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Wal-Mart's Women

Case #6 - Business Ethics

James Tabalingcos

on 2 April 2013

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Transcript of Wal-Mart's Women

Case #6: Wal-Mart's Women BUS810M CUDIA, Ralph Lester
TABALINGCOS, James Michael
UY, Jefferson I. Introduction & Case Synthesis
II. Pre-Analysis Matters
III. Ethical & Other Frameworks
IV. Alternative Courses of Action
V. Recommendation
VI. Implementation Plan
VII. Learning Points
VIII. Recent Events Sequence of the Presentation Introduction > We all know Wal-Mart
- World's Largest Retailer
- Over 1.5 million employees worldwide
- Unique and Distinctive Culture > What's the Issue?
- Female Employees of Wal-Mart
- A case was filed sometime in 2002 by 6 (former) employees of Wal-Mart (Dukes, et al., v. Wal-Mart)
- The employees alleged, among others, that Wal-Mart was sexually discriminating them through salaries and promotions Pre-Analysis Matters Point of View: Wal-Mart Top Management

1. Time Period: Early 90's to Mid-2000;
2. Focus Area: Gender Issues of Wal-Mart;
3. Data: Which Gender Promotes which?
4. We Are Men! Problem(s):

1. The case filed against Wal-Mart (short-term);
2. The issue of sexual discrimination (long-term).


1. Deal with the case (seek a favourable decision or enter into a compromise agreement);
2. Address the issue of sexual discrimination NOW, so as to prevent future problems, either through policy changes, cultural re-shaping, etc. Analysis/Areas of Consideration Case Study Questions 1. What financial impact do you think the lawsuit could potentially have on Wal-Mart?

- Landmark Case = Future Lawsuits;
- Back pay and compensation of over 1.6M Female Employees (past and present) 2. What are the major moral complaints on the females suing Wal-Mart? Do you believe these moral complaints are justified? Why?

- Salaries and Promotions
- Of course, it's justified
- For the simple reason that we are in a different period of time and/or era where one's role in society is no longer (or, rather, should no longer) be limited to one's gender 3. What factors do you think might account for the discrepancies the Drogin report uncovered?

- Problem with "averages"
- Other "female" reasons 4. What, if anything, do you think Wal-Mart should do to correct these discrepancies? Should the company institute an “affirmative action” promotion program for female employees? If so, what should this program be like?

- Re-shape Wal-Mart's Culture
- Any drastic action towards the promotion of women in the workplace should be avoided
- Put in black and white the basic criteria for giving promotions and salaries, among others 5. Do you think the women deserve to win their lawsuit?

- Abstain. 1. Markkula Framework
2. Risk Analysis
3. Criteria Weights Adherence to Ethical Standards (40%)
Minimum Risk (15%)
Effect on Sale/Profit (25%)
Effect on Employee Morale (20%) Alternative Courses of Action ACA #1: Revise the company policy on performance assessment, promotion, and salary increases to promote gender equality, as well as re-shape the culture of Wal-Mart. Advantages:

It would address the call of the female employees to eliminate a perceived gender inequality issue in the workplace.

It would create a more competitive and possibly more competent work environment. Disadvantages:

It would be very difficult to implement immediately, given the current culture and the male population within the company.

The reaction of the male employees might make things counter-productive. ACA #2: Enter into a Compromise Agreement with the Plaintiffs. Advantages:

This would definitely be the less expensive and easier way out of this situation. Disadvantages:

This would not solve the bigger issue of dissatisfied and demoralized female employees.

It could be viewed by other people as a bribe to those who filed the lawsuit. ACA #3: Do Nothing Advantages:

No additional costs. Disadvantages:

Possible huge losses due to lawsuits and other sanctions from the courts. Recommendation Implementation Plan Step 1: Pursue the
case and seek to obtain
a favorable decision. Step 2: Conduct a grand,
employee forum (of sorts) to identify the key issues,
with the sole objective of
dispensing rumors and
other unrelated or
unjustified matters and issues. Step 3: Adopt the necessary
rules, regulations, and
standards as to promotions
and salaries. Furthermore,
slowly change the culture
of Wal-Mart by choosing
more gender-neutral activities. Step 4: Create additional
positions, which job
function shall be to monitor
any non-compliance with the
new rules, regulations, and
standards, as well as to any
gender-related issues. Step 5: Provide the course of
action with a 1-year period, after which, a re-evaluation of the
same shall be conducted and
any and all changes made, if any, shall be re-adopted and applied
for the next year. This final step
shall be constant. Learning Points - Always look deeper into the whole picture
- Deal with the problem as soon as possible, before it inspires more future problems Recent Events Dukes, et al., v. Wal-Mart was decided in 2011 DISMISSED http://www.walmartclass.com/public_home.html
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