Ethical Principles in Wal-Mart Employment practices

Ethical Principles in Wal-Mart Employment practices
Ethical Principles in Wal-Mart Employment practices

Ethical Principles in Wal-Mart Employment practices

Order Instructions:

you must using 3 of 5 reading materials, i give .

and you must write 2 argument and 1 counter argument.
1 – Fiduciary Principle
•Is concerned with money and finances
•Each officer has a legal fiduciary duty to act in the best interests of the stakeholders and other employees within the firm.
•An implied fiduciary duty for every employee to act in a way that generates positive benefits for the firm.
•Examples: conflicts of interest, good faith efforts for carrying out responsibilities. Prudence with the company’s resources, loyalty.

2 – Property Principle
•Based on the belief that every employee should respect property as well as the rights of the owners of the property.
•Expected that the employee should be a good steward to the resource that he/she has access to. •Examples: theft, misappropriation of funds, wasting resources, misappropriation of intellectual property

3 – Reliability Principle
•Based on the belief that it is the employee’s responsibility to honor the commitments he or she has made to the firm.
•Examples: breaching a promise or contract, not fulfilling a promised action, ensuring that suppliers and other business partners are paid in a timely manner

4 – Transparency Principle
•Based on the belief that every employee should conduct business in a truthful and open manner.
•Assumes that employees will not make decisions based on a personal agenda.
•Examples: keep accurate and current records of business obligations, fraudulent and deceptive actions of the employee, financial information is presented in a truthful and accurate way

5 – Dignity Principle
•Based on the belief that each employee needs to respect the dignity of all individuals.
•Encourages the enhancement of human development not only within the company and the marketplace, but also in the society at large.
•Examples: ensuring the human rights of health, safety and privacy.

6 – Fairness Principle
•Based on the belief that stakeholders who have a vested interest in the firm should be treated fairly.
•Reciprocal fairness
•Fair exchange – getting paid a fair wage for an honest days work.
•Distributive fairness
•Equity – all groups (sex, gender etc.) get paid the same for the same work)
•Wages are distributed fairly amongst the various positions in the organization
•Fair competition
•Avoiding price wars, bribery and collusion.
•Procedural fairness
•Stakeholders are treated fairly and whistleblowers are protected

7 – Citizenship Principle
•Based on the belief that every employee should act as a responsible citizen in the community.
•Expected that employees respect the laws of the community – criminal, competition, environmental, corporate social responsibility.
•Examples: Taking a universalist approach and doing the right thing even when no one is looking.

8 – Responsiveness Principle
• Based on the belief that employees have a responsibility to respond to the requests for information about the operations from various stakeholders.
• Expected to react in a timely manner.
• Examples: disclosing who your suppliers are or how your goods are being produced.

Assessment task
Based on the Learning Portfolio assessment, write a 1000 word academic essay addressing the question below. Students should include six (6) to ten (10) scholarly references which include at least three (3) of the Five Required Resources found on vUWS in the Assessment Tasks sub-folder called Essay – Week 14, as well as any other references that may help them support their arguments. That is, only references that have been cited in-text should be listed in the reference list.
The essay should have a clear structure which includes:
1. An introduction that:
a. Includes a few general statements about the topic to clarify your interpretation of the question;
b. Includes a thesis statement that presents your position on the topic; and
c. Outlines the main points that support your position.
2. A body that:
a. Includes a series of logically developed arguments that support your position and
b. Ensures that each argument and/or sub-argument is supported by descriptive, analytical and normative ethics which is elaborated upon.
3. A conclusion that:
a. Summarises the main points discussed in the body of the essay;
b. Restates the thesis statement; and
c. Includes a final comment that does not introduce any new ideas.
4. Cohesive text that aids with the logical flow of the arguments presented.
5. A reference list which is alphabetical order by authors last name and includes only the resources that are used in the body of the text (i.e. in-text citations)
Note: This assessment will evaluate what students have learnt throughout the semester.
You must use at least three (3) of the Five Required Resources and the Paine et al (2005) article.


