MBA: International Business
1. Provide a company overview, and identify the countries in which the corporation operates.
According to Global 500 Wal-Mart ranks number three on the list of the world's largest corporations, even though Wal-Mart ranks three it only comes behind two major oil companies (Royal Dutch Shell and Exxon Mobil). Wal-Mart is an all-inclusive company that offers its consumer products and services ranging from food to oil changes. The company was founded by Sam Walton and is currently headquartered in Bentonville, Arkansas. Walton started the business in 1962 and now has expanded over a 40 plus year period into a global empire with several different formats. "Every week, 176 million customers visit a ASDA, Mi. Bodega Aurrera, Changomas, Neighborhood Market, Sam's Club, Seiyu, Superama, Wal-Mart store, Supercenter or one of our many other formats around the globe" (Wal-Mart, 2012).
2. Identify the types of market systems and types of legal systems that exist in the countries where the corporation operates. What effect do these have on the company's operations?
Since Wal-Mart was established in the United States, the free market capitalistic infrastructure enables Wal-Mart to maximize its business endeavors. In retrospect, Wal-Mart has taken consideration of other global economic factors. Wal-Mart uses several types of marketing systems and other country's legal system(s) in a collaborative effort to maximize its products, services, presence, and profits. Wal-Mart employs strategic marketing methodologies to second and third world countries. By doing so, Wal-Mart offers growth potential to certain targeted regions of the world in the hope to stimulating jobs in that particular region. Wal-Mart corporate leaders have teams that visit local governments of perspective regions and negotiate on behalf of Wal-Mart to seek and meet the economic needs of that country's government. Understandably, throughout the years Wal-Mart had to find innovative ways to demonstrate its economic feasibility to reluctant governments. Wal-Mart's past legal dilemmas made public regarding labor disputes, underpaid wages, and questionable work practices in third world countries have left a bad impression on Wal-Mart in its entirety. In fact, a study was led in 2009, where several interviews were conducted documenting factory workers and producers for the retail giant. In, "India, Sri Lanka, Thailand and Bangladesh, found that Wal-Mart's purchasing practices subjected workers to excessive working hours for poverty wages, suppression of their right to demand improvements in their treatment at work, and a lack of job security" (Clean Clothes Campaign, 2009).