“Walmart: The High Cost of Low Price”
"Wal-Mart:The High Cost of Low Price," is a documentary film directed byRobert Greenwald an insider’s view of the retail industry giant.The retailer’s business model, which is based on pricecompetitiveness, has impacted negatively smaller retailers, localcommunities, suppliers, and its employees as narrated by affectedstakeholders.
The firm employs poor HRM practices that exploit employees in a bidto lower the wage bill. Some employees reportedly earn $14,000annually, an amount that neither guarantee a decent lifestyle norreflect the employer’s success. Other employees are also coercedinto working extra hours without pay. Clearly, the firm exploits thedesperation of Americans created by high unemployment levels to offerpoor wages and overwork employees, which is against proper managementapproaches.
Again, the firm’s low pricing policy in uncompetitive. Wal-Mart’ssheer size enables it to source goods from manufacturers at lowerprices than the small-scale retailers. Therefore, these small-scaleretailers, which play key roles as social actors in localcommunities, close shop creating a negative social impact thatWal-Mart cannot justify.
Corporations including Wal-Mart have legal and moral responsibilitiestowards their employees and other stakeholders. Uncompetitivepractices such as low pricing, poor wages, and poor workingconditions for employees are not justified. It is important for afirm to act ethically by enabling employees and stakeholders to shareand enjoy their success for a better and sustainable business model.Wal-Mart’s actions are thus not justified by any growth or profitsrecorded.
Personally, I think the film captures a darker side of Wal-Mart andother large corporations. It also serves as a learning lesson forother players to adopt ethical practices that improve the welfare ofits stakeholders as opposed to deteriorating it.
Greenwald, Robert. The Wal-Mart Effect: The High Cost of LowPrice. Los Angeles, CA: Brave New Films, 2005. Retrieved fromhttps://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RXmnBbUjsPs