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Wal-Mart in 2005 (B)
Freeman, R. Edward; Mead, Jenny Case E-0332 / Published December 31, 2008 / 14 pages.
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Product Overview

As it headed into 2005, Wal-Mart faced an array of difficult stakeholder issues, bad publicity, and a stagnating stock price. Despite good 2004 financials, fundamental issues assailed the company. More than anything, Wal-Mart needed to address the issues that had arisen over the years, and hopefully in so doing, stanch the flow of negative publicity by obliterating its reputation as the "neighborhood bully" and dropping its perennial cloak of "corporate isolationism." Its future as the largest retailer in the world depended on it. This case is a follow-up to the previous "Wal-Mart in 2005 (A)" (UVA-E-0282) case, which gives the history of Wal-Mart and describes the various difficulties and issues it faced as 2005 began.



Learning Objectives

1) To have students identify and discuss the many stakeholder groups involved with Wal-Mart (or a large corporation of a similar ilk) and how each may be affected by Wal-Mart's actions. 2) What are the obligations—if any—of a large corporation to engage in corporate social responsibility? 3) It is easy to bash Wal-Mart (and many other large corporations). In this case, students are encouraged to avoid the "black and white" and look for the complexities in the situation and in Wal-Mart's role in American culture and society.


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  • Overview

    As it headed into 2005, Wal-Mart faced an array of difficult stakeholder issues, bad publicity, and a stagnating stock price. Despite good 2004 financials, fundamental issues assailed the company. More than anything, Wal-Mart needed to address the issues that had arisen over the years, and hopefully in so doing, stanch the flow of negative publicity by obliterating its reputation as the "neighborhood bully" and dropping its perennial cloak of "corporate isolationism." Its future as the largest retailer in the world depended on it. This case is a follow-up to the previous "Wal-Mart in 2005 (A)" (UVA-E-0282) case, which gives the history of Wal-Mart and describes the various difficulties and issues it faced as 2005 began.

  • Learning Objectives

    Learning Objectives

    1) To have students identify and discuss the many stakeholder groups involved with Wal-Mart (or a large corporation of a similar ilk) and how each may be affected by Wal-Mart's actions. 2) What are the obligations—if any—of a large corporation to engage in corporate social responsibility? 3) It is easy to bash Wal-Mart (and many other large corporations). In this case, students are encouraged to avoid the "black and white" and look for the complexities in the situation and in Wal-Mart's role in American culture and society.