Organizations are managed in ways that enable the workforce toachieve the set objectives and goals. Business management focuses onthe integration of various functions within the firm such asmarketing, human resource, and finance. The administration isessential as it allows a company to concentrate on addressing theneeds of the stakeholders and improve its performance in the market.Besides, it enables the managers to monitor and evaluate itspractices so that they can learn from their failures and reduce therisks to which the firm is prone. Investigating the management ofcompanies can assist in enhancing the understanding of howorganizations are run. The paper seeks to research on Wal-Mart Storesby focusing on its background, nature of leadership, ethics, andcorporate social responsibility. It shall also analyze its internalenvironment and forecast on the future position of the company.
Wal-Mart was founded in 1962 by Sam Walton who opened the first storein Rogers, Arkansas. He was inspired by the excellent performance ofa dime store that he operated, and thus decided to provide more valueto his customers and opportunity. When he began the retail store, hisaim was to give commodities at the lowest prices in any region in theworld. He expanded the business by opening more stores, and by 1967the Walton had managed to have 24 retail outlets. In 1969, thecompany became a public corporation that was known as Wal-MartStores, Inc. and was listed on the New York Stock Exchange in 1972. In 1975, Sam Walton visited the Korean manufacturing facility wherehe got inspired and launched the Wal-Mart cheer. Later, in the 1980s,the store began serving as a wholesale shop that served both smallenterprises, individual customers and eventually opened asupercenter. The company emerged as the leading retailer in Americain 1990. It also managed to become an international corporation byopening stores in Canada, China, and the UK. In the 20th C,Wal-Mart opened its online store that allowed customers to shop forcommodities over the internet. It also explored the Japan, Chile, andSouth African market. The company has continued to acquire otherbusinesses and engage in social responsibility activities such asdonations and promoting environmental sustainability programs. Thestore has achieved tremendous growth since in 2015 it announced tohave $2.7 billion investment. Its workforce is also enjoying a raisein their salary because their minimum wage is $9 per hour. The firmhas also managed to have more than 2.3 million employees worldwidethat enable them to serve its many customers. It also has over 11000stores in around 27 countries, which indicates the growth andexpansion that the company has acquired for more than the 50 years ithas been operating (Wal-Mart Stores, 2016).
2.2 Mission andvision statement
The mission of Wal-Mart stores is helping people to save money bylowering the cost of living and giving the world an opportunity tohave a better life. The vision of the company is to serve thecustomers better and continuously enhance their lives in the areas oftheir operation (Wal-Mart Stores, 2016).
The predecessor of Mike Duke as the CEO of Wal-Mart is Doug McMillonwho began serving in 2014 (O`keefe, 2015). McMillon is deeply rootedat Wal-Mart since he started working at the store when he was agraduate student. He then worked as a summer associate in 1984 at thecompany’s distribution center where his roles included loading andunloading trucks. He also served in 2006 -2009 as the president andCEO of the Sam’s Club (Ghazzawi, Palladini & Martinelli-Lee,2014). McMillon applies the transactional and transformationalleadership styles that had been implemented by the founder of thestore, Mr. Sam Walton. Transactional leadership is where the managerrewards the employees for their effort and achievement of the setgoals while transformational involves implementing change thataffects the lives of the people and the society and provides a firmwith a new direction and vision (O`keefe, 2015).
The CEO is a successful leader for the company because he conductsfrequent visits to the stores where he directly interacts with themanagers and the employees. According to O’Keefe, (2015), McMillonarrived at Wal-Mart pickup grocery store which is the newest retailexperiment sites in the US. He conducts a tour of the facility thatenables him to have a better understanding and the reality of thebusiness operations. The visitation is an element of transformationalleadership as it allows the CEO to take swift actions on areas thatdirectly affect the performance of the firm. The associates are alsomotivated to remain focused on achieving the objectives of thecompany when they meet the top management. McMillon is a successfulleader because he focuses on visionary leadership. It is argued thathe has an all strategy that involves allowing the customers to shopany products from anywhere in the world by combining the online speedwith the Wal-Mart’s store space. Besides generating profits for thecompany and achieving excellent performance in the global world, theCEO is also concerned about his workforce. He recently announced theincrease of the minimum wage of his employees to $9 and $10 in thefollowing year (O`keefe, 2015). The action shows that he is notfocused on the needs of the organization, but appreciates thecontribution of his workers in putting Wal-Mart in its currentposition.
