Ethicsplay an imperative role in creating a desirable business image. Localand multinational companies strive to earn consumers’ loyalty byproviding high-quality goods and reacting to their feedback promptly.The elements of moral awareness, sound judgment, and positiveconstitute ethical behavior. The consumer awareness in the UnitedStates makes it possible to rank business entities.
Twogiant enterprises, Wal-Mart and Publix, have been on a consistentcompetition for retail consumers. Wal-Mart is the single largestemployer with 1.3 million personnel (Riper, 2011). Publix engagesmore than 141,000 workers. Regarding ethics, Publix ranks higher thanWal-Mart. Publix maintains a 12-point code of ethics that isregulated by the Securities and Exchange Commission that guides itsbusiness operations (The Harris Poll, 2016). It stands out forentwining its values in the vision and mission. The Harris Poll2016Reputation Quotient (2016) ranked the company 6thamong the 100 visible companies in terms of consumer preference.
Conversely,Wal-Mart lagged at position 72 among the preferred enterprises (TheHarris Poll, 2016). The rationale for is that customers havedeveloped a negative perception of Wal-Mart’s products and theyequate the relatively low prices of products to poor quality. Theretail giant has also been criticized for its policies. The workershave sued the company on several occasions for poor health coverageand unsafe working conditions. Every year, the management faces about5,000 lawsuits that translate to approximately 17 grievances everyday as opposed to Publix that handles about 67 major complaintsannually (Riper, 2011).
Besides,in November 2015, a film dubbed Wal-Martwas released to depict the ineffective human resource management. Thefilm lacerated the company’s image both locally andinternationally. Earlier this year, a major ethical concern hit thepublic arena when the company’s employees in Quebec formed a unionto agitate for their rights. Wal-Mart`s management announced that itwould close the store indefinitely and this raised a concern due tothe intention to suppress the rights of the employees (Riper, 2011).
Inconclusion, ethics play an instrumental role in forming a desirablepublic image. Publix and Wal-Mart are some of the most popular retailcompanies in the United States. Wal-Mart faces more cases relating toconsumer dissatisfaction than Publix. Besides, the complaints leveledagainst Publix are promptly settled by the quibbles board.Comparatively, Publix ranks higher than Wal-Mart.
Riper,T. (2011). Wal-Mart stands up to wave of lawsuits. TheForbes Magazine.Retrieved fromhttp://www.forbes.com/2005/11/09/wal-mart-lawsuits-cx_tvr_1109walmart.html
TheHarris Poll. (2016). Nearlytwo-thirds of Americans say the retail industry has a goodreputation.Retrieved fromhttp://www.theharrispoll.com/business/Retail-Industry-Reputation.html