Walmart Case Study

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For this assignment, part four of the Walmart case study will be assessed. The following questions will be addressed in response. Why does Walmart prefer to recruit new store managers from its large pool of hourly associates? Explain how Walmart's employee diversity benefits the organization? What are some challenges of diversity? What federal laws govern the main legal issue raised in Dukes v. Walmart?

According to Cengage (2012), Walmart is the biggest employer across the world. Because of the chances of upward mobility, Walmart is considered a desirable place to work. For upper management positions, Walmart promotes three-quarters of its upper management from existing employees. A person can start out as a cashier and move up within the ranks of the company. Moreover, Walmart offers decent pay. The average pay is often above the minimum wage at ten dollars an hour. In addition, Walmart offers health insurance to part-time employees. 

Walmart has exerted a great amount of effort to garner faithful employees. The reason for their comprehensive employee program has to do with their demand for a competent and trained workforce, which is essential to run their massive corporate worldwide operations. If they have a faithful workforce, it keeps training costs down, which saves them money in the end. Also, recruiting employees from within the ranks helps keep employees motivated and keeps the rate of employee turnover down. 

Walmart is also known for its cultural diversity. According to Cengage (2012), Walmart  “employs more than 41,000 Asian associates, 171,000 Hispanic associates, 257,000 African-American associates, and 869,000 women associates” (p. 5). Walmart has won awards for having an ethnically diverse workplace. 

There are benefits of having a culturally diverse workplace. Different cultures have different approaches to problems, so they can enhance the process of problem-solving within the corporation. Also, employees of diverse cultures also bring with them skill sets that can help Walmart service its clientele more efficiently. For instance, Latino workers might speak Spanish, which will help Walmart service its Spanish speaking customers.

There are some challenges to cultural diversity. Some employees might not like the changes to their workplace and be resistant to new cultures and new ideas. Also, there might be more opportunity for conflict to arise simply because of misunderstandings due to communication barriers between cultures and differing viewpoints.

Unfortunately for Walmart, it seems that a recent lawsuit is tarnishing their otherwise sterling image that threatens their claim for maintaining and fostering a culturally diverse workplace. In Dukes vs. Walmart, Dukes sued Walmart on the basis of gender discrimination, explained Cengage (2012). Practically overnight, the lawsuit ballooned into a class action lawsuit with 1.6 million women claiming they were also subjected to discriminatory practices against women and has the potential to ruin Walmart. The lawsuit earned its class-action status because of complaints from women they were not given the same treatment as men, and they weren’t considered for promotions as often as men. If found guilty, Walmart will have been found in violation of the federal laws ” Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 [and] the Equal Pay Act of 1963” (U. S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, n. d., para. 1).

It seems Walmart has concentrated a great deal of time and effort into its employee program. Dukes vs. Walmart threatens to dismantle this massive corporate empire. As Cengage (2012) expressed, the lawsuit stands to set precedent for all corporations worldwide. Perhaps there are some reasons for pay disparity, such as men and women making different job choices that result in lower pay for women. Hopefully, Walmart can explain the discrepancy in pay between men and women in this manner, rather than the alternative being true.

References

Cengage Learning (2012). Walmart part four: Organizing world’s top employer ranks high on diversity and employee satisfaction—But not everyone “hearts” Walmart. Retrieved from http://www.cengage.com/resource_uploads/downloads/1111580243_335069.pdf  

U. S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission. (n. d.) Facts about discrimination in federal government employment based on marital status, political affiliation, status as a parent, sexual orientation, or transgender (gender identity) status. Retrieved from http://www.eeoc.gov/federal/otherprotections.cfm