Wal-Mart’s Power: In Economy, Society, & Technology

Powerful Essays
Wal-Mart’s Power: In Economy, Society, & Technology

No one can deny Wal-Mart as the corporate superpower of this generation. A company that has international interests, its power in today’s world is overwhelming. Taking a closer look into the giant’s superpowers we are able to specify exactly how Wal-Mart interfaces with the world and exerts it power therein. In doing this it must first be determined what power is. Sociologists have identified three distinct faces of power. The first is power to direct action. The second is to set agendas and decide what is to be discussed. Finally, the third power is the ability to shape desires. By examining how it is that Wal-Mart exerts power in these ways, it is possible to qualify just how strong its effect on the world today is.

Wal-Mart certainly has the power to direct action. Within the economic arena, of course, they provide many jobs and their demand for products also creates jobs, which raises manufacturers’ need for more labor. But, Wal-Mart also utilizes its own tactics to affect the economical balance of its customers. Wal-Mart is known for their Everyday Low Prices (EDLP); their guarantee that instead of big sales, their customers can come in and get what they need for less. According to Kathleen Seiders and Glenn B. Voss, authors of From Price to Purchase, “Advocates claim that everyday pricing increases customer loyalty, improves inventory management, and reduces labor and advertising expenses.” However, that reassuring EDLP might not be as helpful as it seems. It turns out Wal-Mart doesn’t necessarily guarantee the lowest price on all items, simply the ones at the end of the aisles and in center displays, the other models are often more expensive than other st...

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