Introduction to Business: Walmart

Topics: Wal-Mart, Ethics, Discount store Pages: 7 (1856 words) Published: January 15, 2011
Unethical Business

Ethics is defined as beliefs about what is right and wrong or good and bad in actions that affect others.( Therefore, unethical behaviour is behaviour that is believed to be bad or wrong actions or decisions. Other definition about ethics is ‘the activity of examining the moral standards of a society, and asking how these standards apply to one’s life and whether these standards are reasonable’ (Velasquez, 1998; pg 11). Ethics are based on personal or social beliefs. Furthermore, these beliefs are our moral standards, and moral standards differ among individuals. Thus, no one can say with certainty that a particular action is right or wrong and good or bad.

Business ethics refers to ethical or unethical behaviour of a firm’s employer. Unethical business refer to decision made by employer with getting maximum profit as the main reason and other parties such as employees and customers receives negative effects. For example, a firm advertises their product as the best brand compared to other brands with the same type of product, but the product’s quality is not as good as it purported in the advertisement.

2. Wal-Mart

Wal-Mart is the largest American corporation that runs discount department stores. It was found in 1962, Arkansas, USA by Sam Walton. It was incorporated on October 31st, 1969. Furthermore, Wal-Mart is the largest private employer in the world.

Wal-Mart owns and operates Sam’s Club(, Wal-Mart Stores Divisions U.S., and Wal-Mart International. Wal-Mart has nine different formats of retail business, which is, supercenters, food and drugs, general merchandise store, small markets, cash and carry stores, membership warehouse clubs, apparel stores, soft discount stores and restaurants.(

Wal-Mart also offers private label store brands. Private label store brands are products offered by Wal-Mart which usually has the lowest price compared to other brands that offers the same product in the store. These brands are produced by subsidized contracts awarded to the lowest bidder. Wal-Mart’s private label brand includes Sam’s Choice, Great Value and Equate.

3. Discrimination

Companies are responsible for any problems in regards to their employee’s welfare. Employees with high position jobs should give proper treatment and avoid discrimination to other employees with less paid jobs. Employees who apply for a position in a firm should not be subjected to discrimination because of their national origin, race, gender, or religion. The Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibits such forms of discrimination. (Madura, J. 1998)

To estimate that a certain company is practicing discrimination against a certain group, is by looking at how that certain group is distributed within the institution. There are three kinds of comparisons that show the practicing of discrimination. They include; comparisons between the average benefits that the discriminated group gets and the average benefits of other workers, comparisons between the level of jobs and comparisons of advantageous positions between the discriminated and the normal labours.

However, as an established company, Wal-Mart is not responsible to its workers. In fact, the three kinds of comparisons can be clearly seen in its management. They have been discriminating against women, minorities, and the disabled workers. Furthermore, Wal-Mart’s staff has also been discriminating their customers, racially(. This is very unethical, as the company cannot survive without their clients or customers. By discriminating and making offensive actions racially to customers, customers will switch to the firm’s competitor as the services provided are not satisfying. Moreover, some customers sued Wal-Mart for not being ethically responsible.

1. Discrimination Against Women

In today’s modern world women have started working...
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