Wal-Mart Research Paper

Topics: Wal-Mart, Minimum wage, Employment Pages: 7 (2709 words) Published: June 22, 2013
A Change Initiative for Wal-Mart
Jennifer Ratcliff
Kaplan University

This paper will focus on a change initiative for Wal-Mart. Next, this paper will analyze how this change will impact the people, products, and processes. Then this paper will focus on the people portion, and provide recommendations to position this change initiative in a manner that results in high performance. Finally this paper will conclude with a summary of how the recommended approach to the change initiative will result in organizational excellence.

A company’s image is very important. It shows how a company is viewed as a whole. Wal-Mart has gotten a bad reputation, and many consumers have stopped shopping there because of this image. The change initiative will be to change consumer’s image of Wal-Mart. The public perception can really affect a company’s profit. According to Margot and Rachel (2011), A 2006 marketing report by Walmart’s then-advertising agency described the public’s view of Walmart as that of a “bad corporate citizen who doesn’t treat employees well and isn’t acting as a good citizen of the planet” (p.62). To change Wal-Mart’s Image they will need to change employee’s wages, increase staffing or don’t cut hours, and change the atmosphere.

The first change that needs to happen is employee wages. Wal-Mart needs to look at the cost of living in each community where they are located, and pay a competitive wage. Costco pays its employees a competitive wage, and their profits have increased. Ungar (2013) states the following: In an identical economy, how do we explain Costco’s growth vis-à-vis the failures over at Walmart? Here’s a crazy thought—might it have something to do with the fact that Costco pays nearly all of its employees a decent living (well in excess of the minimum wage) while Wal-Mart continues to pay its workers as if their employees don’t actually need to eat more than once a week, live in an enclosed space and, on occasion, take their kids to see a doctor (para. 3). If Wal-Mart paid its employees more how would it impact the people, processes, and products and services? The impact on the people would be positive not only to the employees, but the consumers as well. It would raise employee morale. When one goes to Wal-Mart now, one can tell the employees don’t want to be there, and it’s hard to find someone to help. I have heard employees actually say, “They don’t pay me enough to help these people.” Ungar (2013) sums it up best about employee attitudes by stating, “and with those on site being paid a wage so low that it is difficult to expect much in the way of pride or motivation” (para. 6). If the employees got paid a competitive wage it would motivate the employees to take pride in their jobs. This would lead to better customer service for the consumer. So in a sense it would not only be positive impact for the people, but would be great for Wal-Mart processes regarding the customer. The impact on the products and services would be the employees would take pride to answer any questions on these items and other services. Also, Wal-Mart can raise wages without having to raise prices on products. According to Bivens (2006) state the following: Wal-Mart could raise wages and benefits significantly without raising prices, yet still earn a healthy profit. For example, while still maintaining a profit margin almost 50% greater than Costco, a key competitor, Wal-Mart could have raised the wages and benefits of each of its non-supervisory employees in 2005 by more than $2,000 without raising prices a penny (para. 3). Wal-Mart would not need to raise prices. There would be no impact on the products, or the consumers, or the process of everyday low prices. Plus, it would be a step in increasing their public image.

The next change increase staffing or reduce cutting hours is another step in rectifying their image. Wal-Mart now has more stores operating and not enough staff to...

References: Bivens, J. a. (2006, June 14). The Walmart debate: A false choice between prices and wages. Retrieved from Economic Policy Institute: http://www.epi.org/publication/ib223/
City Data.com. (2008, December 1). What can Wal-Mart do to repair its downtrodden image? Retrieved from City Data.com: http://www.city-data.com/forum/great-debates/503609-what-can-wal-mart-do-repair.html
Corelli, C. (n.d.). How to create a high performance workplace. Retrieved from Christine Corelli and Associates: http://www.christinespeaks.com/leadership-high-performance.htm
Harrison, M. (2004). Diagnosing Organizations : Methods, Models, and Processes (Applied Social Research Methods) (3rd ed.) Sage Publications
Margot, M., & Rachel JC, C. (2011). Can Walmart integrate values with value?: From
sustainability to sustainable business. Journal Of Sustainable Development, (5),
Ungar, R. (2013, April 17). Walmart pays workers poorly and sinks while Costco pays workers well and sails: Proof that you get what you pay for. Retrieved from Forbes: http://www.forbes.com/sites/rickungar/2013/04/17/walmart-pays-workers-poorly-and-sinks-while-costco-pays-workers-well-and-sails-proof-that-you-get-what-you-pay-for/
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