Wal-Mart is one of the largest and most influential corporations in the world. This massive company plays a vital role in today’s business and its decisions weigh heavily on thousands of industries throughout our economy.
Wal-Mart dominates the retail industry as it offers some of the lowest prices for products and services other companies cannot afford to offer. There is no doubt that Wal-Mart is one of the most successful corporations of all time. However, the magnitude of Wal-Mart’s power comes with an undeniably massive amount of responsibility. Wal-Mart has a reputation of ignoring ethical and moral issues when they do business. With that said, does Wal-Mart have a true concept of business ethics?
In order for Wal-Mart to have a true concept of business ethics, it must operate in a socially-responsible manner. This means Wal-Mart must expand its view on what is ethical in business and make it a priority to constantly address. Walmart must acknowledge that addressing ethical issues is pertinent to the company’s overall success and longevity. Through my research I have found that Wal-Mart objects labor unions and pays borderline poverty wages. Therefore, my research leads me to believe that Wal-Mart does not have a true concept of business ethics. The issues found in my research help me to understand how Wal-Mart addresses some of its most difficult and complex moral issues in today’s business.
Wal-Mart employs over 2.1 million employees in the U.S., none of whom are represented by a union. Wal-Mart employees face extreme difficulties when trying to join a union, due to the law which allows Wal-Mart to legally replace permanently striking workers. In other words, Wal-Mart can “let go” of workers who fight for labor unions by striking. Employees at Walmart are very reluctant to join a union in fear of losing their job. Although unions are established to create positive relationships between the employer and employee, Wal-Mart undoubtedly objects this notion. One example of Wal-Mart opposing labor unions would be shutting down those facilities in which employees attempt to unionize. Walmart shuts down these facilities by claiming the stores are unprofitable.
Nevertheless, Wal-Martis still one of the richest corporations in the world and their net revenue exceeds the gross domestic profit (GDP) of several smaller countries. Paying higher wages would help their business and the lives of their employees for multiple reasons. First, higher wages reduce high turnover rates which in turn will prevent workers from leaving Wal-Mart for better opportunities. Second, higher wages increase worker productivity. Employees that are paid decent wages tend to work harder for their company. Third, higher wages also correlate to more purchases of products and services by consumers in our economy. The more money people have, the more money people will spend.
In conclusion, Wal-Mart is one of the largest and most influential corporations in the world. However, when it comes to doing business, Wal-Mart fails to demonstrate ethical business practices. This is mainly due to its utmost objection towards labor unions and its poor labor wages that affect its 2.1 million employees. My research concludes that Wal-Mart does not have a true concept of business ethics.
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