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Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Strategic CSR - South Park

This is the last CSR Newsletter of the Spring semester.
Have a great summer and I will see you in August!
The video in the url below is an old episode of the cartoon South Park that addresses the dominance of Walmart:
For all its crude humor, the show makes an insightful point about the underlying nature of Walmart. The firm is not an independent entity that acts and thinks (as it is so often portrayed by the CSR community); it is a reflection of the society in which it operates (a reflection of its collective set of stakeholders). This is why, in the cartoon, the "heart of Walmart" is a mirror. To put this another way, it is not Walmart that "puts Mom and Pop stores out of business," but society that does that. If Walmart's stakeholders (consumers, employees, local governments, etc.) did not see value in what Walmart does, the store would not exist. The fact that it does exist and is as successful as it is (90% of U.S. households shop there at least once a year) therefore says more about the values that are dominant in society today than almost any other business. It is a 'truth' that many CSR advocates appear reluctant to recognize. If we want Walmart to go away, we need to stop supporting it. If we want the big-box store to remain as a successful and dominant business reality (in whatever form it takes, Walmart, Target, K-Mart, Aldi, Primark, etc.), we need to keep doing exactly what we are currently doing.
Have a great summer.
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