Corporate Social Responsiblity and Wal-Mart

Topics: Ethics, Business ethics, Corporate social responsibility Pages: 3 (914 words) Published: January 7, 2012
Corporate Social Responsibility and Wal-Mart
Corporations deal with a wide variety of social issues and problems; some directly related to their operations, some are not. Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) can be defined as “the actions of an organization that are targeted toward achieving a social benefit over and above maximizing profits for its shareholders and meeting all its legal obligations” (Ghillyer 78). If this is the case, establishing appropriate and practical ethical guidelines in the workplace seems to be a reasonable request as a basis for corporate operations. Wal-Mart should be an example in determining what constitutes the values associated with its fundamental purpose of Corporate Social Responsibility. The four components of CSR are financial, legal, ethical, and philanthropic (Barnett). These areas of CSR ought to exist within every company’s infrastructure; however, the organization’s primary focus is usually on performance and profit not on social conscientiousness.

Financial being the first component of CSR is often the major factor in a company’s consideration of ethical standards. The main goal of any business is to keep its costs low and to earn a profit. Financial responsibilities in regards to CSR means that society expects that a corporation will produce needed goods and services that are desired by customers and sell those goods and services at a reasonable price while still earning a profit. The organization strives to be efficient and profitable along with keeping the best interest of the shareholders in mind (Barnett).

Financially, the Wal-Mart Corporation is a multi-billion dollar industry with close to two million employees worldwide. On the positive side, Wal-Mart’s motto is “Always low prices. Always!” They uphold this motto by providing low prices to consumers with a high return on investment to satisfy stockholders. On the negative side, with jobs currently being scarce, Wal-Mart seems to manage keeping costs low...
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