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Business Research Applications

By worker279 Dec 14, 2010 995 Words
Business Research Applications Paper

University of Phoenix

06/07/2010

I do not particularly work for any organization, but the organization I chose to research is Wal-Mart. The types of thing this essay will explain about Wal-Mart are how Wal-Mart conducts research, and how it can be used more effectively. This essay will also explain the current research Wal-Mart has conducted and will also include which areas that more research is needed for Wal-Mart in order for them to continue their business efforts in retaining the title of one of the largest retailers nationwide. As a company that is so well known, many businesses still try to compete with the way Wal-Mart works and conduct’s their research. There are many different types of research known as research methods. Some of these include but are not limited to qualitative and quantitative research.

Qualitative research is a set of non-numerical research techniques in which data is obtained from a relatively small group of respondents and not analyzed with statistical techniques. Quantitative research is a collection of numerical data in order to describe, explain, predict, and/or control phenomena of interest (www.ncrel.org). Although Wal-Mart is a big company, there are many down falls they tend to hold on to. Wal-Mart also uses many research methods to gather information about the store such as products, customer service, pricing, employee fairness, etc. One research method that Wal-Mart uses is a survey method. I don’t know how many times I have been to Wal-Mart and was given a receipt that stated to go online and complete a survey and I will be entered in to a sweepstakes.

Well, I didn’t win the sweepstakes, and the survey was basically just questions about the Wal-Mart store and which areas if any, needed improvement on customer satisfaction, employee fairness, and even about Wal-Mart’s pay scale. Wal-Mart is a big organization but in my opinion lacks the research skills needed to find better ways to handle the so many smalltime issues at hand. Many people have criticized Wal-Mart for the way they conduct business, wages, working conditions, and problems with insurance. Some activists also protest to new stores being built in certain locations and communities. During 2005, Labor Unions established new organizations and websites to help influence the public’s opinion about Wal-Mart. By the End 0f 2005, Wal-Mart created the Working family’s for Wal-Mart to counter criticisms made by other groups.

To gain a better understanding of the challenges of money management for people in the economy today, Wal-Mart commissioned Aite Group to conduct a study on undeserved individuals across the country. This study showed that paying bills in-person remains main stream among a large segment of Americans who make less than $45,000 in annual income per year. Wal-Mart’s new plan with the Walk-in-bill pay is another way that Wal-Mart is trying to put ease to the community. The research that Wal-Mart conducted helped them have a better understanding of the publics’ financial needs, which in turn helped Wal-Mart strategize a better and more convenient way for the public to pay their bills while paying a much lower cost to pay that bill.

As an area that I think Wal-Mart needs to conduct more research is with employee fairness and in the insurance area of Wal-Mart. Wal-Mart claims that they offer affordable insurance, but according to a memo written by Susan Chambers, Wal-Mart’s executive Vice President for Benefits, she states, “our critics are correct in some of their observations. Specifically, our coverage is expensive for low-income families, and Wal-Mart has a significant percentage of associates and their children on public assistance” (Chambers, 2005). Now with the executive vice president writing a memo on Wal-Mart, you would think this would send the message to reduce insurance cover costs and premiums for employees.

As for another area that needs more research is the pay wage at Wal-Mart. Wal-Mart neglects to address the issues revolving around the pay that employees receive. There is a lot of speculation on if Wal-Mart’s pay ratio is promising. Wal-Mart workers usually earn an estimated twelve percent less than retail workers altogether and fourteen percent less than workers in large retail in general. Many recent studies have found that a new company of Wal-Mart into a county would reduce both average and aggregate earnings of most retail workers and would reduce the share of retail workers with health coverage on the job. The impact is not only one of substitution of higher wage for lower wage retail jobs, but also a reduction in wages among competitors. As a result of lower compensation, Wal-Mart workers tend to make greater use of public health and welfare programs compared to retail workers as a whole, which will end up transferring costs to taxpayers (http://laborcenter.berkeley.edu).

These two topics are the ones that mainly stick out to me, and seem to need a lot more research to successfully find an answer to the many issues Wal-Mart faces each and everyday. Wal-Mart’s corporate office knows that critics are out there waiting for Wal-Mart to make a mistake so that they can capitalize on it and expose all of Wal-Mart’s little secrets to the public. In order for Wal-Mart to continue to make advancements in the retail business they first must address the issues surrounding their companies and employees, and find better alternatives in the way the company makes their money. Wal-Mart has to understand that the financial situations of the public are of most concern to the public people; considering the poverty levels within the public as well as the financial stress for the whole economy.

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