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Walmart’s Organisational Culture, Values, and Behaviour


Organizational culture, values and behaviors are fundamental components of operations which dictate the success of any company. This paper focuses on Walmart as an international retailer and an exemplary performer in embracing culture, value and promoting sustainable approach to development in the world. To begin, models for understanding culture and value discussed involves key frameworks; Edgar Schein’s model and PESTLE as a tool for evaluating the environmental factors in play. Likewise, the concept of organizational value discussed involves company management approach and customer values. Ideally, organizational values are defined by the existing conditions under which the company operates. Such values also affect individual values and vice versa. Notably, Walmart uses hierarchy as a managerial structure in their stores. Moreover, the use of customer-prioritization has helped the firm to penetrate the world retail market by responding to the immediate needs of consumers in every target market. The management structure engages in continuous training and communications to ensure relevance to the market demands alongside focusing on the wellness of their consumers in different settings. At the same time, it is important to understand how managers influence team performances and organizational growth. Walmart’s presence of values, culture and behaviors illustrates the value of comprehensive understanding of the consumer demands and market operation structure, with automated technology systems and effective leadership values.

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Models for Analysing Organisational Culture

Framework for Analyzing Organisational Culture

The process of analyzing culture requires comprehensive understanding of a company’s operational environmental alongside the factors in play. There are different ways of exploring culture in firms. Edgar Schein’s model for organisational culture provides a framework in which culture is considerably a progressive attribute adapted over time. Under this model, the employees endure the prevailing conditions while changing with the dynamic business environment. The external and internal conditions play fundamental roles in shaping the adaptability of the workers and the success of the firm based on experiences. This model provides a classical way of looking at culture among the employees. Some of the elements of culture may include symbols and artifacts, which include the organisational structure, architectural designs, processing, corporate clothing policies, and logos embraced by workers in all sectors (Schein, E. and Schein, P, 2019). Notably, all employees and consumers can see these elements as portrayed by the organization; they are vividly visible as a part of the organization’s way of operating within the market.

The other aspects of this model include the espoused values and underlying assumptions which may not be visible to both workers and the community at large. They include factors which may be prescribed as principles of operations affecting decision-making and market operation throughout the lifespan of the company. The basic assumptions explain the values and standards of procedure that each employee needs to adhere to while they are members of the organization (Nygaard et al., 2017). The other model for analyzing culture include the use of the political, economic, social, technology, legal and environmental factors also known as the PESTLE tool of analysis. This approach provides a comprehensive understanding of the values and culture employed in the business, potentially involving response to both internal and external factors within the chain.

Internal and External Factors that Could Influence Organizational Culture at Walmart

The success of Walmart in retail industry is determined by both the micro and macro environmental issues. The PESTLE analysis model provides a clear framework under which the company’s structure and culture showcase. In practice, the management system within the firm formulate cultural adjustment practices based on the prevailing environmental conditions

Political Factors: The global e-commerce retail sector faces myriad political concerns, which include government policies and international relationship issues. Primarily, the main political factors which propel the success of the firm involve political stability in targeted retail countries alongside political support emanating from globalization concerns. Such aspects act as opportunities for the organization to venture into various virtual retail activities. However, one of the key concerns at Walmart is the rising wage threat which may hinder effective realization of the company’s leadership strategy and cultural vision within the retail industry. Other cultural concerns include criticism and political imbalance within the global market. At the same time, the differences in international tax and sales regulations present major hurdle for the organization.

Economic Factors: As the face of American retail and stores management, Walmart relies on sales turnover and customers’ revenue flow to sustain their business within the industry. Any impact on the general economic stability as realized during the current Covid-19 pandemic greatly affects the operation of the company in different ways. Therefore, Walmart uses their operation experience to create a sustainable operation surrounding to ensure that their consumers are always happy with the products supplied from the stores.

