1. What are the major issues in this case? What does Walmart’s experience tell you about the business and society relationship?
2. Assess Walmart’s corporate social responsibility using the four-part CSR model – Is Walmart socially responsible even though it has had a devastating impact on many small merchants?
3. What about Walmart’s impact on communities in terms of sprawl, traffic congestion, and impact on the appearance of the environment? What responsibility, if any, does the company have to thec ommunities it enters?
4. Sam Walton has been called a motivational genius. After reading this case, and with what you have observed at your local Walmart store, do you think his motivational genius is still felt by the associates? What is the “Walmart Way”? How would you characterize the store’s culture now that Sam is no longer around to visit the stores?
5. Walmart was an early leader in the area of cor-porate social responsibility. Is the company’ detrimental impact on merchants offset by the benefits of its recent corporate citizenship and sustainability initiatives?
6. Walmart continues to find resistance to its expansion into New England and some parts of the United States. What are the true goals of the opponents of Walmart? Include a consideration of the following: (a) stopping Walmart’s expansion,(b) preserving the status quo (e.g., downtown community and social fabric), (c) developing a cause that will pay their bills, (d) fighting for an ideology, or (e) something else. What should Walmart do when it encounters resistance?
7. With Walmart now having to close stores due tot he economy and/or competition, does it have any social responsibilities to the communities it is leaving? If so, what would those responsibilities be?
8. When you are the largest company in the world, how do you protect yourself against the kind of criticism Walmart has received? Does it seem that no matter how hard you try, it’s difficult to make things better?