Walmart is a multinational retail company with its headquarters in the United States. The company was opened in 1962 by Mr. Sam Walton. Since then, the company has continued expanding its operations across the globe through franchises. Currently, the company operates more than ten thousand stores across the globe, including online stores. Moreover, the company has revolutionized the retail industry by making it easy for customers to access goods and services under one roof. However, this growth by Walmart and its revolutionary nature has been built and influenced significantly by the company culture. Organizational culture highlights the desired way individuals are expected to act. Subsequently, organizational behavior considers the values and beliefs of the organization that stakeholders are expected to abide by. Walmart’s culture can be assessed by studying online news websites, scholarly journals, company websites, and interviews with its employees. The following paper assesses the company culture through various sources.
Walmart is one of the largest companies in the united and across the globe. Subsequently, the company has generated considerable interest in the academic field. Subsequently, one of the research sources is a scholarly article by Gereffi & Christian, 2009. The article offers an analysis of the sociological impact of the company through four major themes; business model and organizational structure, the impact of Walmart on its labor, including its store workers and employees across its supply chain, influence of the consumer-driven economy on the growth of the company and the emergence and effectiveness of community mobilization against the organization. Therefore, the article offers an academic view of the company’s culture.
The research also considered the company’s website. The company website offers insights into the company values and efforts to encourage that its values are achieved across the organization and within its supply chain. Besides the company website, the research considers evidence from newspaper articles. The research integrates a news article presented by a reputable news organization. Using reputable sources was prudent in ensuring a practical assessment of the company culture. Finally, the research integrates the findings from an interview with a Walmart store manager. This move was critical in allowing the researcher to develop a firsthand record of the company’s culture, structure, and shortcomings. Additionally, the research integrates the findings of the company document, including its Culture Diversity and Inclusion Report Of 2016. The wide range of sources is bound to ensure that the findings are reliable and valid.
The research offers insight into some of the corporate culture values the company has espoused throughout its operations. The value espoused by the company includes promoting small-town values, hard work, conformism, and loyalty. The value of the company can be traced to its origins of the company in Arkansas. Arkansas is inhabited by the Ozark Mountains hence creating a sense of isolation and rural development, which acted as the building blocks for the establishment of Walmart by Sam Walton to cater to the everyday families which the founder felt were paused mainly to the back banner by the major retail companies which focused in high-end city consumers (Gereffi & Christian, 2009). In today’s society, these values are highlighted by the company’s vast network of branches, allowing it to meet the shopping needs of many consumers, even in small towns. Moreover, the company seeks to create a relationship between its corporate culture and American values. For instance, the company pursues values such as inclusion and diversity, critical components of modern liberal values in the United States.
The company also integrates its foundational belief in its operation and culture. The foundational beliefs of the company offer the benchmark for the company’s decisions and act as a means of ensuring that all members of the company are pursuing similar goals. The foundational beliefs include service to the customer, respect for individuals, striving for excellence, and acting with integrity (Walmart, 2022). The value that calls for a customer-centric approach ensures that the organization listens and responds to consumer needs and that the workers interacting with clients daily are empowered to ensure that clients receive the best shopping experience. Moreover, creating a corporation responsive to consumer needs has ensured that the company remains flexible and innovative (Walmart, 2022). This element is reflected in the company’s efforts to set up online shops after consumers indicated a preference for online shopping. Respect for an individual’s foundational belief is characterized by elements such as an inclusive environment, encouraging open communication, and effective listening. Excellence is achieved by emphasizing accountability, hard work, and fostering strategic thinking and approaches (Walmart, 2022). Moreover, the company fulfills the integrity beliefs by fostering features such as honesty, fairness, and courage.
One of the cultural elements that stand out from the research is the inclusive nature of the company. Walmart has instituted various measures that ensure that the company creates and retains a diverse and inclusive society. This element especially stands out in the United States, which is one of the most culturally diverse countries across the globe. This culture and desire to pursue inclusivity and integration of employees from different backgrounds is highlighted through the company hiring and recruitment processes. It was reported that between February and July of 2021, 55% of the recruits at the company were majorly people of color, with 25% of the corporate positions at the company being occupied by people of color(Alcorn, 2021). Creating a diverse and inclusive employment force allows the company to enjoy various benefits that contribute to its growth. For instance, diversity and conclusion create a sense of belonging, attract and retain employees, and offer the company insights into diverse cultures, enabling it to personalize its interactions with clients.
