What does the reference of WalMart employees as ‘Wlalmartians’ indicate

Principles and Practice of Management

What does the reference of WalMart employees as ‘Wlalmartians’ indicate

Case (20 Marks)

In August 2008, WalMart Stores announced that its profit rose 17 percent in the second quarter and that it is raising its full year forecast. In a challenging economy, the world’s largest retailer benefited from low prices and its moves to cut costs. WalMart’s President and Chief Executive Lee Scott said that, “While inflation and higher fuel costs are pressuring suppliers, retailers and customers worldwide, we’re confident that WalMart is well positioned for this economy.” Chief Financial Officer Tom Schoewe attributed the better second quarter profits to tighter inventory controls, which led to fewer markdowns on merchandise. One of WalMart’s goals – which it successfully met – was keeping inventory growth at half the rate of its sales growth which it successfully met. In contrast, sales at department stores and specialty retailers were lagging behind. What is the key to such good results? WalMart overhauled its strategy. Instead of announcing any price increases to cope with the tough economy, the company slashed its expansion plans. It refocused on lower prices, improved the mix of merchandise offered, cleaned up its stores and provided friendlier and faster customer service. But there is more to WalMart’s success over the years than just tighter inventory controls and lower prices. WalMart is truly a great company. A strong organizational culture is the foundation for making a good company a great one. The secret to WalMart’s success has long been attributed to its strong culture. Analysts like Jim Collins believe that WalMart had the kind of ‘cultlike’ culture that is shared by all great companies. WalMart employees are referred to as ‘Walmartians’ which is a sign of a unique culture shared by them. This culture is responsible for a company of this magnitude to be able to sustain its entrepreneurial spirit decade after decade. Since its early days, WalMart achieved remarkable growth rates and was the first trillion dollar company in the world. In 1999, WalMart became the largest private employer in the US with 1,140,000 Associates. But with amazing success also came criticism. WalMart was sued many times and even held the record for being sued the maximum at one time. Its practices and culture were held responsible for killing small local retailers. It was also criticized for gender based discrimination, its overtime policies and using sweatshop products.

Answer the following question.


Q1. What does the reference of WalMart employees as ‘Wlalmartians’ indicate?


Q2. Discuss why WalMart was criticized and often sued.


Q3. Give the reasons for great success of WalMart, the retailer company.


Q4. Debate the importance of organizational culture in making the company great.

What does the reference of WalMart employees as ‘Wlalmartians’ indicate


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