Walt-Mart's Mid-Life Crisis

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Walt-Mart's Mid-life Crisis Abstract In the present-day business landscape characterized by global competition, demanding customers and depleting natural resources, I believe that Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) is becoming an important strategy for corporations for creating competitive advantage whether doing business only in the United States or globally. CSR involves a corporation's commitment to align performance revenue growth and profit motives with fulfillment of social, ethical, community and environmental obligations. Researchers have found a positive correlation between stakeholder perceptions of a firm's CSR performance and financial performance, assuming other factors are constant. This paper, based on analysis of Wal-Mart's performance over the last four decades, found that during the last couple of decade’s Wal-Mart has experienced seemingly significant negative perceptions of CSR activities resulting in their lower than projected performance. Wal-Mart has found that once formed, changing negative perceptions is often difficult and the effort involves considerable amount of resources with questionable outcomes. It will show that being a good 'Corporate Citizen' and creating positive stakeholder perception is a better strategic approach for Wal-Mart’s continuing success and help them to keep their core customer base: low income households. The main intent of this paper is to answer questions based on the following document; Maich, S. (2004). Wal-Mart's Mid-Life Crisis. Maclean's, 117(34), 45. * Wal-Mart's mid-life crisis Is it "mid-life crisis" or "mid-life laziness" that is guiding Wal-Mart's marketing? Did management "lose its way" and forget the concepts and tenets that made the company successful? These are two very important questions to answer to enable us to understand what happened to the world’s largest retail giant.

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