3.0 Ethics andCorporate Social Responsibility
Wal-Mart Inc. understands the value of incorporating ethicalpractices in its operations. The morals are essential as it enablesthe management to have a workforce that conducts uniform practices inall its stores in the world. Since the foundation of the company,ethics has always been a fundamental issue in running theorganization. Mr. Sam Walton, the founder of Wal-Mart, said thatpersonal and moral integrity is an essential element that must bepracticed by all stakeholders of the company (Wal-Mart Inc., 2016).The firm has undertaken various initiatives that ensure the ethicalculture is integrated within the organization. One of the measurestaken by the management includes the development of ethical policiesand channels within the corporation that allows the stakeholders tohighlight any moral concerns to the attention of the administration.The organization also conducts an ethics education forum for theirassociate that is aimed at building ethical behavior globally.
The company also participates in activities that enable the firm toimprove the lives of the community as per its mission. For instance,during the hurricanes Katrina and Rita in 2005, Wal-Mart participatedin disaster relief by providing supplies to the affected individuals(Prieto, Phipps & Addae, 2014). The organization is alsocommitted to promoting environmental sustainability by developingenvironmentally friendly products and applying renewable energy inits facilities. Later in 2010, Wal-Mart Inc. supported agriculture byimplementing programs that boost local farmers while at the same timeenabling their consumers to access high-quality and fresh products.It also engaged in a project that allowed the firm to hire dischargedveterans within the first year of active duty to work in theorganization. The corporate social responsibility initiatives haveenabled Wal-Mart to achieve its objective of enhancing the lives ofpeople.
4.0 SWOT Analysis
-High investment ability
-Implemented innovative technologies
-Reduced profit margin
-Involvement in multiple lawsuits
-Difficulty to maintain consistency in the management of the business
-Exploring new consumer markets
-Partnership with companies in providing other services
-Promotes good health habits and wellness trends in society
-Fear of a recurring recession
-Increased resistance to expansion
The financialreport of Wal-Mart shows that it generated around $482 billion inrevenue in the year 2016 (O`keefe, 2015). The financial position ofthe firm indicates that it is capable of investing the income invarious projects to enhance the performance of the enterprise as wellas promoting its growth. The company has also managed to develop arecognized brand in the international market that has even promptedmost customers to remain loyal as they want to be associated with thefirm. The company has also invested in innovative technology thatenables the company to manage its operations and support online salesand inventory tracking.
Wal-Mart sellsits products at reduced prices which result in reduced profitmargins. Recently, the company has engaged in multiple lawsuits whichcould damage the reputation of the firm in the global market. Theexpansion of the business to over 27 countries and the operation ofmore than 11,000 stores make it difficult for the organization tomaintain consistency in its management practices and decision-making(Timilsina, 2015).
Wal-Mart canexplore unexploited consumer markets since other markets have shownthe ability to achieve success. The company can also partner withother firms and engage in the provision of their services such astraveling as a diversification of the products that generate moreincome (Zwiebach, 2012). The increased sales of food items and freshgroceries also encourage a large population to prepare their foodwhich could transform to healthy feeding habits in the society.
The primarythreat that Wal-Mart faces is increased competition from internetretailers as well as other established firms such as Tesco (Glandon &Jaremski, 2014). They can attract more customers if they provide themwith a better offer. The danger of another recession happening alsoposes a threat because it results in reduced purchases that translateto reduced sales and profit level for the company. There can also beincreased resistance to engage in more expansion of the business fromthe local organizations or authorities thus hindering the growthpotential of the firm.
5.0 Forecast ofWal-Mart
Based on thecurrent research of the company, Wal-Mart future position entailsembracing modern technology in the provision of its services andproducts to their consumers. For instance, the organization isplanning on how to integrate transport networks such as Uber in thedelivery of goods to their online customers (O`keefe, 2015). Thebusiness also appears to be implementing strategies that minimizecompetition such as wage increment to retain its employees. It seemsthat incorporating latest technology and highly skilled workers shallenhance the firm’s ability to provide better services to customers.It is also committed to making a social change by encouraging peopleto embrace healthy feeding habits by providing fresh groceries (Lynn,2015).
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