(Due Date: 5pm on 29 April 2011)
Form yourself a group of 4 to 5 (only +/- 1 is allowed) working together on the case attached. The case report should contain not less than 3,000 words, but no more than 5,000 words, with all references, including journals, news books, internet links, stated (font size: 12, Times New Roman with 1.5 line spacing).
What do you do if you are the world’s largest company and most successful retailer but many of your stakeholders accuse you of a variety of misdeeds? What do you do if your mandate has always been to offer the lowest prices possible, yet the ramifications of those low prices upset people?
This case is designed to examine whether Wal-Mart was a good corporate citizen, a bad influence, or something in between, and how it might deal with the problems that plagued it.
Discussion will also involve the threads of ethics in corporate strategy, the discount retail environment, company expansion, and globalization. The case also examines corporate responsibility and corporation as moral agents; what constitutes an ethical dilemma; and whether businesses should adhere to a socially responsible approach to decision-making.
You may feel free to include the materials in the textbook / teaching notes as you think appropriate. The following serves to be framework for facilitating further discussion:
1. “Always low prices”: What are the ramifications of striving always to offer the lowest prices? Who benefits from this credo? Who does not benefit? What are the hidden costs of “low prices”?
2. By 2005, Wal-Mart had a network of 10,000 suppliers under constant pressure to lower their prices. What effect does this have on the suppliers and the customers, as well as other stakeholders? Are Wal-Mart’s techniques “clobbering” or “creative and innovative”? (Consider, for example, the fan manufacturer mentioned in the case that had to move its factory to China just to... [continues]
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