This assignment is a discussion of the topic of pricing in a business context. The discussion is based on Wal-Mart, which is a company operating in the United States of America. The issue of the main concern is to compare and contrast two articleson how Wal-Mart Company deals with its employees in regard to their remunerations and the pricing of its products.
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The topic of pricing of goods and services and employee relations within organizations is one of the topics which draw a lot of varying view points from various stakeholders, with each side taking a passionate stand.
Background Information about the Topic
The arguments about employee remunerations and pricing of products are centered on the issue of whether organizations should pass the baggage of reduced prices to their employees, with some people arguing that in a free market economy, market forces should be allowed to take their natural course while others argue that employers are not justified in reducing the wages of their employeesdue to reduced prices.
The topic is however very wide,and therefore, requires a wide coverage in research, which should combine both longitudinal and cross sectional studies so as to inform the policies and regulations of the international labor laws and regulations for the labor unions.
Information on Sources and Brief Summary of Articles
In an attempt to analyze this topic, various authors use various organizations and companies tosupport theirarguments. Some of the authors, who have attempted to give their views on the topic, are Robert B. Reich in an article titled‘Don’t Blame Wal-Mart’ and John Semmens in thearticletitled ‘Wal-Mart is good for the economy’.
As the titles of these articles suggest, both articles are based on the Wal-Martcompany. The article by Robert Reich is found in the Blair Reader, while the article by John Semmens is found in an online resource.
The article by Robert Reich talks about Wal-Mart and the pricing of its products. The author asserts that the company is justified in having the suppliers drive away the costs out of the supply chain so as to keep the prices of the goods as low as possible. According to Robert, the company heavily relies on Indian and Chinesemanufactures due to their low costs of production.
Theauthorargues that many of the Wal-Marts’ competitors and bitter rivals in business are using political propaganda to destroy a good image of Wal-Mart inthe eyes of the public, who are also its customers (Reich, 2005).
The author argues that the company should not be blamed for the way in which it does its business (relying on external manufactures and paying the employees low wages) but the American people should be blamed for theirconflicting interests in their purchasing behaviors, values and the desire for ‘good deals’.
The article by John Semmens is about capitalistic nature of the American economy and the world’s economy in general. The author puts forward a spirited argument in which he completely down plays the allegations made against the Wal-Mart company by providing the evidence that the allegations are not based on facts, rather on a smear campaign by rival companies to bring down the Wal-Martcompany. Thestrongest allegation by the rival companies and individuals is that Wal-Mart is a ‘corporate criminal’ (Semmens, 2005).
The author analyzes the allegations one by one, and proves them to be totally misguided, illogical, outdated, irrational and, therefore,unfortunate. He is of the view that the company should,in fact, be commented for its efforts to boost the living standards of many Americans, as well as providing job opportunities to massive populationsin America and across the globe (Semmens, 2005).
From the arguments in the two articles, the Wal-Mart company should not be blamed for the way it operates because its operations, practices, and functions are based on the general principles of capitalistic economy, and, therefore, its rivals should come up with strategies to increase their competitive advantage instead of engaging in petty, illogical, and unsubstantiated allegations against Wal-MartCompany.
Similaritiesof the Articles
One similarity between the two articles is that the authors support the Wal-Mart’s idea of offering its customers low prices. They are of the view that the American people and the world in general are in need of many such companies, which are ready to help in uplifting the living standards of many people through providing goods and services which are affordable, accessible, and of a good quality.
The two articles also agree on the fact that the company is not in any way exploiting its workers but it’s actually helping them. This is because the employees are not forced by the company to work there, but do this because it is their best option.
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According tothe authors of the two articles, therefore, the allegation that the company is exploiting the employees is simply aimed at damaging the good image of the company in the eyes of its customers. They both cite the good relationshipbetween the company and the surrounding communities, arguing that Wal-Mart is one of the few companies which have involved themselves in tangible corporate social responsibilityactivities.
Differencesof the Articles
One difference betweenthe articles is in the reasons which they give in their defense of the Wal-Mart’s practices. The article by John Semmens defends the company by arguing that the companyoperates under the principles of capitalisticeconomy.
Semmens argues that the company is free to offer low prices to the customers and look for alternatives of minimizing the costs of production, one of which includes using cheap labor, as well as relying on cheap costs of production (Semmens, 2005).
On the other hand, the article by Robert Reich defends the company by arguing that the Americans blame the practices of the company because they are not ready or are unable to solve their cognitive dissonance between theirdesire to have the ‘best deals in the market in terms of prices’ as customers and the best ‘deals in the job market’ asemployees.
Robertargues that the company uses external manufactures so as to offer the minimal prices as possible so that the American people can get closer to quenching their desire to have good deals (Reich, 2005).
Summary of the Whole Essay
This essay was about the low pricing of goods and servicesprovided byWal-Mart Company in the United States. The essay was based on twoarticles written by differentauthors. The first article was written by John Semmens,and it is tilted ‘Wal-Mart is good for the economy’,while the second article waswritten by Robert Reich and was titled ‘Don’t Blame Wal-Mart’.
Both articles support Wal-Mart’s idea of doing business in an aggressive manner and especially the strategy of offering the lowest prices possible on its goods and services.
Restatement of Thesis
Inthe two articles, the authors argue that Wal-MartCompanyshould not be blamed on the way it operates because its operations, practices, and functions are based on the general principles of capitalistic economy, and therefore its rivals should come up with strategies to increase their competitive advantage instead of engaging in petty, illogical, and unsubstantiated allegations against Wal-MartCompany.
Reich, R. B. (2005). Don’t Blame Wal-Mart. The New York Times.
Semmens, J. (2005). Wal-Mart Is Good for the Economy. The Freeman: Ideas on Liberty. Web.