Socio-Cultural Environment: Walmart utilizes a unique low pricing strategy to ensure sustainable appeal and growth within the American economy and beyond. One of the major techniques includes the adhering to the community demand and preferences based on international standards. The stores managers choose the products which are purely consumable and accepted by the local community within their branches. For instance, it is inappropriate to sell pork to Muslim-dominated communities or products which are not legal in different states because that will affect the brand image of the organization (Bocken, 2017). Over time, the company has traversed the global retail space to become one of the leading retail stores in the world.

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Technology Factors: Walmart utilizes technology as a major strategy in handling the huge consumer base across the globe. In most of their stores and outlets, the systems are automated and well-connected to ICT services to enhance timely and appropriate communication with the consumers. Primarily, there are more than 650 automated stores where some managers have installed robotic technology to help supplement human resource for efficiency and timely operations.

The Legal Factors: There are myriad legal pursuits affecting the operations of Walmart in certain regions because of the policy differences and competitive nature of the retail sectors. In some regions, the locals often tend to accuse the company of different contractual breech which tends to derail their adventure and expansion into certain market segment. Prominently, gender issues may be of great concern in some regions. Therefore, the company has instituted specific regulatory structures to help in curbing the rise of criticism and unnecessary legal pursuit, including gender balanced mechanisms in recruitment within new markets.

Moreover, some of the internal factors may entail the managerial skills employed by different managers to run the affairs of a company. These factors may also include communication values, community social responsibility concerns alongside the vision and mission statements. In practice, the internal factors often emanate from the organization’s culture and the manager’s belief. Thus, they also include the company’s investment approach, resources availability and mobilization shape the combined culture of the organization.

The Current Organizational Culture at Walmart

Walmart operates under the hierarchy type of organizational culture, where the management is structured to include hierarchy and function-based of staff. In operation, the hierarchy defines the vertical chain of command where each employee reports to a particular superior staff in the chain. Prominently, Walmart’s departmentalization approach helps the management to control the structure of operations within the e-commerce systems and ensure sustainable development within the ranks. Managers have a mandatory supervisory role to ensure consistence in delivery and customer-relations.

The Concept of Organizational Value

The Concept of Values to an Organisation

Organizational values define the core ethical conducts guiding the operations of any company. In practice, these principles may involve concepts like integrity, honesty, customer relations, fairness, and transparency among other essential guidelines within a company. Organizational culture, values, and behavior dictates the ethical considerations that a firm would integrate into its routine management operations. Values held by the organization are sources of the behaviors that the employees of a company are likely to adopt (Williams, 2019). As standards of operations, values inspire workers to explore while restraining them from engaging in unethical conducts to protect the image of the company. Therefore, values are the motives behind any decision taken by a manager on behalf of any organization worldwide. The existence of these fundamental beliefs helps an organization to develop a structural design and policies to guide workers.

How Organizational Values Can Affect Organizational Behaviour

As enshrined in Walmart’s value statement in their mission: to save people money so they can live better, the company focuses on organizational value as the key strategy to gaining customers worldwide. In essence, as one of the critical ethical values that Walmart Company significantly abides by, customer focus has improved the company’s productivity. Therefore, the company remains one of the world’s largest retailers. Walmart portrays the customer focus by being committed to its customers as it centers on ensuring that the products provided to the customers are purposefully cost-effective. Remaining faithful to the customers by ensuring that low pieces for the products sold to the customers have resulted in the business’s high productivity. Based on the ethical values that Walmart Company has presented, several sets of corresponding behaviors are realized. For instance, when such matters are practiced by every individual involved in the company, realization of business results and establishment of the organizational culture of inclusion are obtained.

When workers are treated with the utmost dignity and respect, as Walmart stipulates, the realization of the business productivity is accepted. Walmart Company is known for its positive ethical values and behaviors, which it exhibits by involving all the associates in practicing behaviors according to the organization’s core values (Nygaard et al., 2017, p. 134). The values to which the company is committed are generally traced to the point when the Walmart Company started; thus, the ethical values are consistent globally. Such practice results in increasing the trustworthiness of the company to its customers. Based on the mission of Wal-Mart, it is evident that the Company focuses on changing the living standards of the community where the company operates; providing low prices to different products daily for a better living and ensuring that everyday life is easy for any busy family.

