Cultural Norms for Wal-Mart

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Wal-Mart emphasizes low prices, not sales and unlike competitive flyers, they use professional models. Wal-Mart focuses on ordinary people including their associates. The flyers also devote an inordinate amount of space to community oriented and patriotic topics. Unraveling the symbolic puzzle presented by the distinctive elements of Wal-

Mart flyers draw our attention to the importance of retail and retail symbolism. Published research offers many reasons for Wal-Mart's success in the US market. Its exemplary growth has been attributed to the large size of the US market. Sam Walton, Wal-Mart's founder recently pasted away flyer an airplane, was the reason why Wal-

Mart does so well. The theoretical framework driving the semiotic analysis is institutional theory (Meyer & Rowan, 1977. This theory suggests that because consumers respond positively to family, community and national institutions, retailers can reflect the corresponding norms in functional and symbolic acts. A retail firm and its environment are seen interpenetrate each other to extent that a retailer's actions reflect the economic and cultural moral norms of the environment. These norms are cognitive guidance systems, rules of procedures that actors employ flexibility to assure themselves and those around them and those around them that their behavior is reasonable. These environmental norms are of two forms, and they are called: task and institutional. These task norms reflect the organization's economic environment to which it responds with functionally related per formative action. Retailers are not only integrated into environment systems comprised of hard-wired economics. Institutional theory also recognizes that retailers are immersed in an institutional environment in which constituents make cultural and moral demands (Scott, 1987).The institutions of family, community, religion and nation are complex cultural systems that contain taken for granted...
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