What can Wal-Mart do to be Socially Responsible

Wal-Mart’s four years at the top fortune 500 list has confirmed that the retailing giant is all powerful and unstoppable. Its great success over the last decade and half isn’t a smooth sailing and does bring its own critics regarding the company’s business practices. Management reluctance to let employees for union, Biased against women for certain jobs and hiring of illegal immigrants to clean up the stores are just few of the high profiles cases has severely tarnished the image of the company.

In all the above incidents Wal-Mart has faltered on both the founding principles of Caux Business principles namely Kyosei and Human Dignity. Kyosei in Japanese means living and working together for common goal and Human Dignity refers to treating of each person as an end not a mean to achieve ends. The harshest critics has called Wal-Mart a destroyer of American dream, according to them today most of the Wal-Mart employees are working as low wage data entry operators with a miniscule chances of moving into the middle management.

Secondly their biggest concern is that the reluctance of management to let the workers form union, presently Wal-Mart is paying near to nothing in terms of health benefits to its employees and all efforts to stop the union indicates that it will squeeze more from its employees and suppliers to deliver low prices. Wal-Mart has also faltered on Human Dignity count by its mistreatment of illegal immigrants, who are used to clean up the stores in the night and paid next to nothing.

Wal-Mart can lighten up some of the blemish by charting out a transparent and just employee policy. It has already done a great good to average Americans by increasing their purchasing power; it can do the same with its employees. The company on the top of the ladder of fortune 500 can pay extra pennies out of its pocket to provide a good healthcare cover. It should have clear employees’ policy that is not biased against women, preventing them from moving up in hierarchy.

Above all It has to balance its ‘low cost’ policy, too much of it and the company may end up squeezing too much from its supplier who did the same from its own employees and natural resources. Knowledge@Wharton (2004, April 21). Wal-Mart’s Mega-Growth Continues, But Is its Image Getting a Bit Tarnished?. Retrieved August 09, 2006, from http://knowledge. wharton. upenn. edu/article. cfm? articleid=965 Knowledge@Wharton (2006, June 14). Wal-Mart: Is There a Downside to Going Upscale?. Retrieved August 09, 2006, from http://knowledge. wharton. upenn. edu/article. cfm? articleid=1499

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