The Ethics of the Wal-Mart Model

887 Words Oct 16th, 2012 4 Pages
The Ethics of the Wal-Mart Model There are many opinions on the ethics of the Wal-Mart model, both favourable and unfavourable. The article “ROB Ranks Wal-Mart Among Canada’s Best Employers” (McLachlan, 2009, pg. 287) offers a favourable viewpoint of the model, and the article “The Cost of Walmartization” (McLachlan, 2009, pg. 288) offers an opposing unfavourable view. This paper discusses the theoretical approaches used in each article, along with the supporting evidence that was used in an effort to be convincing.

“ROB Ranks Wal-Mart Among Canada’s Best Employers”
This article celebrates Wal-Mart being rated by ‘Report on Business Magazine’ among the top employers in Canada. The author uses a teleological approach in describing
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(McLachlan, 2009, pg. 288) This equal treatment of everyone, especially females, is also an example of cultural relativism as gender discrimination is immoral and illegal in Canada, whereas in another culture, it may be encouraged.

“The Cost of Walmartization”
This article is written using an enlightened self-interest approach. The author describes Wal-Mart behaving in a way that increases its own benefits, with the outcome of their actions being the most important consideration. An example of this is the author’s notion that Wal-Mart’s low prices are due to “the exploitation of its workers” (McLachlan, 2009, pg. 289), “systematic use of ‘maquiladoras’ in conditions of extreme exploitation” (McLachlan, 2009, pg. 289), and Wal-Mart’s threat to move production to China to obtain lower prices. In this article, the author implies that Wal-Mart’s actions demonstrate that they are not concerned with finding the most ethical behaviour; they are merely interested in the action(s) that most closely achieve their goal to remain the “biggest chain of direct sales to the consumer in North America”. (McLachlan, 2009, pg. 289)

Rebeiro also uses a teleological approach, namely act-utilitarianism. According to our textbook, this theory “focuses on judging actions...based on their immediate consequences to all the individuals involved.” (McLachlan, 2009, pg. 80) An example provided by the author is Wal-Mart’s decision to “utilize new

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