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Ethical Issue at Wal-Mart
Wal-Mart was founded by Sam Walton in 1962 in Rogers, Arkansas. By 1972 Wal-Marts’ competitors have grown to a national force while Wal-Mart itself had only 15 stores. In 1972 Wal-Mart went public allowing expansion because of the increased capital. At the end of the 1970’s Wal-Mart grew to have 276 stores in 11 states. Wal-Mart began the 1980’s with about $1 billion in sales and by the end of the decade it had about $26 billion. Presently Wal-Mart is one of the world’s most successful discount retailers in the world with about 176 million customers a year. (Walmartstores.com)
Wal-Mart has been in the news for the recent years because of questionable ethical practices when dealing with their employees. The issue to be analyzed and evaluated in this paper is no different. Chalace Epley Lowry was an administrative assistant for the communications department at Wal-Mart. She said that training she received for her job was mainly focused on practicing good ethics and to report any suspicious activity that might lead to or be unethical behavior. One day Lowry was asked to copy some stock information for the Mona Williams, vice president of corporate communications, which she thought nothing about until a few days later when she learned of a $15 billion stock buy back. When Lowry learned of the buy back she reported Williams for suspected use of insider knowledge to benefit from her stock options. Lowry has said she didn’t know whether Williams was guilty of insider trading, but it only looked suspicious so she reported it like she was instructed.
The ethics office for Wal-Mart concluded that there was no wrong doing and Lowry was merely confused the same day the complaint was filed. The real problem though was that Lowry’s name was given to Williams as the one who filed the complaint. Williams being Lowry’s boss could make her life very hard and complicated. Due to this Lowry requested to be transferred, so now she has 90 days...
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