“Wal-Mart: the High Cost of Low Pricing”

Topics: Social responsibility, Profit, Integrity Pages: 7 (2359 words) Published: September 18, 2012
The Hague University

“Wal-Mart: The High cost of Low pricing”
Assignment 2 of Business Ethics
Weis Karimi 2G 10045627 GBC
Claudia Kuo 2G 10081127 Sustainable Business Leonie Sander 2G 10021736 FBC
John Berendsen 3B 20062300 GBC

1. a)
A company doesn’t only consist of shareholder but also of stakeholders. In Wal-Mart case the four stakeholders in the video are:

* Customers
* Suppliers
* Associates (Employees
* Community

Customers influence Wal-Mart by buying their products. However, Wal-Mart doesn’t provide arm security on the parking lots which has cause to many incidences such as shooting, raping and kidnapping. Furthermore, Goods are being produced in low-wages countries where Suppliers employ millions of people to produce their goods cheaply for Wal-Mart. The workers in China get a wages of less than 3 dollars a day under poor working environment and overtime. In 2004, Wal-Mart imported 18 billion dollars from China. Furthermore, 189 000 young women are being employed in Bangladesh for sewing garnets, those women work 14 hrs a day for 0.13 - 0.17 cents an hour. Thirdly, we have the Associates which Wal-Mart claim to love and cherish. However, the work environment doesn’t seem to be good since a lot of employees do unpaid overtime and are on public assistance. Moreover, a lot of them can’t afford the 75 dollar Wal-Mart insurance since their pay is low. Wal-Mart says it employs 74 % as full-time but those people only work 28 hours a week which under normal work condition doesn’t count as full-time. The fourth main stakeholder is the Community which Wal-Mart claims to demonstrate citizenship and help with Charity events etc. The reality shows, that Wal-Mart destroyed small business by taking over the area and getting subsidiaries in high amounts to finance the whole project. Moreover, Wal-Mart has around 26 699 678 square feet of empty space which could be used to build schools. Furthermore, the company is also known for an environmental pollution through their materials which caused chemicals in water.

1. b)
I think the Associates are Wal-Mart’s most important stakeholder because they need them to maximise profit. Wal-Mart makes their associates conditional on them. Therefore, the employees do unpaid over-time and stay in the low paid job. Wal-Mart even assists them in how to get public assistance and manipulated their minds.

2. a)
The phenomenon of the behavior that Jim Bill Lynn chooses in the video is the behavior of whistleblowing. He chooses to report and expose the ethical violations to his employers or higher ranked managers. The management that he reported the violations to encouraged him to ignore the problem and desist from further action taking. He has chosen however to blow the whistle and tell and show an tv journalist about the violations that occur in the production facilities in the developing

2. b)
Yes this behavior does imply that he has a high degree of personal integrity. Whistleblowers usually are ethical persons or ‘virtuous’ decision makers. That Jim Bill Lyn has a high level of personal integrity can also be shown by the definition of integrity: Integrity is defined as an adherence to moral principles or values. Jim Bill Lyn’s opinion about correct working conditions is not affected by management opinions about the working conditions. He chooses to stick to his moral values although it could jeopardize his career at Wal-Mart. He is not only talking about his opinion about the working conditions but also trying to make things better. Because he is being consistent with his moral values and principles he can be seen as a person with a high level of personal integrity.

2. c)
* According to maxim 1, the first question would be to ask if we would want everybody to act according to Jim Bill Lyn actions. We can say that we do want that because we...
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