Wal-mart has transformed the corporate and consumer civilization in America and the remainder of the world- by concentrating on its corporate mission of Very Low Prices. Always. Wal-mart placed itself as a fixture in the mundane lives of 1000000s of people. Fishman ( 2006 ) in his book The Wal-Mart Consequence shows us precisely how Wal-Mart figures in mundane corporate and consumer lives doing it the biggest and most influential company in the universe today.

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This paper evaluates the strengths and failings of the book utilizing a sociological position peculiarly on how the writer characterizes the impact of Wal-Mart in our modern-day society. Significantly. Fishman had successfully presented us with the positive and negative impact of Wal-Mart both on the concern and consumer forepart. Furthermore. to a considerable extent. Fishman was able to demo how the interplay of society’s many forces can give both positive and negative effects.

The Wal-Mart Consequence

Fishman ( 2006 ) characterized the economic power of Wal-Mart: it is bigger than ExxonMobil. General Motors and General Electric and profligates about US $ 244. 5 bullion gross revenues in 2005 and it outcasts the competition by selling in three months what the figure two retail merchant Home Depot sells in one twelvemonth.

Rich with anecdotes and narratives. the primary thesis of Fishman’s The Wal-Mart Effect is that there is a monetary value that needs to be paid in order to hold the cheapest possible monetary values in mundane Wal-Mart stores- and this monetary value significantly affects the greater portion of the American every bit good as the planetary society in that Wal-Mart pushes its providers and employees to take the negative side of supplying its clients with the lowest monetary values.

The cardinal strength of the book is the ability of Fishman to dissect the nucleus scheme of Wal-Mart in stead with the consumers’ demands. Wal-Mart is projected by Fishman as simply an instrument in feeding the demand of consumers for really low prices- or paying for something with about nil. Even consumers’ who rejects the inexpensive monetary values at Wal-Mart is shown by Fishman to pass at least US $ 450 a twelvemonth at Wal-Mart- a proving testimony that consumers are willing to give the quality of merchandises in order to acquire the cheapest monetary values.

Furthermore. Fishman successfully showed how Wal-Mart Fosters a concern relationship with its providers and its viing companies- providers and other companies are powerless in stead with the indomitability of Wal-Mart in the retail sector. Almost all companies’ sells at Wal-Mart- being the figure one retail shop in the state. companies can non afford non to sell at Wal-Mart. Fishman contends that despite the negative impact of Wal-Mart on the suppliers’ terminal. they choose to sell at Wal-Mart because non selling at Wal-Mart would intend losing their biggest patronage.

Interestingly. Fishman provides the readers with an entertaining work through the illustration of illustrations. For case. Fishman showed that while Wal-Mart is a really powerful participant in the retail industry. non all providers and companies are scrambling for Wal-mart to sell their merchandises. Fishman ( 2006 ) illustrated the instance of Snapper. the shaper of quality and lasting lawn mowers where the CEO had refused to sell at Wal-Mart because of the mutual exclusiveness of their corporate values with that of the company.

Selling monetary values at about the same degree of the production cost would intend giving the quality of the products- non to advert the salary cuts and the terminals to which providers would travel through merely to run into the monetary value that Wal-Mart dictates for their merchandises.

Therefore. this leads to the 4th statement of Fishman- the cost of low monetary values for Wal-Mart consumers is manifested in the really low rewards of its employees. driving its providers to take down their employees’ rewards themselves and motivating others to do production in sweatshops working kids and workers in 3rd universe states. and in driving the passion of consumers for low-cost but merchandises stripped of the merchandise quality that corporations have ab initio offered.

While Fishman’s The Wal-Mart Effect is basically driven by the popularity of Wal-Mart. its primary failing lies in its inability to supply a deeper rating of the long-run impact of The Wal-Mart Effect on the consumers. For one. the benefits of Wal-Mart to the consumers is non long-run in nature. Fishman nevertheless. did non research this subject. Furthermore. Fishman neither provided a concern and sociological model that shows how Wal-Mart is perceived in the greater portion of the society and how Wal-Mart perceives its consumers.

Wal-Mart has been a topic of many commentaries and success narratives in the concern universe. For consumers. Wal-Mart is like a oasis and likewise. the literature has besides projected Wal-Mart on all the positive qualities that can be given to a company. Fishman ( 2006 ) in his book provided us with the good and the bad effects of Wal-Mart- whether it is more positive or negative ; the writer does non state but argues that the impact of Wal-Mart on universe markets is really huge. The impact is such that an American eating a Salmon from Wal-Mart significantly affects the economic system of Chile.

What Fishman ( 2006 ) shows is non merely the concern side of Wal-Mart but its larger impact on the American and universe society in general. For one. Wal-Mart significantly dictates the economic systems of most states because of their ability to order the provider of their merchandises. Hence. Wal-Mart’s end for low monetary values is non a simple mathematical formulation- it involves the interplay of the society’s political. economic and sociological histrions.

Harmonizing to Fishman. in their command to acquire the lowest monetary values. consumers are enduring both in footings of quality and in coercing suppliers’ and their workers to cut down on operational and production costs. On the other manus. political establishments are being pressured by Wal-Mart to subject to their demands because of the possible alteration in a country’s economic system one time Wal-Mart decides to make concern with them.

Fishman’s audience spans all persons irrespective of gender. age or socio-economic position. This is because Wal-Mart spans all sociological barriers as well- concerns. providers. workers. homemakers. even the immature grownups and striplings are all familiar with Wal-Mart as a portion of their mundane lives. Fishman’s The Wal-Mart Effect is hence more than merely an interesting book ; it presents an open-minded presentation and analysis of Wal-Mart and its impact on the greater society.

By exemplifying illustrations. Fishma’s the Wal-Mart Effect succeeded and how it had benefited the common American in supplying low monetary values and at the same clip. illustrated the instances of Wal-Mart’s providers and how Wal-Mart has twisted their corporate values in order to adhere to their ain.

Using simple illustrations. Fishman was able to state us that Wal-Mart gives what the consumers ask for- cheaply priced merchandises. However. he besides showed the cost of these low prices- sweatshops. measly wages for its employees. altering corporate ends and driving consumers to demand for cheaper merchandises. Feeding this type of consumer system is the end of Wal-Mart and it is the really ground why consumers are honoring the company.

While Fishman is a journalist. he offered his point of views utilizing fact-finding news media agencies and with scholarly moralss non to travel overboard. The end of Fishman is non to demo the myth environing Wal-Mart but instead to offer an alternate position on how the company operates and how it achieves its ends. Notably. Fishman was successful in supplying a book that covers non merely a description but instead a deeper apprehension of how Wal-Mart plants and how it affects every person and the society.


Fishman’s The Wal-Mart Effect does non offer to supply the scholarly or deeper apprehension of the success of Wal-Mart but instead it seeks to show a more balanced position of how Wal-Mart strives to give cheaper merchandises to the consumers. Using an easy-read tone of composing. Fishman captures the imaginativeness and the involvement of its readers and takes them into a journey of the different aspects and strands of the company. Fishman succeeds in supplying the inside informations that readers need in order to organize their ain decision. While most portion of the text is judgment-free. one is left inquiring how the biggest company in the universe has achieved that much power to alter the really society that created it.


Fishman. C. ( 2006 )The Wal-Mart Consequence: How the World’s Most Powerful Company Really Works–and How It’s Transforming the American Economy.The Penguin Press: 294 pages.