Wal-Mart and Corporate Social Responsibility

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Wal-Mart and Corporate Social Responsibility

The Wal-Mart Corporation is a multi-billion dollar low-cost retail organization, consisting of 6400 stores and 1.8 million sales associates worldwide. Wal-Mart’s influence on the retail world and the enormity of their corporate size is unparalleled. Wal-Mart can easily report sales of $312.4 billion dollars per fiscal quarter and net profits of $3.8 billion dollars. Wal-Mart promises her customers "Always low prices. Always!" and upholds this motto by providing low prices to her customers and high return on investment to her stockholders. One way that Wal-Mart has managed to maintain a competitive edge over other low cost retail giants and provide low prices is by cutting wages and by not offering too many company benefits to their employees. Full-time employee working at Wal-Mart only make $8 an hour, while only 45% of the workers can afford to be covered by health insurance. Wal-Mart also increase part time employees from 20 percent to 40 percent so that they do not have to cover all of their employees for health insurance . Although Wal-Mart may not provide excellent benefits to her employees, it successfully performs as a legitimate business operating in a capitalistic society. Wal-Mart upholds the primary fiduciary duty to satisfy her stockholder and follows free the market libertarianism model, which states that a business should not interfering with the free market. In a free market Wal-Mart has a direct responsibility to her primary stockholders rather than the employees of a company.

According to philosopher Milton Friedman the only Corporate Social responsibility a

Corporation has is to increase profits for its stockholders. Through a utilitarian perspective, we can see that Wal-Mart is acts in a way to product the greatest possible balance of good over dissatisfaction for their stockholders. Wal-Mart upholds the fiduciary duties to their stockholders by not increasing wages of their employees, instead they take the sum of money and return it back to their stockholders and shareholders such as customers and suppliers. Wal-Mart creates the happiness for the amount of people who invest in the company. Ethics is about the consequences of an action and the consequence of Wal-Mart’s actions creates the greatest amount of good for the people who are the primary stockholders of the corporation.

We can argue that Wal-Mart’s pursuit of profits does not lead to the greatest collective good for society because many small business owners and Wal-Mart employees have to declare bankruptcy.

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