Walmart Company’s & Dunkin’ Donuts’ Sustainability

Introduction

Walmart Company and Dunkin’ Donuts have been used in the sustainability reports analysis. The sustainability reports will focus on economic, environment and social issues. Under the social issues, the reports dwell on gender inequality at the workplace. It is evidenced that the main differences that are often witnessed in these two multinational corporations are gender inequalities among both the workers and the employees from different countries (Bazerman & Banaji 2004, p.149). In fact, the practices of gender inequalities and other socio-economic factors have really affected the productivity of both the Walmart Company and the Dunkin’ Donuts. Gender discrimination is any form of unequal opportunity awarded purely based on the sex of an individual. Social discrimination is any form of a move aimed at decreasing the status of a given gender in the social sphere of life. The most common social discrimination occurs to women (Boxall 2007, p.74).

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Differences/issues covered in the two reports

Walmart’s sustainability report focused on three issues such as clean energy, waste diversion and local food. As part of the company’s clean energy agenda, the following issues have been given in-depth coverage in the report. It has been reported that “Walmart uses to power its stores, which is about 22 per cent of the company’s electricity needs, is enough to fuel 78,000 American homes annually” (Walmart 2012 CSR Report: Focus on Waste, Renewables, Local Food 2012, p.1).

Walmart Company has advanced its corporate objective towards waste diversion management. The company has achieved this objective by doing the following, as it is evident from the report that: “Walmart has cut plastic bag waste by 35 per cent since 2007, and cross the Pacific in Japan, Walmart now has 100 stores that achieved a 100 per cent recycle status” (Walmart 2012 CSR Report: Focus on Waste, Renewables, Local Food 2012, p.1).

The issue of local food was also given adequate weight in the report. In this regard, the following are evident from Walmart’s Company’s Sustainability Report (CSR). To this end, “Walmart almost doubled the amount of locally-sourced produce sold in the U.S., which accounts for 10 per cent of all products bought at its stores” (Walmart 2012 CSR Report: Focus on Waste, Renewables, Local Food 2012, p.1).

On the contrary, Dunkin’ Donuts Company’s Sustainability Report (CSR) dealt with social and environmental issues. In this regard, the company produces innovative packaging items that are environment friendly, and these have been incorporated into the company’s successful marketing programme. To this end, “Dunkin’ Donuts currently sources only 15% of its packaging from recycled materials, 15% from paperboard, 24% from foam and 24% from plastic resins” (Dunkin’ Donuts Releases First Sustainability Report; Sustainable Packaging to Follow 2012, p.1).

Differences between the two reports in terms of country or industry factors

Even though both Walmart Company and Dunkin’ Donuts operate in the same country, that is the United States, they deal in different products. Walmart is a retail chain store that deals in grocery and clothing items (Barney & Hesterly 2009, p.104).

Dunkin’ Donuts launched its business operations more than 55 years ago, as evident from the following statements: “the history of Dunkin’ Donuts circles back more than 55 years when Bill Rosenberg founded the company in 1950 and opened the first store in Quincy, Massachusetts” (Dunkin’ Donuts American Runs on Dunkin 2011, p.30). This company has been providing its customers with the best quality productions for more than 55 years. It also important to note that “Dunkin’ Donuts is the number one retailer of hot and iced coffee in America, selling 2.7 million cups a day, and nearly 1 billion cups a year” (Dunkin’ Donuts American Runs on Dunkin 2011, p.30). Moreover, “Dunkin’ Donuts is also the largest coffee and baked goods chain in the world and sells more doughnuts, coffee, bagels, and muffins than any other quick-service restaurant in America” (Dunkin’ Donuts American Runs on Dunkin 2011, p.30).

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Assessments of the reports according to Zadek’s (1997) criteria

It is evident that the two reports were not complete, because social issues such as employee treatments by the management of both the Dunkin’ Donuts and Walmart Company were not adequately addressed. Under the concepts of management policies and systems assessment criteria, there are more ways by which discriminations are experienced in the workplace in the Walmart Company. For instance, direct inequality happens when an employer offers driving jobs to only male applicants (Marshall 2010, p.87). This is gender discrimination practised among the employees and workers. There are also indirect discrimination cases where the given work conditions only favour one group of people. Women are forced to work until late and even overtime irrespective of any domestic responsibility that they might have (Porter 1990, p.154).

