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Collaborative Approach to Managing Workplace Conflicts at Walmart Inc. in United States

Wal-Mart utilizes a smart and deliberate strategy to block union action in its US shops, and when that plan fails, it quashes organizing wherever it begins. Targeting union organizing, Wal-Mart has developed a complete set of corporate institutions, procedures, and techniques (Talleyland, 2020). Anti-union efforts begin as soon as a new employee is employed, and the firm spends a significant amount of time and money beating the anti-union drum throughout the organization (Talleyland, 2020). Because of this, Walmart’s management and workers have a difficult time working together. The disagreement at Walmart may be overcome, however, with the implementation of a collaborative governance strategy.

Public Problem

Many organizations and people, including as trade unions and small-town activists, have attacked Walmart’s activities and business practices and the consequences they have on the United States (Emerson & Tina, 2015). In addition to allegations of racial and gender bias, the company has been slammed for everything from environmental exploitation to anti-competitive activities to its treatment of suppliers. There was no wrongdoing, maintained the corporation, and the cheap pricing are the product of their efficiency.

Workers’ unions formed new groups and websites in 2005, like Wake Up Walmart (United Food and Commercial Workers), Walmart Watch (Service Employees International Union), and Walmart Payback (National Retail Federation) (Emerson & Tina, 2015). Walmart formed Working Families for Walmart at the end of 2005 as a countermeasure to such organizations. In the same year, the company launched a public relations effort that featured multiple television ads to rebut criticism. With Edelman’s help, Walmart was able to engage with bloggers and the press by providing them news and proposing subjects for their posts, as well as asking them to visit their corporate headquarters.

How to Convince the parties to collaborate

Creating a clear and compelling cause.

Walmart’s employees must be given a compelling reason to join the company’s objective in order to build a cohesive team. Employees will be more motivated to work hard for the firm if it has a compelling goal that they can get excited about (Emerson & Tina, 2015). Members of the team naturally become as enthusiastic about the objectives and goals as their leaders when they have a clear and compelling purpose to work for. It is impossible for a team to succeed if its members do not care about the aims and objectives that have been set forth for them. Walmart partnership can only succeed if the company’s goal and purpose are clearly defined.

Communicating expectations.

As a minimum, Walmart teammates must be informed about the importance of collaboration. In order to do this, Walmart teammates must be given clearly defined roles and duties for both themselves and the team (Emerson & Tina, 2015). Each member of the team will be able to work more efficiently and avoid treading on the toes of others if they have a clear grasp of their role. In a collaborative setting, each member of the team learns what it means to participate in the responsibility for achieving the desired outcome (Bingham, 2021). Having this kind of concentration, what begins as an individual objective becomes a crusade, and the sensation of victory shifts from an individual triumph to one that builds comradery and morale.

Fostering cohesion between team members.

More successful teams have a high degree of cohesion. Everyone on the team is involved in as many major decisions as possible, and this has led to their success (Bingham, 2021). As a result of their increased sense of belonging, Walmart employees who experience this sort of inclusion are more motivated to do their best work. Teams should have daily huddles in which each member shares their aims and objectives for the day in order to be the most productive (Bingham, 2021). This ensures that there is no duplication of work or competition within the team. Team members may refocus their efforts as necessary in these huddles, which keep everyone on the same page with regard to the game plan.

Individuals that should be involved

Direct and regular involvement with Walmart’s clients, employees, local leaders, and the individuals who provide their goods, hold their stock, and review their performance will be critical to the retailer’s capacity to produce shared value in the future (Bingham, 2021). It is important for the company’s goods and services to be relevant and effective for its stakeholders to provide their input. It is possible that Walmart’s ESG priority evaluation includes significant outreach to stakeholders such as clients and suppliers to get an understanding of the concerns Walmart should prioritize in the future.

Designing and implementing the collaborative governance process at Walmart

Despite the fact that collaboration in theory implies an integrated collection of stakeholders working together to create and execute initiatives and governance regimes, in reality the process might be more transactional than really collaborative (Bingham, 2021). Too frequently, collaboration takes place just when choices need to be made or new activities need to be implemented, rather than in a continuing, interconnected, and continually engaged way across the organization. Deep cooperation, on the other hand, is characterized by regular contact that results in the development of common knowledge, purpose, values, and actions. This lends itself to the generation of communal knowledge and thought, which may then lead to acts that challenge the status quo.

Due to the changing contexts of many collaborative actions and the complexity of Walmart’s entire portfolio, transactional collaboration may be more practical at Walmart than the idealistic objective of deep collaboration (Bingham, 2021). However, cultural variations (operational culture, indigenous culture, etc.) need the deep cooperation linked with conscientious collaboration in order to build common understandings of the issues and management settings to be tackled in collaborative ventures (Bingham, 2021). When it comes to social-ecological systems, which comprise numerous dynamics functioning on diverse and asynchronous time scales, and where change occurs at different speeds in the natural, indigenous and bureaucratic sub-systems, this is extremely relevant.

Benefits of Collaborative Governance

As a result of collaborative governance, Walmart’s stakeholders will work together to continuously improve, establish commonality, and synchronize their actions. Walmart’s model of governance may be characterized as a willingness to make trade-offs and compromises (Bryson et al., 2013). The adoption of collaborative governance is important for the clarification of roles and functions among workers in organizations. Walmart’s markets may be developed via the use of collaborative governance, which can also incorporate new stakeholders that were previously excluded from the policy-making process (Bryson et al., 2013). Additionally, Walmart’s collaborative governance might include central coordination, coordinating, checking, and supervision functions.

