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Reference no. 706-043-1
Prize winner
Published by:
London Business School (2006)
17 pages
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Having grown into one of the world's largest companies, Wal-Mart has become the object of attack from many critics. One of the principal areas of criticism concerns the manner by which the company manages its global supply chain. The case begins with the example of a lawsuit filed by an activist lawyer on behalf of a number of plaintiffs from various countries, which serves to introduce the supply chain controversy. As a background, the case examines Wal-Mart's business model in some detail. The case then presents an overview of the range of issues related to Wal-Mart's supply chain policies and practices. The case concludes with a description of the ways with which the company is attempting to respond to its critics, that is, with particular attention to its code of conduct as well as its most recent initiatives in the area. Key questions for analysis and discussion are: (1) given its business model, can Wal-Mart change its corporate practices for the better? (2) does it appear to be doing the right thing with the various initiatives it is undertaking? (3) what else might the company do? and (4) what should it do?


Corporate responsibility; Business ethics; Retailing; Supply chains; Globalisation; Mainstreaming corporate responsibility; Labour practices; Sweatshops; Environmental impacts


The events covered by this item took place in 2005-2006.

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