Following statistical evidence, women are the most discriminated in pay and promotion, although the trend is gradually changing. Women segregation on pay has also been witnessed to decrease in the gap. Between 1990 and 2000, payment was increased by 75 per cent for men and only 25 per cent for women (Hamel 2002, p. 94). Women are also given job opportunities based on childcare. This has shown that most women only getting part-time jobs, while men get permanent employment. Women are also horizontally segregated in workplace environments (Oster 1994, p.113). The Walmart Company has distinct types of positions, which women can occupy while the rest are perfectly design for men. It was indicated by 2001 that only 20 percent of women were managers in Walmart stores (Hamel 2002, p. 95). Men occupied the largest percentage, at 80% (Hamel 2002, p. 96). The pay gap was at around 20 percent with women earning at 72.5 percent (Hamel 2002, p. 96).

Evolution assessment criteria ascertained that attention of several people had been drawn towards the operation of this multinational corporation on its sexism strategies. Walmart Company has been seen in strings of gender based cases, especially in the Supreme Court. Most of these allegations are based on unequal treatment of women and men, especially on basis of promotion and payment policies. It has been an escalating task for the court to offer a verdict on this case, following the fact that the Company has a well-structured policy outline against any form of gender disparity. At the same time, the court has found it very hard to prove the allegations due to problems of evidence collection (Peteraf 1993, p.39).

Even though, several people have doubted the possibility of Walmarts’ possibility of performing in the competitive market, it has been proven by several studies that the company has taken unhealthy approach towards the gender bias (Porter 1980, p.118). Researches carried through interviews and questionnaires have shown that Walmart Company created gender disparities both vertically and horizontally. In addition, the court cases pulling down this organization have brought out this clear picture. Horizontal segregation has been noted by the fact that most of women across the branches of this organisation work in almost similar departments (Besanko, Dranove & Shanley 2004, p.45). Men’s departments in the work places have shown that they were evenly distributed both in the department and positions. It was shown that large percentages of administrative and management body were carried out by men. At the same time, men filled the supervisory portfolio as well as ranks, which are down the ladder. Most women in the Company are working at the level of secretary and sales. The percentage of women in the administrative and management system are hardly 25 percent today in this Company. It can be proven that the criteria are not purely based on job qualification as women respondents believed some of them were holding if not equal then above in credentials (Mintzberg 2005, p.115).

Vertical segregation is the biggest challenge in an organisation operating like Walmart. Vertical segregation occurs in a place, where the promotion aspect is being addressed in terms of grades and pay. Despite their grades and competencies, women tend to stay longer on low-level jobs as compared to men. This is majorly contributed the organization strategies rather than inefficiency among women. For those that manage to get promotions to the higher positions, they suffer the ‘glass ceiling effect’ (Hosmer 2007, p.58). The ‘glass ceiling effect’ is where the women can get to the top only in theory while they cannot achieve it in practice. The speed of promotion is also noted to be higher among men as compared to women. This could be noted by the fact that job stagnancy is more in percentage among women as compared to men. Some women end up falling out of their jobs out of frustrations, while others seek judicial interventions (Lamb 1984, p. 104).

Pay gaps have been seen as other determinants of gender disparity in the Walmart Company. It can be evidenced that many women seek aid from the court over their pay as compared to men. Men in this company feel satisfied with their pay and promotion according to women respondents. Pay in any work set up is tied to promotions and job ranks, thus women are generally disadvantaged in this multinational corporation. The pay gap between men and women is not that distinct on the employees on the same rank. However, the general pay gap is larger on men than on women (Kotler, Berker, Bickhoff 2010, p.47). The gap is taken from the total some payable to equal number of employees of both sexes separately. A number of cases have been filed over the company, which includes poor remuneration policies among women, but the company has come to a great defense on its operation system (Iancu, Popescu & Popescu 2010, p.41). The gender segregation in Walmart Company cannot be understood properly, as its own policies are clear and against any form of gender biasness. It was thought that gender issues affecting this company are local problems within the branches, but this has been disputed by the accumulating cases across the branches. Business organizations always have very objective management system. The system must have clear and sound strategies on the approach of challenges experienced. When these challenges are overturned, the company shall have better results, which translate to reasonable profit. This is why management is termed as a result oriented concept. Good human resource is very vital for the success of any system (Brenkert 2010, p.81). Appropriate human resources enhance managerial accountability that forms the main merit of the corporate performance/governance since the system provides a structure and arrangement that foresee the accountability checks and balances and integrity.