Ethical Principles in Wal-Mart Employment practices

Ethical principles in business practices refer to the measure of relations (good or wrong) observed from adhering to the international business standards like employees’ rights protection. Notably, employees include direct and indirect employed population, which depends on direct wedges or pay such as Wal-Mart (international retailers) purchases. Following diverse businesses and organizations venturing into the market, Wal-Mart relation to labor force is guarded by the Global Business Standards (GBS), which observes the employer-employee relationship internationally. Therefore, ethical principles are usually monitored by GBS to the extent of its control. This implicates that some organizations and companies violate some ethical principles unnoticed, hence affecting the employment chain of dependency (direct and indirect employees) (Bielby 2003). Positive applications will be addressed on Reliability principle and Dignity principle application on Wal-Mart employments, while Negative argument will address Wal-Mart failures from applying Fairness principles in its operations. Therefore, this paper seeks to investigate some positive application of ethical principles in Wal-Mart, while reflecting on some negative aspects perceived in some ethical application.

First, Reliability principle has been positively applied in Wal-Mart operations as supported by Hemphill (2008). This has been evident on employees and suppliers commitment towards maximum output of Wal-Mart sales. Specifically, employees are paid an average salary compared to other retail competitors. In addition, Wal-Mart considers average benefits for its employees such as healthcare cover while ensuring punctuality in their payment achievements. This has been widely related to the current reliability on its 1.8 million employees for maximum performance (Hausman & Leibtag 2005). On the other hand, Wal-Mart relies on its Suppliers for every day to day business.

Suppliers have developed the reliability principles such that delivery of products and raw materials to Wal-Mart is mandate. Irrespective of location of the Wal-Mart store, suppliers fulfill their supply obligation at the negotiated prices. To ensure a simultaneous reliability of Wal-Mart to its suppliers, payments are accomplished as agreed (Hemphill 2008). This has led to long sustainability of supply chains, which have indirect related suppliers and producers depending on the supplies. Notably, punctuality in accomplishing payments of both suppliers and employees has developed Wal-Mart reliability principles, a concept transferred to customers. Wal-Mart customers have developed a notion that cheap and affordable items are acquired from Wal-Mart stores (Neumark et al 2005). Reliability on cheap items from Wal-Mart has also increased its competitiveness by making low class people depended on its cheap products.

Secondly, Dignity principle has been evident in Wal-Mart whereby, self-respect is practiced among individual employees. This principle enables sustainability measures among individuals, extending from the organization itself to its market grounds, while involving its environment too (Fishman 2006). Notably, dignity principles ensure good public relations through employee confidence and believe. This relates dignity principle application to transparency principles where employees keep organizational goal and objectives by avoiding centralism, internalization, and personal interests. Therefore, dignity through transparency principles keep employees fully informed while motivating them towards work under no supervision. Good public relations are therefore attained, reflecting more customer attraction.

As noted by Fishman (2006), Wal-Mart has realized employee satisfaction through transparency and dignity principles applied in financial information. Increased believe in employees performance under no supervision has been evident in Wal-Mart, while transparency in financial matters has motivated employee performance as supported by Neumark et al (2005). More so, employees get open and direct information on business obligations aligned on Wal-Mart’s business schedule. Employees get a free working atmosphere while applying dignity in performance following transparency in the organization programs.

Fairness principle makes the third GBS principle which has been applicable in Wal-Mart stores. However, this principle has not been perfectly working in the day to day operations of Wal-Mart, since failures have been evident in several fields. For instance, good public relations have been diminishing, sex segregation has been indirectly observed, suppliers have been pressurized to give low supply costs, and employee benefits have been widely reduced to the remaining healthcare cover only (Tilly 2007). These statements illustrate direct failure of the Fairness principle in Wal-Mart operations and employments.

