Does it matter to you, as a potential customer or a potential employee, if Walmart has acted unethically? Why or Why not?
We will write a custom Essay on Walmart Corporation’s Business Ethics in Mexico specifically for you
301 certified writers online
Walmart’s issues regarding ethics raise concerns among potential customers and employees. As a customer, I always try to seek products and services that were developed through sustainable processes. I find my responsibility as a citizen to support businesses that care for communities and make efforts for their wellbeing. Of course, the prices matter as well, and I usually look for the best combination of cost and quality. However, Walmart’s pricing policies demonstrate the goal of receiving more revenues rather than offering the best deals to customers. I would not choose a product if I knew it had been manufactured with violations of essential human rights, even if this product is comparatively cheap. As a potential employee, I find the working conditions in Walmart rather disturbing. I would not choose this company as a place of work while there are other options in the market. Extra hours and low wages should not be the price for the customers’ attraction. Besides, since Walmart positions itself as a company exercising corporate social responsibility, their ethical issues appear to be twice as adverse.
For a corporation as complex as Walmart, with some activities that can be described as unethical and some as ethical, is it ever possible to make a blanket ethical judgment about its operations?
Though it is impossible to make a blanket judgment regarding Walmart’s ethical issues, the company’s business processes should be carefully analyzed for determining the real reasons for various operations. For instance, Walmart is known for spending a portion of its revenues on charitable campaigns, with donations being one of the biggest in the U.S. However, this strategy might be targeted at gaining a positive image among the potential customers and receiving more money as a result. Instead of taking care of its promotion in such a way, Walmart should draw its attention to internal issues like the ones concerning their working conditions. It is hard to estimate whether the corporation benefits society more by spending money on charities than it could do by providing career opportunities for thousands of Americans. While fundraising organizations usually offer financial support to a single person, businesses can give opportunities for one worker to feed the whole family. However, this matter cannot be properly evaluated. Thus, the blanket ethical judgment should not be applied to the company.
How might Walmart executives defend their actions after they learned of the bribery in Mexico? Would your judgment change if bribery was a common business practice in Mexico?
The bribery scandal has indeed undermined Walmart’s position in the market. The need for the executives to defend their actions is evident, for they are the ones responsible for the damage to the business’s reputation. The difficulty in making the business global lies in the requirement of following the local countries’ policies and values. Practices that are prohibited in the U.S. may be a standard practice in other parts of the world. There is no secret, for example, that many American and European countries move their production lines to Asia, where workers are treated much worse than they would be in the West. However, this fact does not raise any concerns. Walmart’s executives could use this example to defend themselves, pleading that bribery is normal and widely exercised in Mexico. Nevertheless, I do not find this excuse to be consistent enough. Walmart’s corporate social responsibility code states that its business is highly ethical. I believe that their values must be applied throughout all the business processes, starting from the product design and finishing with selling it to the customer. The bribery scandal demonstrates that Walmart does not stay true to these values. Even if the bribery practice is widespread in Mexico, it should stay only at the local level.