Moreover, these reports are inclusive, because it helps them have the analysis of their human resources and tackle the changes. The management strategies are also useful to ensure proper accountability and ways in which this can be improved. The other objective is to ensure a good strategic management to divert any eminent challenges in future so as to have a clear roadmap for the business. Analysis of major factors affecting the strategic management is looked at. The political and social environment can determine the productive nature of the organization’s performance. Economic factors can be described as the market stabilities, which are affected by either inflation or deflation (Clegg, KornBerger & Pitsis 2005, p.94).

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Under external verification, the presentation of literature captures on these categories such as environmental analysis, competitive strategies, human resource challenges, organizational behavior, leadership roles, and other employees attendance incentive schemes (Johnson &Whittington 2005, p.101).

The company knew its competitors and applied these instrumental strategies, thus mobilized their market share. It is through this that they were able to capture the market and have large sales. They also knew that food industry is an investment that will never fall, especially when one goes with the emerging trends in the market. The multi-corporation also applied technology in their strategy (Igor 1965, p.52).

Focusing on continuous improvement assessment criteria, technology played a major role in Dunkin’ Donuts. The Dunkin’ Donuts Limited opened a web site. This site was able to attract many people, especially those who even never knew about their products. Customers accessed them through the web. Through this, they have enhanced their marketing strategy to reach many people. The shape of their cakes is very appealing to the customers. This is one of their strengths (Blaxill & Ralph 2009, p.102).

The main is the trends in the environment and their events. These have potential to affect the given strategy. In performing this analysis, it is essential to limit the analysis to those places, which are relevant and can have considerable impact on the intended strategy. Environmental analysis has five categories, political, technological, economical, and sociological aspects (Muller & Lechner 2005, p.83).

Political happens when the government has political good will, hence the regulations being put in place change business mode of operation. Like good policies and political good will to enhance business operation. These taxes and incentives can affect business strategy development (Palmer & Hardy 2006, p.77).

Comparably, technical information determines what extent the existing technology to be effective. Dunkin’ Donuts Company uses an advanced technology to enhance its products output. They have well equipped modern factory, which has enhanced production of more coffee products (Drucker 2004, p.98).

Focusing on the economic aspect, the United States has a stable economy hence this has ensured minimal cost of production and good supplies. The inflation or deflation is not realized in the company because of the stable economy (Porter 1985, p. 187).

Socio-cultural reflects on the current emerging trends in the lifestyle since they were dealing in food industry, these products are really selling and they have a good market. The emerging trend in life style is that people really value cakes for their celebrations and general usage of the house. The ready market enables the company to expand rapidly because it is in line of its business strategy (Pettigrew & Whittington 2002, p.44).

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Human resource challenges are numerous in number because they are of different categories. The most important challenges are change managements in the business. The environmental HR challenges, workplace diversity, leadership development, retention and motivation or HR effectiveness measurement, compensation, and attracting the best talent (Elop 2011, p.86). The company was able to deal with all the forms in the most professional way. The human resource manager introduced training on knowledge development based on utilization skills and continuous training to enhance individual competency (Verlag 2011, p.203). The company would never succeed without all these professional approaches towards the proper management and treatment of its employees. In comparison to the Dunkin’ Donuts, the treatment and management practices can be analyzed under the following paragraphs.

The Dunkin’ Donuts observed that the average number of years or tenure for some professional employees is less than three years (Boselie 2010, p.47). This applies to IT professionals, marketers and other middle strategic managers. The company offers good remuneration to maintain its employees. There is also a problem of attracting the best talents. In a tensed job market, most organizations always experience concurrent demands to get the same kind of talented professionals. In their pursuit for talented employees, they end up cajoling talent all over the world. This company has designed ways of attracting these talents by knowing the reward factors contributing to this. An employee with good communication skills, with capacity to think logically and being able to be analytic coupled with excellent leadership qualities is of great importance to the organisation (Hamel 2002, p.54).

