The Good and Bad of Wal-Mart's Culture|Human Resource|Organization Behavior|Case Study|Case Studies

The Good and Bad of Wal-Mart's Culture

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This case study was compiled from published sources, and is intended to be used as a basis for class discussion. It is not intended to illustrate either effective or ineffective handling of a management situation. Nor is it a primary information source.

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Case Details:


Case Code : HROB037 For delivery in electronic format: Rs. 500;
For delivery through courier (within India): Rs. 500 + Rs. 25 for Shipping & Handling Charges


Organizational Culture
Case Length : 17 Pages
Period : 1943 - 2003
Pub Date : 2003
Teaching Note : Available
Organization : Wal-Mart
Industry : Retailing
Countries : USA


Wal-Mart was the biggest company in the world. With sales at a quarter of a trillion and over 1.3 million employees, it was the biggest retailing success ever. A lot of Wal-Mart's success was attributed to the strong and pervasive culture at the company, which was developed and nurtured by founder Sam Walton. In over four decades of operation, Wal-Mart managed to retain most of the elements of culture it had when it first started out, as well as the entrepreneurial spirit which often drives startup companies to success. The fact that the company's growth rate was often in double digits bears this out. Wal-Mart's culture was characterized by an orientation towards customer service and providing the best value at the lowest prices.

Human Resource and Organization Behavior | Case Study in Management, Operations, Strategies, Human Resource and Organization Behavior, Case Studies

Employee well being was also given a lot of importance and the company tried to project an image of a socially responsible entity.

However, despite the positive aspects and strength of the culture, there were a number of issues on which Wal-Mart was severely criticized. In the light of the number of law suits filed against the company, the top management realized that there were drawbacks in the culture of the company and began taking steps towards correcting them.


Trace the roots of the culture that supports the growth and success of a company; in this case, the largest retail organization in the world

Analyze the elements of culture fostered by a company and how they support the company in achieving its basic mission


  Page No.
'Good to Great' 1
Background 2
Walmart's Culture - Supporting Success 5
Human Resource Culture 7
The Darker Side of Walmart's Culture 8
Towards a Better Walmart 11
Exhibits 13

Key Words:

Wal-Mar, biggest company, world, sales, quarter, trillion, 1.3 million, employees, biggest retailing, success, strong, pervasive culture, Sam Walton, four decades, operation, entrepreneurial, double digits, customer service, best value, lowest prices, image, socially responsible, entity

Good to Great - Next Page>>


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