Wal-Mart, although one to the largest and most productive organizations in the world, faces many threats and challenges. Critics and groups everywhere are lining up to take shots at this global giant and destroy its image. Some of Wal-Mart’s current challenges can be seen in daily operations, its internal and external environment, product sourcing, healthcare, wages, communities, diversity, employee benefits, and social challenges. Though these challenges or weaknesses pose a very large threat to the organization, they also pose great opportunities to turn them into strengths. If these challenges are met correctly, Wal-Mart stands to gain a great amount of profit and respect among its critics. Priorities for the 21st Century
In Lee Scott’s “Wal-Mart: Twenty-First Century Leadership” address he discussed several priorities he felt Wal-Mart must improve upon. These priorities established through the use of strategic management included the environment, product sourcing, healthcare, wages, communities, and diversity. In Scott’s address he insisted upon staying true to founder Sam Walton’s vision statement; to help people all over by doing what was right for the country while recognizing the opportunity for better business. With the vision statement always in mind, Wal-Mart has still received continuous criticism. The criticism mostly comes from customers, associates, citizen groups, government leaders, non-profit and non-government organizations, and other concerned individuals. In order to better understand the source of the criticism and the impact Wal-Mart has on the world and society, Scott, along with several other executives spent a year meeting and listening to their critics. By consistently LISTENING Scott and his team discovered their critics don’t want Wal-Mart to stop conducting business, but they believed business practices needed to be changed. This meeting to understand the critics’ opinions became very informal and important because Wal-Mart is a leader in business and has experienced tremendous success like no other of its kind. This success has put Wal-Mart in a great position to make a big impact in societies all across the globe. Another crucial factor that made an impact on Scott was hurricane Katrina. Scott saw his company utilize their resources to make a major difference in the lives affected by Katrina. He saw Wal-Mart at its best during this trying time and responded immediately when asked for help by communities, government, and relief agencies. This made him begin to think, what if we could be at our best all the time? He began to think that the things Wal-Mart had been criticized for could potentially aid and help everyone around the world. Turning a once thought of and criticized weakness into a strength. Strategic Management
As a result from Katrina and the year round meetings with critics, the priorities for Wal-Mart to improve on were discussed thoroughly during the process of strategic management. In the past Wal-Mart looked at these priorities with a defensive attitude or just overlooked them. Now, with the use of strategic management and SWOT analysis, Scott and his team realized that in order to build a better company for the future the priorities must be seen as a means to becoming the best and innovative company in the world. Strategic management provided them the opportunity to identify and describe strategies they can perform in order to achieve better performance and a competitive advantage for their organization. By conducting SWOT analysis they were able to identify and capitalize on strengths, minimize and approve upon weaknesses, make use of opportunities, and not ignore threats but face them as they come along. Strategy
By taking all the information and insight from their critics, the formulation of strategies for Scott and his team to choose the best course of action to achieve Wal-Mart goals and objectives while staying within the vision were developed....
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