Provide an overview of the organization and your role in it. Give enough information about the firm to acquaint an unfamiliar person (no matter how famous the company). Identify name, location, size, market segment (business line), and a brief history. Identify the essential issues, events, or actions to help frame the problem and subsequent discussion points.
Identify and clearly state the problem (the leadership or organizational behavior issue that you have selected to research). The problem statement should be phrased in terms of a researchable question. For example, if a work group is not performing effectively, an effective problem statement might be "How can group performance be improved?
You must address at least six scholarly resources in this section. How: approach this section as a mini "book report" on each of the reference sources that significantly informed your analysis and proposed solutions.
Explore the problem in depth and with scholarly rigor. Provide an identification and description of the root causes of the problem/issue. Be sure not to address only symptoms of your problem. Diagnose the problem and its origins
Identify at least three potential workable solutions to your problem, and identify the pros and cons of each alternative solution and its high-level implementation steps.
Write a well-thought-out reflective statement about how this assignment influenced your personal, academic, and professional leadership and managerial development.
Wal-Mart is a U.S. based multinational retailing Store Inc. and is one of the known global brands. In 1962, it was founded by Sam Walton in Benton, Arkansas. Apart from having an ordinary beginning, it has been able to establish a huge chain of discounts with 2.3 million employees, across 28 nations, in 11,695 individual stores, in the last 30 years. The category of the products it deals in, includes electronics, grocery, health products, beauty, automobiles, home furnishing, sporting materials, etc. According to the Wal-Mart’s official website, it remains to be a leader in corporate sustainability, philanthropy and employment opportunity. Wal-Mart has built itself as a leader for generating and providing employment opportunities to the people at all levels in consideration to their abilities. As per its corporate website, after 1960’s period of retail revolution, in July 1962, the first Wal-Mart store was opened in Rogers, Ark by Sam Walton. In 1990’s it became America’s top retailer. In the year 2000 Wal-Mart entered into the new millennium by offering the amazing shopping experience to its customers.
In applying the methods of Organizational Behavior (OB), Wal-Mart Stores Inc.’s employee interaction can be studied as an attempt to a more efficient business. I have chosen the role of Wal-Mart’s organizational consultant in order to recognize the opportunities to eradicate the problems present in the organization, to improve its relations with the customers and to provide the recommendations for the same. Further, my role is to aid the organization so that the working goes as per the requirements (Mullins, & Walker, 2013).
At present times, the challenges that an organization faces have increased due to the presence of dynamic business environment. Therefore, managing the employees for increasing the productivity of the organization has become the main challenge for any organization. In case of Wal-Mart cases of mistreatment with the employees have enhanced which has resulted in the worsening of the working culture. This section has focused on the brief of the issues faced at the Wal-Mart.
Apart from being so well known organization, they have also been considered as the worst company in U.S.. According to Smith (2016), 1127 garment workers were killed in the collapse happened in Bangladesh. Employee discrimination has remained a major issue. According to Hines (2012), an estimate of around 2,000 women filed a case against Wal-Mart as they were put to a demerit regarding promotions. As per the reports by The Daily Beast (2014), Wal-Mart was also sued for not taking into concern the needs of pregnant women.
The problem of improper working conditions and imposition of severe penalty, along with the problem of termination of the employees also remain common. Child abuse at Wal-Mart was also common which led to the deteriorated conditions of the children working at the factory (Kernaghan, 2006).
Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) imposed a fine of $190000 for having improper working conditions at the organization (Ishn, 2012). It includes lack of training in dealing with life threatening materials, ways of hazardous trash compactor and blocked exits. Inadequate fire safety measures were used to narrate the equipment in the store.
As per Sherman (2014), the workers at Wal-Mart were paid low which led to the problem of stealing among the co-workers. Also it removed the provision of healthcare insurance for the temporary workers which ultimately led to the financial breakdown of the employees when they suffered any disease or crisis. The workers ultimately faced the issue of dissatisfaction related to the pays (Kasperkevic, 2015). As per Eeoc.gov (2017) a report of American Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, Wal-Mart was supposed to pay $150,000 for their discrimination practices at Wal-Mart.
Is the reputation of Wal-Mart getting affected by their behavior towards the employees?
