Walmart Human Resource Practices and Change Research Paper

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Wal-Mart, the biggest global retail chain, may be counted among the largest organizations worldwide, with regard to its size, financial performance and business value. This paper aims at examining Wal-Mart’s Subsystem and HR Management change, with particular emphasis on personnel selection, development, performance, training, and compensation management (Thompson 2016). Further it will address the key stakeholders of the organization.

Organization and Major Subsystem in Need of Change

Numerous factors contribute to a company’s success, and a few of them critical to the success of Wal-Mart are personnel selection, development and training (Thompson 2016). The organization needs to ensure its HR department receives adequate support to maintain its reputation and satisfy its business expectations and needs. Its major subsystems include Adaptive, Maintenance, and Management.



Investors’ chief concern is profits. They desire more revenue generation by the company, which would increase their dividends. They also desire minimization of operational expenses, as profits increase with decreased expenditure. Thus, the company’s strategies prioritize its investors by minimizing salaries, thereby minimizing expenditure (Meyer, 2017).


Shoppers are usually counted among a retail store’s stakeholders. Wal-Mart’s customers, particularly American customers, attach great value to affordable, quality products. American society typically gravitates towards retail stores offering low-priced products. Thus, the company also has to focus on customers’ interests. Wal-Mart is, in fact, popular for its affordable prices and may be considered to be adequately addressing customers’ interests (Meyer, 2017).


The Wal-Mart workforce is a key consideration in management decisions. The two key interests of the company’s personnel include increase in salaries and greater job security. Owing to the low salaries Wal-Mart offers its personnel, the former issue of interest is understandable; the latter relates to an assurance that the company will retain its personnel for the long term (Meyer, P. (2017).


The management subsystem

Wal-Mart’s corporate structure is function-based and hierarchical in nature. The term ‘hierarchical’ implies a vertical line of authority and command; the term ‘function-based’ implies the firm’s structure has personnel groups performing specific functions. For instance, the functions of sales, marketing, and HR management all have their own departments (Lombardo, J. (2017).

The following 4 key element of Wal-Mart’s corporate culture drive personnel behavior:

1. Customer Service

2. Acting with Integrity

3. Respect for Individuals and

4. Striving to achieve excellence (Lombardo, J. (2017)

The Adaptive subsystem

This may be demonstrated via needs assessment. Various kinds of needs assessments in relation to personnel training exist.

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Their applicability is dependent on a company’s HR management goals. The following are applicable in case of Wal-Mart:

1. Benefit-cost analysis

2. Work/task analysis

3. Organizational analysis

Benefit-cost analysis facilitates optimization of HR management and training expenses through the identification of the training technique that minimizes cost whilst simultaneously yielding the best outcomes. Meanwhile, task analysis is largely utilized when attempting to understand the requisite skills, abilities and knowledge for fulfilling job responsibilities. Lastly, organizational analysis facilitates the identification of emergent or novel HR management concerns like the need to open more stores, alter store layout, add new products, etc., which may be incorporated into training (Thompson 2017).

The Maintenance subsystem

One good example is the company’s recruitment strategy

Wal-Mart banks on diverse sources when it comes to recruitment; consequently, it boasts a diverse labor force. Its HR department possesses a decentralized structure, with local information utilized as the basis for conducting recruitment efforts. Employees are largely selected from the locality wherein the Wal-Mart store is situated (Schermerhorn & Uhl-Bien 2014). Wal-Mart’s recruitment sources include direct recruitment from the local community, recruitment from college campuses, and e-recruitment. The above recruitment approaches ensure personnel diversity. For example, recruiting online draws candidates who may not be residing near the Wal-Mart store in question. Lastly, referrals help acquire qualified candidates on the basis of dependable referrers (Thompson 2017).

Subsystem in Need of Change

Wal-Mart’s maintenance subsystem, including compensation and performance management, needs to change. These elements are debated by both company critics and partners. This issue has apparently arisen due to its large, diverse associate pool – the company has roughly 1.3 million employees (in-store) across the numerous stores situated all over the US. Understandably, there is an expansive range of benefits and pay related requirements. The company understands this need to have a wide-ranging list of alternatives for personnel and addresses it (Bouffard et al. 2006).

The company is not wholly effective when it comes to addressing personnel concerns as it maintains a low-wage policy (Meyer, 2017).

Impact of the Proposed Change

Wal-Mart is famous both for its low salaries and its affordable prices.….....

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Bouffard, J., Fiel, Z., Kizil, C., Pimental, K., Swihart, J., & Wal-Mart–Strategy, V. (2006).

Buss, D. (2015). A Look at Walmart’s HR Strategy from the Inside Out: Would it Work for Your Company? Retrieved from

Lombardo, J. (2017). Walmart: Organizational Structure & Organizational Culture. Panmore Institute.

Meyer, P. (2017). Walmart’s Stakeholders: Analysis & Recommendations. Panmore Institute.

Schermerhorn, J. (2014). Exploring Management (4th ed.). Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley and Sons. ISBN-13: 97811118620199

Schermerhorn, J., & Uhl-Bien, M. (2014). Organizational Behavior (13th ed.). Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley and Sons. ISBN-13: 9781118517376

Thompson, A. (2017). Walmart’s HRM: Recruitment, Selection, Employee Retention. Panmore Institute.

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