The importance of the diversity and inclusion aspect of the cultural organization at Walmart is also highlighted by the development of the culture, diversity, and inclusion movement. The movement’s objective is to create an inclusive culture that ensures all associates are engaged to deliver on purpose. The objectives include using data to assess progress and integrate culture, diversity, and inclusion into everyday aspects of the company (Walmart, 2016).
The research also highlights that the company has developed an organizational structure that allows for developing and cultivating the company culture and values. The interview with the store manager showed that the company operates a hierarchical and functional organizational structure. The hierarchical element ensures that every employee and manager has a superior except for the chief executive officer, who is at the structure’s apex. The functional element ensures that the organization divides its employees through their roles and specialization. Subsequently, the company has created different departments, such as the human resource and legal departments. This element fosters the development of the company values and beliefs and ensures that each member can be held accountable. For instance, the store manager receives policy information from the regional manager and is expected to implement and offer feedback to the regional manager, who passes the information to their superior. Moreover, the current organizational structure is suitable for fostering and reflecting the company’s values, such as conformity and hard work. For instance, the presence of an immediate superior ensures that the subordinate’s progress can be tracked, ensuring that they align with the company goals and values. Additionally, performance can be easily monitored due to the limited span of control hence making it easy for the company to institute change and ensure that employees keep working. Using a hierarchical and centralized structure is also essential in maintaining the conformist nature of the company and discouraging employees from being individualistic.
The interview with the store manager offered insights into the practice of Walmart’s corporate culture daily. For instance, to abide by the American values of hard work, the store manager asserts that employees are encouraged to report to work at least thirty minutes before the start of their shift. This element is geared towards ensuring that the employees are aware of their roles and expectations before the start of their shift, saving time and creating a compelling consumer experience. Additionally, the beginning of each shift is preceded by an employee meeting. This allows the store manager to communicate with employees over their expiations, such as targets, and to receive employee feedback. Moreover, new employees are often paired with experienced employees to foster conformity. This move is geared towards ensuring the employees adapt to the company’s operations. Moreover, during the team meeting, employees are often reminded of the company goals, such as ensuring sustainability, pursuing diversity, and creating opportunities (Walmart, 2022).
The paper offers an assessment of the corporate culture at Walmart. Walmart is one of the largest multinational retail companies globally and has headquarters in the United States. The research for the current paper assessed a scholarly article, news articles, company websites, company documents, and an interview with a Walmart store manager. The research findings assert that the Walmart culture borrows from its Arkansans, small-town origins. The company’s cultural values include hard work, inclusion, and conformity. Moreover, the company has developed a structure that ensures the achievement of its values and beliefs. Moreover, the store manager interview offers insight into the achievement of the company culture in the company’s everyday operations.
Alcorn, C. (2021, September 26). More than 25% of Walmart’s corporate officers are people of color, new report shows. CNN. https://edition.cnn.com/2021/09/25/business/walmart-diversity-report/index.html
Gereffi, G., & Christian, M. (2009). The impacts of Wal-Mart: The rise and consequences of the world’s dominant retailer. Annual Review of Sociology, 35(1), 573-591. https://doi.org/10.1146/annurev-soc-070308-115947
Walmart. (2016). 2016 CULTURE, DIVERSITY Y & INCLUSION REPORT. Walmart. https://cdn.corporate.walmart.com/8c/08/6bc1b69f4a94a423957d4c2162db/wm-cdireport2016-v27-reader-pages.pdf
Walmart. (2022). Working at Walmart. Corporate – US. https://corporate.walmart.com/about/working-at-walmart
Walmart. (2022). Purpose. https://corporate.walmart.com/purpose#:~:text=We%20aim%20to%20build%20a,and%20bring%20communities%20closer%20together