks pertaining to social issues in the supply chain. The company also stated a commitment to addressing "major risks to the dignity of workers" within retail supply chains by 2025.” Not only is Walmart trying to better their selves by managing ethics and social responsibility very well, but they are also starting to hold its food suppliers to a set of sustainability standards and is working to eliminate unethical labor practices at the supplier level. Another way Walmart is working to improve their ethical reputation and social responsibility is “In 2004 Walmart formed its Global Ethics Office and released a revised Global Statement of Ethics. The intent of the Global Ethics Office is to spread an ethical corporate culture among its global stakeholders. The Global Ethics Office provides guidance on ethical decision making based on the Global Statement of Ethics and an ethics helpline. The helpline is an anonymous and confidential way for associates to contact the company regarding ethical issues. Additionally, Walmart has an Ethical Standards Team to monitor the compliance of supplier factories with the company’s “Standards for Suppliers” and local laws” (Ferrell, Fraedrich, Ferrell, Pg.420) Although Walmart is great at managing ethics and social responsibility, like any other corporation they have faced their fair share of ethical issues as well. The list of ethical issues Walmart faces contains employee benefits, Walmart’s stance on unions, workplace conditions and discrimination, ethical leadership issues, bribery scandal, and safety issues. Although Walmart has all of these ethical issues going on, like any company they (Walmart) has to make sure they keep the stakeholders in the company comfortable and as worry-free as possible. The textbook states that in a pep rally held in May of 2012, former CEO of Walmart Mike Duke, “acknowledged that there were ethical issues in some Walmart stores and stated that he planned to slow expansion, so the company could focus on improving these issues.” (Ferrell, Fraedrich, Ferrell, Pg.417) Mike Duke done a great job in letting everyone of the stakeholders know that Walmart is very aware of the issues going on and what they are going to do to try to cut back on these ethical issues. He also made a great call by saying they was going to slow down expansion, so that they could focus more on the ethical issues first before expanding. Walmart also made a multi-million-dollar advertising campaign and named the campaign “The Real Walmart”. The advertising campaign featured customers, truck drivers, and employees sharing their happy experiences with the company. Not only does it make customers feel safe shopping there and bring in new customers, but it also makes the shareholders feel comfortable with keeping their shares within the company. Walmart also contributes to not only improving the well-being of consumers, but the economic sustainability of society as well. The official website of Walmart states that “Walmart aims to lead on the environmental, social and governance issues that matter most to customers, associates, shareholders and communities. “At Walmart, we believe strengthening societal systems is not only the responsible thing to do, it also maximizes business value,” said Kathleen McLaughlin, president of the Walmart Foundation and chief sustainability officer for Walmart. “Through our initiatives, we hope to accelerate progress and spark collective action on the issues that matter most to our customers, business and communities – helping to transform retail and retail supply chains for economic, environmental and social sustainability.” Walmart is not only one of the largest corporations in the world, but also one of the best corporations in the business in managing ethics and social responsibility. Although, Walmart faces ethical issues like any other corporations, Walmart takes responsibility in ensuring the stakeholders within the company that all of the ethical issues are being resolved and what they are going to do to fix them. Walmart contributes each and every single day to improving the being of consumers, the economic sustainability of society, and that is why in my opinion Walmart is one of the best corporations in the world today.
Citing Reference Page:
1) Ferrell, O. C., Fraedrich, J., & Ferrell, L. (2017). Business ethics: Ethical decision making and cases. Boston, MA: Cengage Learning.
2) Patrick, K. (2018, April 25). Walmart’s improved social responsibility efforts begin with supply chain. Retrieved from https://www.supplychaindive.com/news/walmart-corporate-social-responsibility-efforts/521961/
3) W. (2018, April 23). Walmart Highlights Economic, Societal and Environmental Progress in 2018 Global Responsibility Report Summary. Retrieved from https://news.walmart.com/2018/04/23/walmart-highlights-economic-societal-and-environmental-progress-in-2018-global-responsibility-report-summary