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Wal-Mart’s code of ethics explicitly outlines the social responsibility to its customers and employees, which creates an ethical behavior where the organization’s culture is created. Ethics is deemed essential in terms of eliminating corruption issues. According to the moral values which tend to guide the company, caring about workers in the supply chain is an example of the ethical behaviors which Wal-Mart exhibits. By addressing the working conditions for all workers, offering voluntary labor, providing a safe and healthy environment for all workers is deemed necessary (Smith and Crawford, 2017). Wal-Mart is also committed to ensuring that the risks are identified and transparency in the supply chain is established. Such creates a culture of sharing experiences information which is deemed essential in improving the global supply chains and operations.

Personal Values

Outline the concept of values to an individual

Individual values entail personality traits and career objectives which define their productivity at work. In essence, they are often dynamic and diverse from one person to another, including what is important to an employee while at work. These principles dictate the behavior of an individual in line with what their company expects of them within the same framework of duty. Some of these values may include cultural beliefs, health, friendships, adventure, creativity and innovation as well as job rankings and social responsibility (Burns‐Glover, and McCubbin, 2020). In most instances, personal attributes such as integrity, honesty and other moral standards are so diverse than many individuals opt to consider the community values as the basic values in decision-making.

How Organizational Values Can Affect Individual Behaviour

The people culture grants autonomy to the individual employees and affirms the importance of the company’s staff, thus, spurring innovation and creativity for the employees. Each employee had a duty to understand his or her responsibilities and how it would lead to the customers’ satisfaction. Besides, a detailed ad bureaucratic management structure within the firm limited the sharing of feedback from the junior employees, thus, leading to meeting customer targets at the expense of the welfare of the employees. Delegation of work is a critical component of organizational values which shape the behaviour of employees in different sectors of a firm. Sometimes organizational values may contradict individual values resulting in conflicting interest. For instance, where the company puts pressure on the employee to deliver beyond their potential, there may be conflict between the management and the workers. Such situations may result in mistrust among the staff and may affect their integrity in line with the organizational values and policies. Working with integrity has shaped the company for years, and currently, Wal-Mart is regarded as the most trusted retailer worldwide because of the good organizational values and a culture that prioritizes customers.

Managers’ Notion and Organizational Values

The Manager’s Personal Values Can Influence Interaction with Team Members

A manager has a fundamental role in affecting the productivity of all human resources within a company. Primarily, the manager’s leadership skills and interpersonal relations attributes shape the organizational culture within a company. A competent leader will always inspire workers to explore their personal qualities and become the best innovators in effectively realizing the goals of the company. Granting the employees the right to decide what would be ideal for the firm leads to realizing that the organization values them, thus, their commitment to the company. Therefore, manager’s relationship with workers determines the level of motivation, enthusiasm and productivity of the workers at every level of decision-making.

How Individual Values Can Influence the Behaviours of a Team

The values adored by an individual determine what they consider important at work and in life. Concurrently, such values collective define the organizational culture and skill mix contributing to the brand image of the company. Maximum productivity output can only be realized when an organization solely focuses on ethical values and behaviors. The organizational moral values tend to describe the principles by which the organization ought to abide through inspiring employees on their efforts and constraining their actions. Some of the ethical values and behaviors in clued are responsibility, accountability, respect to workers and customers, professionalism, and trust. Wal-Mart has demonstrated moral values by treating people with respect, emphasizing customer focus which is the crucial core ethics of every organization (Sekerka and Yacobian, 2018). Granting the employees the right to decide what would be ideal for the firm leads to realizing that the organization values them, thus, their commitment to the company.

Ethics is part of the organizational culture at Wal-Mart. Realization of ethics centers on commitment by the company’s management to complete ethical behavior by all their staff. Besides the commitment by the leadership, raising awareness and training are successful strategies that have led to the improvement in organizational performance concerning adherence to ethical conduct. The executive management of Wal-Mart often assesses the risks that the employees and clients of the firm are likely to face and further lays preventive measures that would be sought in averting the identified risks. Furthermore, the development of operational standards is a continuous process undertaken by the company that would lead to any emergent ethical issues besides the fair treatment of its employees.