The organization behavior issues/problems that the employees at Wal-Mart are facing, are basically related to the goodwill of the company so whether such kind of issues are affecting the dignity or in other words, the reputation of the company is the point of concern.
Motivation can be defined as the external factors that stimulate an individual to perform in a better way. Motivation aims at putting the human resource into action. As seen, in order to attain higher profitability Wal-Mart needs maximum contribution from the employees. For this it has introduced and promoted child labor and has tried cutting down on expenses such as pay, rewards and promotion (Serenko, & Bontis, 2016). The working needs of its employees have not been addressed properly. Absence of low working conditions, low pays, delay in promotions, gender discrimination, etc. can lead stress and a feeling of demotivation among the employees. Therefore, there is a need to inculcate and promote the motivation among the employees by enhancing motivational factors to influence behavior of the employees (Ducharme, & Podolsky, 2006). This can help the organization in attaining the desired organization’s goals by making the employees more productive, efficient and effective. Motivation also leads to creation of healthy and co-operative environment. The need is to introduce motivational issues in the organization to increase the satisfaction among the employees. Greater the level of satisfaction, ultimately the organizational behavior can also be increased. (Barry, & Wilkinson, 2015).
The literatures related to the issues of organisation behaviour that the employee of the company faces. The studies reviewed the issues and problems that the employees at Wal-Mart are facing and passing through. The problems that have been identified above includes sex- discrimination, low pays, inappropriate policies poor treatment for pregnant ladies, etc. and the articles related to them have been reviewed so far. The plight of the workers working at Wal-Mart and the working conditions under which they are working are also taken in concern as it also remains as a part of issues identified at the Wal-Mart.
According to Heilman (2012), Organization behaviour issues include one of types i.e. gender stereotypes and biasness in workplace. Bias judgements are the result of these stereotypes which influence the working of the organisation. The positions, pays, roles are affected by the biasness based on the gender and ultimately results in the demotivation among the employees. This basically focuses on identifying and minimising the occurrence of these biasness and stereotypes.
Elimination of health insurance for its temporary workers by Wal-Mart has resulted in the breakdown of various workers financially. Even this has raised an issue for the fulltime workers as illness can really burden them with the high expenses. This article talks about the financial crisis faced by the employees at the time of illness and the problems that they face related to healthcare. It is an estimate that during any extended stay or operation an employee has to bear the bill expenses amounting to $7500 which might be affordable by the ones raising higher salaries but this is vice versa in case of most of the employees who falls in the contrary category. Such step of Wal-Mart has undoubtedly created an instance of potential risks and problems for their workers especially those whose affordability doesn’t support it. The issue of income inequalities has been raised by it and such sort of decisions can lead demotivation among the employees and ultimately affect the productivity of the company (Sherman, 2014).
As per an article published in Huffingtonpost, the problem of sex discrimination has been focused. In an around 2000 women filed a sex discrimination against Wal-Mart before the dead line, provided to them. Except the states of Vermont and Montana, every state filed the charges. Most of the claims were filed from the areas including Florida, Georgia and Alabama. The EEOC charges states the widespread prevalence of discrimination on the basis of pay and promotion in the regions where the operations of Wal-Mart are in existence. The issue of gender or sex discrimination among the women in Wal-Mart has been raised through this article where an approximate of 2000 women placed the charges against Wal-Mart on the basis of pays and promotions which is really an issue that the employees are facing (Hines. 2012).
The issue of dangerous conditions to which the workers at the Wal-Mart has been facing has been discussed in this article. Employees filed the formal complaint related to the ethics of working conditions at the Wal-Mart included the exposure to the chemicals and hazardous equipment. It has been found out that network of company’s contractors have been traced as out of compliance with their health and safety rules and regulations. The plight of the workers at the Wal-Mart and the working conditions they’ve been working out there has also been discussed in the article published in Industry Safety and Hygiene News. The most tragic point is that as per one of the warehouse worker, his co- workers are living in the stress due to the fear to lose the job or due to the high work pressure (Ishn, 2012)
As per U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (2015), a Manager at Keller Store went under harassment and was fired just on the basis of his age. He was later on fired and was denied of the accommodation for the disease i.e. diabetes. He was discriminated and was fired out of the job because of his age. He has undergone through a phase where his supervisor bullied him and he too faced no. of taunts which ultimately falls under the category of Harassment. For such kind of behavior and treatment with the manager, two year consent decree as the settlement of this case, Wal-Mart got obliged to pay an amount of $150,000 which ultimately went in favor of employee. Such kind of cases, results in deterioration of the image or the goodwill of the company. But such instance also resulted in the creation of the training as per ADA and ADEA, that Wal-Mart agreed to provide in which the instructions in terms of dealing with the employees. The guidelines for providing training and handling the requests for providing reasonable accommodation to the employees in accordance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and Age Discrimination in Employment Act (ADEA).
