about walmart

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Companies go national due to overt opportunism. Companies gain leverage in the economy of the region and nation as they strive to develop and extend their businesses. Multinational corporations wield enormous power over diverse aspects of social, technological, and political life around the world. Multinational corporations exist in many countries and have common types of market practice, processes, and assumptions (Render, Heizer, & Munson, 2016). The global corporations are publicly traded, but they are run by a small group of executives and rich stakeholders. Market forces decide the price, availability, and output of products and services for companies. The multinationals have their base in prosperous nations such as Canada, Australia, Japan, United States and countries from the European Union. The companies increase the direct foreign investments in emerging markets. The corporations find it economical to operate in several countries that have fewer regulations, low labor cost, low tax, and other favorable conditions. The globalized multinationals are transformational and have no affiliation to a particular country. The expansion of the business results to gaining of power and influence. The economic power convergence creates a formidable influence in politics reflected in the national and global societies. However, becoming a global player involves a complex set of factors. One of the best examples of power and an explicit, systematic process of becoming global corporation is Wal-Mart Stores Inc.

Walmart Key Features

The Walmart Corporation started its operations after Sam Walton opened the first store in Bentonville Arkansas. The Walton family owns and operates the retail business. The family owns over fifty percent stake in the company (Wal-Mart 2016). The American multinational corporation is the largest retailer in the world. The corporation operates a chain of grocery stores supermarkets, hypermarkets, and discount department stores. According to Walmart report, the store operates 11,695 stores and clubs in twenty-eight countries around the world (Wal-Mart 2016). The company has the largest revenue of approximately $480 billion. Further, it world’s leading private employer with a total of 2.3 million employees around the globe.

Walmart was first listed on the American stock exchange in New York in 1972 (Wal-Mart 2016). It was the most profitable retail company by the year 1988. The company expanded its coverage in the South and Midwest until the early 1990s. Sam Walton led the expansion of the business from coast to coast resulting in the opening of Sam’s Club in New Jersey. Outside America, the company opened branches in Mexico and other parts of South America United Kingdom, Canada, Brazil, Japan, Argentina, and China (Wal-Mart 2016). However, the attempts to have established businesses in South Korea and Germany failed due to poor returns.

Effects on the political arena

The multinationals succeed in standardizing the worldwide neoliberal ideology that facilitates capitalism. There are an estimated 500 corporations that influence 70% of the global economy. Similarly, the increased number of multinationals results to political influence. The retail firms such as the Home Depot and Walmart are big spenders in political campaigns. Walmart, in particular, is the biggest retailer and largest private employer in the world. The position gives the Wal-Mart Inc. a considerable advantage in influencing product and labor market in the United States and other parts of the world. Wal-Mart draws upon the economic clout to exacerbate the inequity at the primary model of business operations.

Sam’s heirs own over half of the shareholders in Walmart Inc. plays a major role in the United States politics. Moreover, the Political Action Committee at Walmart allocated millions of shillings to support the conservative political candidates and causes. In the last five federal elections, the PAC spent an estimated $2 million to influence the federal elections. The firm faces a backlash from within the workforce and through scrutiny over donations. The company is facing litigation over the company’s power to influence elections. The case awaits determination at the Supreme Court in the United States. The Walmart spending in support of politics suggests that one of the profitable companies will influence future contracts in the United States and other economies. Funding campaigns leverage the firm’s economic power into law at the expense of democracy.

Walmart effects on social and environmental performance

Sociological impact of the Walmart Inc. has its base on different themes that include the low price model and outsourcing around the world. The low price causes other companies to outsource their manufacturing jobs that result in great pollution in underdeveloped countries. The company grew at an unprecedented rate with so many stores established abroad and at home. However, the corporate culture is not reconciling with the conservative roots and universal aspirations. The other theme is labor relations. The labor unions in the United States accuse the Walmart Stores Inc. of poor pay to its workers and crushing other businesses by opening mammoth stores (Tilly, Álvarez Galván, 2006). As the United States and world’s private employer, Walmart underpays its employees. The company faces litigation and strikes that affect the global supply chain. The other theme is anti-Walmart movements that seek to stop further expansion and exploitation of the giant retailer. The communities want to retain control and autonomy of their economy.

Also, the environmentalists accuse the company of neglecting the environment. Walmart has the power to influence the governments in emerging markets to enact laws that benefit its business instead of protecting the citizens. The economic globalization results to the exploitation of the local employees funnel essential resources away from its source into foreign countries (Dauvergne & LeBaron, 2014). The underdeveloped and developing countries through the influence of multinationals such as Walmart will continue to depend on the wealthy nations.

Social Economic and Environmental Responsibilities and Influence

The company claims to have created care of the environment. The allegations led to the establishment of recycling plants in the early business model. However the CEO, Lee Scott announced that sustainability at the company would be a staple program in the business decisions (Wal-Mart, 2005). The company instituted the 100% renewable, zero waste and more sustainable production process and output. To date, the initiatives continue to raise skepticism and praise in equal measures. The critics raise questions in regards to Walmart’s motivation and commitment to environmental sustainability. The Environmental Defense Fund and Conservation International are collaborating to fasten the changes at Walmart. Walmart views the collaboration as a way of engaging opposition and considers environment conservation as a priority.

Conclusion

In today’s globalized world it is hard to avoid the multinational corporation (MNC) as one the environment, social, cultural, political, and economic force. The big firms significantly influence the lives of billions around the world daily. The primary focus of multinationals, for instance, Walmart is to maximize profit (Render, Heizer, & Munson, 2016). Walmart employees a significant number of people offer goods and services at low prices and quality products to customers. On the other hand, accusations against the firm include environmental and cultural value degradation. The company grows its influence on the politics, social and ecological issues. The Company supports the social and environmental cause in the local community it operates. The firm is engaging opposition and consider environment conservation as a priority. However, as the business continues to grow and expand in other regions, it will continue to have the same influence in the economic, political and social aspect in the United States and Internationally.

References

Barbaro M. (2008). Wal-Mart's detractors come in from the cold. New York Times, June 5. Retrieved on 7 August 2017 http://www.nytimes.com/2008/06/05/business/05walmart.html?scp=1&sq=Wal-Mart%20Watch&st=cse

Dauvergne, P., & LeBaron, G. (2014). Protest inc: The corporatization of activism. (Protest Inc.) S.l: s.n..

Render, B., Heizer, J., & Munson, C. (2016). Principles of operations management sustainability and supply chain management. Boston, Pearson

Tilly C, Álvarez Galván JL. (2006). Lousy jobs, invisible unions: the Mexican retail sector in the age of globalization. Int. Labor Work. Class Hist.70(Fall):1–25

Wal-Mart. (2005). Twenty-first-century leadership. Presented by CEO H. Lee Scott. Oct. 24 http://walmartfacts.com/reports/2006/sustainability/documents/21stCenturyLeadership.pdf

Walmart 2016 Annual Report" (PDF). Walmart. p. 19. Retrieved 7 August 2017 from stock.walmart.com (PDF).

October 25, 2022
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Business World

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Company Opportunity Canada

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