Wal-Mart also advances environmental conservation with the view of minimizing its ecological footprints. Cooperation with other organizations reduces the environmental problems within its global supply chain through the preference for green energy and the reduction of emissions. Elimination of wastes is also a recognized role within its global supply chain that would ensure that the business is environmentally friendly. Wal-Mart utilized solar energy within its stores to adopt green energy and is one of the most reputable firms within the United States of America because of sustainability (Harrison and Bazzy, 2017). A higher proportion of the wastes from the company are also diverted from landfills and instead reused or recycled. Overall, the environmental policy of Wal-Mart is an ethical guide to the accomplishment of its ethical goals. The policy anchors on climate, nature, wastes, and people as the pillars of sustainability that the firm would fulfill in its routine operations. Furthermore, Wal-Mart aims to use reusable, compostable, and recyclable packaging for its clients and further ensure that its recruitment process for the staff promotes human dignity for all.

The organizational ethical values and behaviors are some of the fundamental factors that describe the principles that a company ought to abide by. Such helps employees understand the amount of effort they ought to apply to achieve the organization’s objectives. Additionally, through the organizational ethical values and behaviors, employees’ actions are constrained. Therefore, employing a clearly articulated and morally solid value at the workplace results in appropriate behavior at the workplace; thus, establishing a positive culture in the organization (Kochan et al., 2018). However, an organization that does not intend to employ core ethical values and behavior tends to build a culture that does not support or work towards achieving the firm’s objectives, thus resulting in exploitation of resources and unhealthy workplace policies.

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To conclude, organizational and individual values are crucial in shaping the performances of any company. As a result, several companies tend to focus on adaptation to changes in the environment to ensure sustainable development and growth. The fundamental motivation to realize the change is primarily guided by the need to enhance its brand value, increase the innovation potential of its staff, and attract top talents in its industry of operations. Wal-Mart is an example of companies which integrate ethical values and considerations in their daily operations. Essentially, the company’s way of handling customers and employees proves vital in creating good working relations for individuals and organization at large. As a result, Walmart is one of the leading retailers in the globe today with massive investment in different regions across the world. Therefore, whether local, regional, or multinational, all firms need to commit to the integration of ethics in their daily operations in improving their brand value. The choice of adopting power, role, task, or person culture is primarily premised on the sector of operation of the given business and the firm’s relationship to its stakeholders. At the same time, the influence of internal and external factors should play fundamental role in shaping the organizational culture.

Reference List

Bocken, N., (2017). Business-led sustainable consumption initiatives: Impacts and lessons learned. Journal of Management Development

Burns‐Glover, A. and McCubbin, L.L.D., (2020). Native Hawaiian Personality. The Wiley Encyclopedia of Personality and Individual Differences: Clinical, Applied, and Cross‐Cultural Research, pp.341-345.

Harrison, T. and Bazzy, J.D., (2017). Aligning organizational culture and strategic human resource management. Journal of Management Development.

Kochan, T.A., Lansbury, R.D. and MacDuffie, J.P. eds., (2018). After lean production: Evolving employment practices in the world auto industry. Cornell University Press.

Nygaard, A., Biong, H., Silkoset, R. and Kidwell, R.E., (2017). Leading by example: Values-based strategy to instill ethical conduct. Journal of Business Ethics, 145(1), pp.133-139.

Schein, E.H. and Schein, P.A., (2019). The corporate culture survival guide. John Wiley & Sons.

Sekerka, L.E. and Yacobian, M.M., (2018). Fostering workplace respect in an era of anti-Muslimism and Islamophobia. Equality, Diversity and Inclusion: An International Journal.

Smith, C. and Crawford, R.J., (2017). Walmart: Love, Earth®. In Case Studies in Sustainability Management (pp. 46-76). Routledge.

Williams, C., (2019). Walmart in the Global South: Workplace Culture, Labor Politics, and Supply Chains.

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