Gender discrimination has been evident in most Wal-Mart stores in both women and men employees in different locations. For instance, women are discouraged from higher positions like managerial positions, a concept which is usually twisted to sound as health concern by the men leaders. As noted by Besen and Kimmel (2006), promotion of ladies in workplace is not materialistically achieved, even though it’s denoted in Wal-Mart principles. Therefore, ladies seeking for high wages are turned down smoothly but on gender bases of ladies incapability (Blau 1984). Men on the other hand are also oppressed under this Fairness principle in store duties. Women are never called in to off load tracks, even though on similar line of duty and payments as their counterpart men (Bendick 2003).

Also, Wal-Mart has practicing poor Fairness principles by putting pressure on suppliers to lower supply prices, even though it is not usually a consistent practice. From diverse perspectives, employment can be addressed from all relations, direct or indirect resulting to Wal-Mart being the end buyer. Therefore, all costs related to Wal-Mart purchases affect different dependents irrespective of the region, implicating that low purchase price reduces the producer chain salary and wages as a result. For instance, the stores were reported to lower their purchase prices on a few items, while rising purchase price for other commodities. For example, lowering of supply prices led Rubbermaid, one of the Wal-Mart’s initial suppliers to run bankrupt as noted by Tilly (2007). These practices have been affecting their suppliers respectively, even though such Wal-Mart’s practices have not been directed by their competitors’ prices (Basker 2005).

Lastly, Wal-Mart has been practicing negative Fairness principle in reducing the number of benefits it offers on its employees compared to other retailing organizations. This has reflected to low salaries with their employees suffering oppression in the denied employee benefits (Tilly 2007). In Mexico for instance, Walmex (Wal-Mart in Mexico) practices the fewest employee benefits strategy, a concept which has reduced average employees’ pays to low percentages when compared to other retail competitors.

From considering the three ethical principles in Wal-Mart practices, their viability effect can be deduced from the investigation addressed above. Therefore, Wal-Mart has successfully been practicing Reliability principle and dignity principles through transparency in its operations. These principles have motivated it employees to maximum production, while also motivating the suppliers through punctuality in payments. However, Wal-Mart has not been successful in implementing Fairness principle in its operation. This has led to gender segregation, low employee benefits and low price on suppliers leading to bankrupt of some suppliers like Rubbermaid. Amendments on Wal-Mart’s relations to employees, suppliers and customers would be critical for its future progress.


Basker, E 2005, Selling a cheaper mousetrap: Wal-Mart’s effect on retail prices, Journal of Urban Economics, vol. 58, no. 2, pp. 203–229.

Bendick, MJ 2003, The representation of women in store management at Wal-Mart Stores, Inc, January.

Besen, Y & Kimmel, MS 2006, At Sam’s Club, no girls allowed: the lived experience of sex discrimination, Equal Opportunities International, vol. 25, No. 3, pp. 172-187

Bielby,W.T. 2003, Expert Report, in Dukes et al. v. Wal-Mart Stores.

Blau, F. 1984, Occupational segregation and labor market discrimination, in Reskin, B. (Ed.), Sex Segregation in the Workplace: Trends, Explanations, Remedies, National Academy Press,Washington DC, pp. 117-43.

Fishman, C 2006, The Wal-Mart Effect and a Decent Society: Who Knew Shopping Was So Important?, Academy of Management Perspectives, The Wal-Mart Effect, Penguin Press

Hausman, J & Leibtag, E 2005, CPI bias from supercenters: Does the BLS know that Wal-Mart exists?, National Bureau of Economic Research, Working Paper No. 10712, August 2004 (revised June 2005).

Hemphill, TA 2008, Demonizing Wal-Mart: What Do the Facts Tell Us?, The Journal of Corporate Citizenship, Autumn, 31, p. 26

Neumark, D, Zhang, J, & Ciccarella, S 2005, The effects of Wal-Mart on local labor markets, National Bureau of Economic Research, Working Paper No. 11782, November 2005.

Tilly, C 2007, Wal-Mart and Its Workers: Not the Same All over the World, Connecticut Law Review, vol. 39, no. 4, pp. 1805-1824

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