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Abstract

Walmart is the largest publicly owned retailer in the world (Fishman, 2008). Walmart operates in a contested rhetorical environment because of an aggressive pricing strategy, low-paying wages, and discrimination claims made by women. This paper argues Walmart created several Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) programs to help improve corporate image and reputation. CSR encourages companies to consider a triple bottom line: people, the environment and profit. Consumers who practice socially responsible consumption choose to support companies they perceive give back to the community, participate in CSR initiatives to help people, and incorporate sustainable practices into the lifecycle of their products. This paper adds to the conversation about communicative functions of CSR and narrative creation. Walmart’s Opioid Stewardship Initiative appears to be a small part of a much larger overall goal of reputation repair. This paper explores the historical development of CSR from the viewpoint of proponents and critics of CSR, most notably this work frames Walmart’s Opioid Stewardship Initiative as an act of CSR. Lastly, the paper considers a rebirth of the new corporate image created by myriad CSR programs at Walmart.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

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