Any company’s employee living standard and plight or conditions are based on the earnings and the facilities that they are attaining from the company in which they are working. According to Kasperkevic (2015), the employees at Wal-Mart are usually not having their lunch and are skipping it. The situation is described as in such a manner where they are categorized as so poor that they often are following the mal-practices of theft and stealing. The workers are not satisfied with the pays and held protests in regard to the raise in wages. Ultimately their ability in terms of affordability is being questioned. Some of them employees either don’t have or are just not carrying healthy lunch to the offices. The workers are of the opinion that the problems related to starvations or hunger are too common with the employees working at Wal-Mart. This is again a big issue that the individuals working at Wal-Mart are facing.
Asian factory workers from the countries such as India, Bangladesh, Cambodia and Indonesia are facing the exploitations. These workers supply for the organizations such as Wal-Mart, H&M and Gap who faced intense labor exploitation and employment abuse. As per no. of reports, it has been noticed that very little has been done for enhancing the employment conditions of these garment workers. These faced the scenario of unsafe and unsecure working conditions. Severe penalties have been imposed on these cloth or garment workers. Many benefits which these workers are eligible for are also not provided to them. As per the report, Wal-Mart didn’t sign the pact which was signed by 190 clothing brands and trade unions. Later on a group was formed with Gap for the workers’ safety at Bangladesh which too didn’t have an enriching impact in concern to these employees’ safety and security (Smith, 2016).
After identification of the problems and reviewing the literatures, the next step is to analyse the problems or the issues that the employees at the Wal-Mart are facing. The analysis of these cases that has resulted in the arising of the problem at Wal-Mart have been categorised as gender discrimination, improper working conditions, employee discrimination and others. The analysis of these issues has been discussed below.
The problem of discrimination among the male and female workers regarding the pays, promotions, etc. has resulted in the filing of case against Wal-Mart by the females (Hines, 2012). Another case of such discrimination occurred in 2001, when around 6 women sued Wal-Mart for discriminating them on the basis of pays and trainings (Business & Human Rights Resource Centre, n.d.). Such issue aroused just for the reason that the women were rather considered inappropriate may be on any basis in the working culture of the organization. This has led to the demotivation among the employees and also affected the reputation of the company in negative way. According to the Drogin (2003), report, the no. of female workers are paid lower than man and their earnings have been found less than that of the male employees apart from the fact of seniority and rate of turnover. The hourly rate of women has also remained lower than that of the man. This kind of biasness can further lead to the legal actions that the women can take, to seek the help from law in their support.
The issue of dangerous conditions (ISHN, 2012) basically originated for that reason that Wal-Mart and its contractors were not accepting their tasks and responsibilities and tis gave rise to serious problems among the workers when they were exposed to dangerous equipment and the safety and security of the workers were at stake. Also the exploitive conditions of the garment workers in Asian countries where the proper treatment to be given to the workers were skipped which ultimately harassed workers (Smith, 2016). The analysis that can be made is that such exploitations can leave the workers to the position of victims. The faith, trust and expectations of the employees from the organization also start breaking up. The morals and satisfaction level of the employees also decreases. The tolerance power of employees also reduces and employee retention rate can also decrease its result imposing legal liabilities on the organization (Ogunfowora, 2015).
With reference to the case that happened at Bangladesh, the child labour constitutes the children of the age group of 11 and even below who were found at a mercy situation sewing clothing. They were beaten up and were asked to do overtime and these aroused just because the organization was lacking in terms of meeting their goals of production or just when they used to make the mistakes (Kernaghan, 2006). Such type of abuse not just deteriorated the company’s image but also gave rise to various associations working to prevent the child labor. This kind of act of the company can force an individual or government to take the aid of law to impose legal actions against the company.
