Authoritarian Culture at Walmart - Essay Sample

Published: 2024-01-01
Authoritarian Culture at Walmart - Essay Sample
Type of paper:  Essay
Categories:  Management Discrimination Walmart
Pages: 3
Wordcount: 674 words
6 min read


The main managerial problem identified from the New York Times article titled Wal-Mart’s Authoritarian Culture is about discrimination at work based on sex. This challenge led to a suit in court which was unfortunately rejected. This challenge is an outcome not of managerial bias and prejudice but stems from corporate culture and business framework too that maintains it, embedded in the organization’s foundation (Lichtenstein, 2011). When Wal-Mart was formed in the northwest of Arkansas by Sam Walton, the immediate beneficiaries were wretched, white, and rural people. Besides, many of them were unskilled laborers. For these people, the growth of the chain of stores was a blessing in disguise for them. From its early foundations, the men got dignity in being managers of stores compared to working on farms, while their wives and daughters became less honorable clerks for the founder (Lichtenstein, 2011). Indeed, while most of the staffs at Wal-Mart are enthusiastic about their roles, it appears that the system where power would be entrusted to men started then and has grown into a norm within its corporate culture.

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Fundamental Issues

Some fundamental issues are not mentioned in this article. While Lichtenstein (2011) tells us of the controlling style of management by the managers at Wal-Mart so that women may shy away from some roles, the article does not mention why this practice is condoned in a modern world. The workers at Wal-Mart do not have unions. The absence of such a body makes it difficult to advocate for their issues. While many women can fit the top roles at the organization, the job roles are strategically structured to coerce many women not to take up such roles. In the present world, there are industrial laws to follow. Why there seems to be a lack of interest by this company to conform to this new and appealing practice is incomprehensible.

One would desire to see efforts at solving this problem at Wal-Mart. Nonetheless, that may not happen. The solution lies in having a union, meant to bargain over aspects such as wages, pensions, and other pertinent matters such as promotions and transfer protocols (Phillips & Rozworski, 2019). These issues have remained troublesome for the many workers at Wal-Mart who are not unionized. The court decision noted in this article appeared to ratify the practices that Wal-Mart engaged in and presently continues to follow.


There is a raft of suggestions that I would put in place to solve the problem identified in this article. First, it is indispensable for organizations to allow their workers to have unions. Management should not consider employee unions as obstacles to their operations but as mechanisms that can be useful in settling disputes. Equality at the workplace must also be institutionalized. Both men and women must be certain of rising through the ranks based on their abilities. Achieving such promotions would require job roles to be flexible enough to allow each worker to have a chance at leadership. Working policies should be formulated in ways that do not appear to favour a certain section of the workforce (Phillips & Rozworski, 2019). The transfer policy requiring managers to move stores should be reviewed to enable every qualified candidate a chance at the position without fear of having to transfer and leaving their families behind.


In conclusion, it appears that the system where men would have powerful roles at Wal-Mart began when the organization began is now a norm within its corporate culture. It is not clear why the organization continues to operate using archaic practices in a modern era. Sadly, there are no plans in sight to solving the problem, and the court appeared to ratify this practice that pins women down more. Many suggestions offered above can solve the problem and make the organization a more inclusive one.


Lichtenstein, N. (2011, June 22). Wal-Mart’s authoritarian culture. The New York Times -Breaking News, World News & Multimedia.

Phillips, L., & Rozworski, M. (2019). The People's Republic of Wal-Mart: How the World's Biggest Corporations Are Laying the Foundation for Socialism. Verso.

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