Wal-Mart is a multi-billion dollar international department store chain that has grown to be one of the largest companies in the world and employs nearly 2.1 million people (Fortune 500). Domestic to the United States, Wal-Mart has always been a very democratic business focused on the masses and the meeting of their needs in the most convenient ways possible. It is for this reason that Wal-Mart falls perfectly into the stakeholder model of BGS. The stakeholder model is defined as “an entity that is benefitted or burdened by the actions of a corporation or whose actions may benefit or burden the corporation” (Steiner & Steiner, 2009 11 ed. P. 16). The corporation has an ethical duty toward these entities. These can be divided into two categories based on the nature of the relationship. The first group consists of primary stakeholders who are a small number of constituents for which the impact of the relationship is immediate, continuous, and powerful on both the firm and constituent. They are stockholders, customers, employees, communities, and governments. The second group consists of secondary stakeholders who include a possibly broad range of constituents in which the relationship involves less mutual immediacy, benefit, burden, or power to influence. Examples are activist groups, trade associations, and schools (Steiner & Steiner, 2009, p. 16). The clearest and most simple example that shows how Wal-Mart takes a stakeholder approach to BGS can be found on the Wal-Mart corporate website. Within the culture section of the website the user can access to the three basic beliefs and values of the corporation which are: respect for the individual, services to customers, and striving for excellence. These same ideas are included in the basic training package for all incoming employees. According to these examples of engrained stakeholder mentality on an employee and customer service level the basic idea of Wal-Mart corporation speaks to the values of a stakeholder model, which is convenient one-stop shopping with affordable prices across the board for families on the go www.walmartstores.com. Due to Wal-Mart’s dependency on middle class market interaction and financial success that makes shopping more prevalent Wal-Mart is affected most by the economic environment. The economic environment is defined as consisting of forces that influence market operations, including overall economic activity, commodity prices, interest rates, currency fluctuations, wages, competitors’ actions, technology change, and government policies (Steiner & Steiner, 2009, p. 35). Wal-Mart employs nearly 2.1 million people nationwide, has over 4,000 locations in just United States, and has been placed in the top 100 on the Forbes Fortune 500 list for over ten years. However, having such growth is a double edged sword that also leaves this corporate giant at the mercy of the market and those that participate in it. An obvious example of this can be seen in Wal-Mart’s stock prices from 2008 during the United States reality crisis and peak of recession, where Wal-Mart stocks fell below $42.00. The stock price since then has not fallen below $52.00 and closed out on February 15, 2012 at $61.76 (markets. Retrieved February 16, 2012).On the flipside of being so dependent on the economic environment, Wal-Mart also has a great economic power that comes with its size. The text book defined economic power as “the ability of the corporation to influence events activities and people by virtue of control over resources, particularly property.” Also because of its size and influences, Wal-Mart can affect both deeper and surface levels of society through its economic power. On the surface level, Wal-Mart’s economic power can be seen through its ability to beat competition by making products at lower prices. Another example of Wal-Mart’s’ economic power at surface level can be seen during 2008 when Wal-Mart was forced to close locations in the...
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