This issue took pace when the workers at the Wal-Mart were given lower pays and were kind of not satisfied with their pays and living standards. As a result of it, over 100 associates of Wal-Mart and around 1000 suppliers raised a protest against the poverty pay. The employees faced the problem of skipping lunch or they used to share or steal it in order to overcome their hunger (Kasperkevic, 2015). Low wages not just affect an individual but his family too. The living standard falls along with the fall in the morals and satisfaction level of the employees. The health of the workers also gets affected to a greater extent (Yarrow, 2015).
The case that occurred at Wal-Mart of harassing the manager led to the discrimination on the basis of age and disability. Such kind of discrimination left the manager totally affected by the abuse of the supervisor. It has basically happened for the reason that the employee was considered as above age and was not given the benefits even though he suffered from the disease rather he was harresed. Such sorts of discrimination are not at all tolerable on the part of ethics and also provisions under the law also favor the employees. As per an article published in Journal of Management (2006), this kind of discrimination can take place on any of the three levels and the consequences of such bias can negatively affect an organization’s image.
The removal of the employees’ health insurance benefits at Wal-Mart has resulted in the financial breakdown of the employees especially it has affected the lower class to the maximum (Sherman, 2014). As per Benjo, (2014) the step was taken to raise the premiums for the rest of the employees apart from these whose health insurance was cut down. Such step has affected the workers as the feeling of insecurity prevails and the financial stress also impacted the workers to a great extent. This has also resulted in the weakening of the low paid section of the company and increasing in the financial and economic gap. This kind of breakdown can result in the increase in the absenteeism and adversely results in impacting their health. The financial stress impacts the productivity of the organization as well (Miller, 2016). If productivity lowers down, then it can affect the working of the organization along with its goodwill.
After analysis of the above problems, the main problem that can be seen is that the reputation of the Wal-Mart is getting affected in the negative way by its behaviour with the employees. The behaviour that Wal-Mart uses to deal with the employees somewhere impacts it’s goodwill therefore in order to create, maintain and improve it’s goodwill the organisation has to take certain steps which can be helpful in reduction or elimination of the problems as discussed above.
As the consultant of the organisation, after the problems have been analysed the solutions that can be offered to the organisation include the ones as discussed below.
1.The first solution that can be offered is that by establishing Interpersonal Communication links with various stores supervisors and representatives of Wal-Mart in different locations and countries so that the information regarding the situations and working conditions going in the organisation can be taken into concern. The management of interpersonal relations is also point to be focused (Ledingham, & Bruning, 1998). The process to establish interpersonal communication links includes-
1) Helps in building a bond or relation with the employees
2) Assists in knowing about the information regarding the organisation’s branches.
2.By improving the motivation of the employees and creating the satisfied working environment. Proper training to the mid-level and superior level individuals to be provided, so that they are aware of the tasks or steps they can take in order to deal with the employees in such a way that they can motivate them. Motivational programs can be arranged to boost up the morals of the workers in the organisation (Hays, 1999). Also, they can act as the motivating force by kind of initiating the motivation programs that can also aid in retaining the employees. An article by Magloff (2017), suggests the ways in which can improve the motivation of the place of work which includes,
3.In order to meet out the grievances of the employees, grievances redress system can be implemented at various levels with a particular leader so that the information related to the grievances of the individuals can be taken into concern and those can be easily redressed (R. 2017). Acc. to Chand (2016), steps in implementation of the GR system are-
As per Jossey-Bass (2013), the merits of demerits and demerits of the grievance system inculcates-
Above discussed solutions will help the organisation to deal with the employees and improving its overall image or reputation too. These solutions can really be helpful in building a long term relationship with the employees and retaining them for a longer period of time.
This assignment has been really helpful in not just making me aware of the issues related to the organization behavior that the employees are facing but also has aided me in enhancing my skills in management of such problems and issues. Considering me in the role of consultant has also been really effective in terms of developing the managerial skills in dealing with the issues and in providing the recommendations to the company for solving such kind of issue in organization behavior. It also assisted me in assuming myself in the role of professional to deal with the practical issues and in developing the skills to deal with the scenarios or circumstances in the corporate world. My understanding and perception to deal with such issues have become clear which will surely be helpful to me in grooming my management and leadership skills.
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