The Dunkin’ Donuts never faced all these challenges. When these challenges are addressed, it will have certain implications. The company may offer to pay the required amount at the market demands, but the cost of operation is going to be raised rapidly. This has the effect of reducing the profit margin. For its effectiveness, the management should undertake regular assessments on all issues. These include pay, work environment, benefits, administration, and promotional opportunities to monitor the progress in long term basis (Hamel 2002, p.76). Appropriate tools for measuring development must also be put in place. Introduction of IT training to all the staff will be very effective and motivational to the employees of the Dunkin’ Donuts.

Evaluation of standardised approach

The two companies should intensively make use of standardised approach in addressing issues on clean energy, waste diversion and local food. For instance, Dunkin’ Donuts can successfully use standardised approach to successfully market its products and to reduce operational risks associated with the business. This will enable the company to generate more revenue that can be generating to other sustainability programmes. The company’s management’s strategies and decisions on handling issues on marketing are very critical in pursuing success (Blaxill & Ralph 2009, p.102). Precisely, the company has to make choices after carefully examining the internal and external factors, which the management assumes to have significant influence on the business. In reality, the extent to which the management understands and harmonizes the interplay between internal and external factors in the company influences the successful marketing strategy that they would adopt. In addition, for the company to compete effectively, there are specific strategies that the management applies during the pursuit. Particularly, the internal factors have a crucial role in establishing the best way, in which the company would carry out their global strategy (Dunkin’ Donuts American Runs on Dunkin 2011, p.31). To this end, it is of great importance to formulate and adopt expansion strategies so that the company can command a larger market for the volumes of products. Concerning the rationale for using the strategy, expansion is important especially when the primary market is already saturated and that not many people continue purchasing the company’s products. At such time, the company reorganized its intended markets by exploring new opportunities in other parts of the country, and the “initial cities targeted for Dunkin’ Donuts’ national expansion include Atlanta, Nashville, Indianapolis, Dallas, Austin, Phoenix, and Las Vegas” (Dunkin’ Donuts American Runs on Dunkin 2011, p.30).

Conclusion and recommendations

In sum, it has been witnessed from the two multinational corporations’ sustainability reports that social issues of employee mistreatments are not addressed. Even though, issues on clean energy, waste diversion and local food are addressed by the two sustainability reports, little attention has been given to the demands of employees, thus rendering the CSRs incomplete. It is evident that there is unfair treatment of workers and employees, because the company often practices gender inequality. This has been seen in the cases of Walmart Company. These unfair practices in the employment set-ups should prompt the U.S government to set up independent organisations to investigate the case of Walmart Company. In fact, such unfair treatment of workers should be discouraged through strict laws and regulations so as to achieve success and growth among these two prominent multinational corporations (Handy 1989, p. 48).

As part of its economic programme, Dunkin’ Donuts’ sustainability report should be improved to incorporate global expansion. Through expansion to the key global markets, the company becomes able to learn the business environment in these countries, thereby able to shift their market strategy to suit the status in the country. Furthermore, the expansion strategy that the business adopts can make it gain competitive edge among its competitors, thus enhancing growth and integration. Moreover, standardization is the other strategy that the company peruses in developing its products (Dunkin’ Donuts American Runs on Dunkin 2011, p.31). In fact, the company is compelled to adapt to the local needs so that the people could identify with such products. The rationale of using the strategy is that it increases the product’s preferences, thus making the company to benefit from the economies of scale. As a result, during the product’s standardization, the company may customize some of the superficial ingredients.

Another important strategy to be employed by the company is value addition. The company concentrated on activities aimed at adding value to their products, as the fundamental strategy in enhancing the quality. The rationale for using this strategy is that, it enables the company to gain from the high volume of trade resulting from customer preference. In addition, there would be leverage on the skills and the country’s strength. Important of all, areas with people exhibiting high skills and relatively low wages for the workforce is more attractive to value addition, because this would make the products more competitive in the market.

Finally, it is also important for the company to adopt the marketing mix and market positioning strategy to maintain its business success. In most business operations, carrying out an analysis of the marketing mix and establishing the market positioning of the company is very significant. This strategy helps in determining the marketing program and strategy that the company should develop and adopt.

Despite the assumed scarcity of good ideas, a uniform, systematic, and strategic approach has enabled the Dunkin’ Donuts to explore the available ideas of different people in various American cities to successfully market its products. This helps in increasing Dunkin’ Donuts’ successful marketing ability that is maintained in every year, by focusing on the best ideology and marketing strategies. Consequently, this increases internal focus in the company in developing a brand that would sell across country and even in the international market.

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