Wal-Mart Can Attain Competitive Edge Term Paper

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This program helps the development of the employees which leads to the culture that Sam Walton wants at Wal-Mart attaining them the competitive advantage. (Charles, 2006)

The HR practices of Wal-Mart are aligned with the trends of the HR practices of the top companies of the world who have responded to the dynamic changes in the field of Human Resource Management. One of the upcoming trends in HR is to respect employees and appreciate their worth through incentives other than wage bonuses. Wal-Mart treats its employees as partners. Employees are allowed a lot of autonomy and decision making power which enables them to flourish and reach their full potential. The compensation system is also performance-based which is the best compensation practice in the current economic situation of America.

The future of the industry will be heavily influenced by the global economic environment. Wal-Mart is planning a number of foreign expansions which will need a complete change in the current HR Structure. Companies such as Google have responded to the integration of Information Technology in its HR infrastructure. Wal-Mart also require a lot of changes in the HR structure because they need more staff that have the relevant knowledge of the Internet and possess great amount of computer skills.

An integral part of the future HR Strategy of Wal-Mart needs to improve on the current training programs of the organization. The seven day orientation program at Wal-Mart only caters to the cultural intelligence of the employees. The technical and non-technical skills are developed by the help of the managers who serve as servants as well as leaders to coach the employees. The managers of the organization are held responsible for developing a work culture which is backed by the professional competencies that are required for the development of the organization.

The managers will need to be a given broader role in the future to train the employees because on-the-job training is the only HR technique that has been used by the company to develop the talent. Many of their competitors have been using extensive training programs which have proved to be highly successful for them but the most dangerous sign for Wal-Mart is that this strategy of their competitors is going to result in even more problems for them because the competitors will be available to attain a competitive advantage over Wal-Mart. Therefore Wal-Mart needs to adjust their training programs by catering to a broader skill set development.

Kmart for instance have been highly successful in the past few years because of the implementation of a unique payment structure and a very consumer friendly environment which acts as a Unique Selling Proposition for them. Kmart is considered as one of the major threats to the dominance of Wal-Mart and a successful HR structure is largely responsible for their success. (Ann, 2010)

The global marketplace offers new challenges for Wal-Mart and other companies because the globalization of businesses has opened up new challenges and opportunities for Human Resource Management. Wal-Mart needs to work on a centralized HR System which sets rules and guidelines for all the foreign subsidiaries. Training and development of foreign managers is the key to success in foreign expansions because they will be the one responsible in creating the same value proposition and organizational culture that has given Wal-Mart a competitive edge over the years.

The role of Human Resource Management has evolved over the years. Human Resource Management is now not just a mere organizational function that deals with the culture and productivity of the employees. The role of HRM has expanded to great heights. Wal-Mart has a very unique and successful HR structure that has helped them in attaining a competitive edge over their competitors. However they need to make constant changes to that structure if they want to sustain it because Wal-Mart is competing in a very competitive market and if they do not respond to the dynamic changes in the market then there competitors are sure to take advantage of them.


Anderson. C, Flynn. F. And Spataro. S. (2008). Personality and Organizational Culture as Determinants of Influence. Journal of Applied Psychology, 53 (3)

Ann, Z. (2010). "Rival Chains Secretly Fund Opposition to Wal-Mart." The Wall Street Journal.

Charles, F. (2006). The Wal-Mart Effect: How the World's Most Powerful Company Really Works -- and How It's Transforming the American Economy.

Nelson, L. (2009). The Retail Revolution: How Wal-Mart Created a Brave New World of Business.…[continue]

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