Is Wal-Mart's Stated Vision Aligned With The Needs Of Their Stakeholders?
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Have you ever been in love before or just started dating someone and everything is fireworks all the time and the other person can do no wrong? Then after a couple of weeks or months that original feeling you had starts to fade or fizzle and you come back down to earth and evaluate your needs, desires and goals? To me, after reading “Wal-Mart’s Midlife Crisis” It seems to me Lee Scott, current CEO of Wal-Mart is trying to stay in business by starting a new relationship everyday with out working on his current relationships. I know that idea may sound a little silly, but stick with me for a minute. Since his hiring in 2000, the reputation of Wal-Mart (no fault of his) has had a major reputation problem as well as rising over head and declining sales. But instead of facing his existing problems with failing stores and how to boost sales and concentrate on each store as an individual, he would just rather open up a new store everyday for the next 3 years. Part of the negative backlash is that there already is too many stores.
In May of 2008 Starbucks announced they were going to close 500 stores. This was due to over saturation- and a growing reputation of high priced coffee. What was once thought of as being part of the scene and having a cup of gourmet coffee was now just perceived as expensive bitter coffee. Too much of a good thing always comes with a back lash. There are so many Wal-Marts that they compete with them selves. In 2004-2005 major issues were brought to the eyes of the public about the “cost of low prices”. Many employees were given no medical benefits, and encouraged to apply for Medicaid (A medical benefits program administered by states and subsidized by the federal government. Under this plan, various medical expenses will be paid to those who qualify) through Wal-mart management. Women employees were proven to be discriminated against and overlooked for opportunities. Employees were encouraged to work off the clock for the fear of being replaced. Sweat shops were exposed in China of deplorable living conditions that actually had the workers living in dorms inside of the factory working 7 days a week. Any organization of employees, were thought of by management as conspiring to unionize and so often employees were fired. A big problem was that Instead of challenging these accusations, they decided to go about business as usual and these problems would eventually be fixed or go away.