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Wal-Mart: Cross-Cultural Perspectives - Essay Example

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Wal-Mart: Cross-Cultural Perspectives

Corporate culture can be defined as ethical and behavioral standards and how they are communicated and reinforced (Corporatecomplianceinsights, 2012). Cultural issues can be detrimental to a company because they create friction, morale problems, and interpersonal conflicts. The company in Germany had disastrous results due to the poor leadership and incompetence of its managerial staff. During the nine years that Wal-Mart operated in Germany the company loss billions of dollars as a consequence of its ill advice expansion of 85 stores in a market that the company was not penetrating adequately due to its lack of cultural adaptation. Some of the reasons that Wal-Mart failed in Germany were strong competition, poor store locations, and ill-conceived acquisitions, cross-cultural mistakes, and miserable planning (Nipiersky, 2009). It is often tough for companies to accept that what worked in one marketplace may not easily transfer into another market. The ethical perspectives of Wal-Mart in other countries were put into question by its actions in Germany. In Germany the unions hold a lot of power, thus retailers have to work with them to become their allies instead of their enemy. “Germans generally see a closer link between labor unions and democracy” (Nipiersky, 2009). ...
Ethics involves decisions between right and wrong. The problem with operating in multiple foreign markets is that what is perceived as right by one culture may be viewed as wrong in others. The firm also did a terrible job in identifying the consumer habits in Germany. An example of a customer relations blunder was bagging the bags of the customers. Germans perceive bagging goods as an invasion of privacy. If the manager had performed their due diligence, Wal-Mart would have never bagged merchandise since the action is a waste of labor time. The firm is one of the most cost conscious companies in the world. Wal-Mart has to re-evaluate its cultural polices by performing better research and planning prior to penetrating a market. The firm must avoid automatically exporting U.S. policies into other markets because doing so can lead to cultural conflicts. The human resource and marketing departments of the company must receive cultural training. These two departments are instrumental in the handling of internal and external human relations. The company also has to provide cultural training to the managers of the company at all levels. Diversity in the workplace is a variable that cannot be disregarded by the employees of the company. The labor laws of a new country must be carefully studied by the managers of the company to ensure full compliance. A strategy that Wal-Mart must incorporate into its strategic planning is corporate social responsibility. Corporate social responsibility refers to the actions of companies that protect the environment and enrich the lives of the community around them. Donating money to social causes such as hunger is ...Show more
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Summary

Wal-Mart was founded by Sam Walton in 1962 (Frank, 2006). The firm since then has become a global leader in the retailing industry. Sam was a charismatic leader that was deeply involved in the day to day operations of the company. The business model used by the firm is cost advantage…
Wal-Mart: Cross-Cultural Perspectives
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