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Wal-Mart Case Study: Sweatshop or Scapegoat

The three-part case study question:

a. Is Wal-Mart guilty of running sweatshops or is the firm being victimized?
b. With respect to global business in general, how can abusive human resource practices be prevented?
c. Can companies that operate sweatshops be stopped? Should they be stopped?

Solution Preview

a. To opine whether or not Wal-Mart is guilty of running sweatshops is subjective to an individual's feelings on importing. It is estimated that Wal-Mart imports about 85 percent of the products on its shelves, despite having utilized advertisements such as "Buy American" (reference below). Wal-Mart is likely a very large purchaser of products from sweatshops, but to say they are "running sweatshops" or "being victimized" is a stretch. First, Wal-Mart, like just about any American company, wants to succeed and enjoy high profits. The cold, hard truth is that products made in other countries are done at an extremely low cost. Thus to keep prices low, and to promote their "Rollback Prices" slogan, Wal-Mart secures its products from the cheapest source possible, which is rarely via ...

Solution Summary

This solution is over 500 words and includes a reference, addressing three questions related to operational production using sweatshops. The solution discusses how sweatshops can be prevented, along with the ethical viewpoint on whether they should be stopped.