Obstacles to collaboration at Walmart.

Developing trust among team members

Without open communication, it is almost hard to create trust among coworkers, and trust is an essential component of teamwork (Bryson et al., 2013). Building a foundation of trust takes time. However, it is vital because it will allow Walmart employees to operate in an atmosphere that is favorable to development, synergy, and productivity.

Employee hesitation and lack of compliance

Some employees prefer to work alone since it allows them to concentrate better. It may, however, lead to a lack of communication and isolation among the team members (Bryson et al., 2013). Individual workers may lose out on crucial information from their coworkers, preventing them from improving their work processes. In certain cases, workers opt to continue with obsolete ways or utilize external platforms that might put critical data at danger (Bryson et al., 2013). If team leaders cannot demonstrate the value of cooperation, their colleagues won’t feel motivated to do so either.

Opportunities to convince parties to collaborate.

Shared experience and collaborative learning are possible outcomes of collaborative governance. It may guide the development of organizational capacity both inside and outside of organizations by either building a network of dependent or supporting contributors or recruiting individuals with a variety of talents and characteristics. Walmart and other stakeholders may work together for the mutual benefit of both sides (Bryson et al., 2013). Organizational transformation and resource reallocation will also arise from a commitment to cooperation. A healthy collaborative governance model at Walmart also includes workers and managers who have a role to play, either via access to resources and talents or simply by working toward a shared objective.

Ideal means of decision-making in collaborative governance

The goal of Walmart’s collaborative decision-making process is to bring together the perspectives of all relevant parties and, as a result, arrive at the most objective conclusion possible. It is common for collective choices to vary from those made by individuals, as is the case here (Bryson et al., 2013). Group choices, however, do not seem to routinely outperform individual ones. In addition, it seems that choices made in groups are influenced by group dynamics, interpersonal relationships, the division of responsibilities, and other psychological and cognitive aspects.

Cooperative thinking is particularly necessary when making judgments on conflict management, economic activities and sustainable development alternatives because of the complexity and polarity in the variables and interests involved (Bryson et al., 2013). As a result, managers and specialists participating in the assessment of Walmart’s business choices should get familiar with the process of decision-making design.

Convening and facilitation of collaborative governance

Walmart’s managers in the United States should assemble the organization’s stakeholders including employees, suppliers and deliberate how they can manage the conflicts that occur at the organization. Walmart’s investors should be at the fore front at ensuring the facilitation of the collaborative governance meetings.

Ensuring diversity at Walmart

Walmart has to do more than just implement diversity initiatives in the workplace. Effective efforts need clear communication and follow-ups. As a result, Walmart’s rules must take into account the diverse demands of its employees. When employees have problems about their workplace treatment, they should be free to approach their managers with any questions or concerns they may have.

Making assertions and utilizing inclusive language might help Walmart managers feel secure in their interactions with their staff (Lawrence-Brown & Muschaweck, 2004). Managers may begin by establishing open and courteous internal communication channels using this method. Every department should have a dedicated diversity task force to recruit and educate new employees, as well as to solicit input from the diverse workforce on a regular basis. As a result, everyone in the team has a clear understanding of what is expected of them.

Ensuring sustainable collaborative governance

Adaptability, reactivity, and resilience are essential to a long-term collaborative strategy. As Walmart faces its problems, sustainable governance will be an effective method to enhance Walmart’s competitiveness and financial performance (Lawrence-Brown & Muschaweck, 2004). Based on this knowledge, a method for controlling the development of a supply chain all through lifespan via adaptive decision-making and action may be termed as a sustainable collaborative governance. A proactive response to unplanned or unpredictable occurrences, events, or perturbations may be coordinated throughout the whole supply chain without requiring major adjustments to daily business operations (Lawrence-Brown & Muschaweck, 2004). To get to a greater degree of income generation, cost savings, risk mitigation, and enhanced competitiveness, the supply chain as a whole might be guided by it.


Even the most serious disagreements may be solved by working together to find a solution. Solutions integration, marching viewpoints, commitments and learning more about the other parties and the dispute itself are the main actions in collaboration. They play a crucial role in introducing teamwork into Walmart initiatives via their management (Lawrence-Brown & Muschaweck, 2004). Continuous engagement by the management ensures that the project progresses step by step through the many stages of collaboration, which involves a constant building and re-building of connections. In order to ensure the success of the project for all stakeholders, Walmart’s management need to create a cooperative, rather than hostile, working atmosphere for everyone involved.

Managing Workplace Conflictses

Bingham, G. (2021). What is Consensus‐Building and Why is It Important for Resource Management?

Bryson, J. M., Quick, K. S., Slotterback, C. S., & Crosby, B. C. (2013). Designing public participation processes. Public administration review, 73(1), 23-34.

Emerson, Kirk, and Tina Nabatchi (2015). Collaborative governance regimes. Georgetown University Press.

Lawrence-Brown, D., & Muschaweck, K. S. (2004). Getting the Collaborative Process Started. Catholic Education: A journal of inquiry and practice, 8(2), 146-161.

Talleyland. (2020). Collaborating: Finding common ground for multi-party problems. Collaborative Designs for Solving Shared Problems.


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