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Case Study: Home Depot Implement Stakeholder Orientation

The Home Depot (NYSE: HD) is an American retailer of home improvement and construction products and services. The Home Depot employees Three Hundred Forty Five Thousand and it operates 2,193 big-box format stores across the United States (including all 50 U. S. states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, the Virgin Islands and Guam), Canada (all ten provinces), Mexico and China. The Home Depot is headquartered from the Atlanta Store Support Center in unincorporated Cobb County, Georgia, near Atlanta.
It also operates four wholly owned subsidiaries: Apex Supply Company, Georgia Lighting, Maintenance Warehouse, and National Blinds and Wallpaper Company sales are over $81 billion annually The Home Depot is the largest home-improvement retailer in the United States, ahead of rival Lowe’s, and the second-largest general retailer in the United States, behind only Wal-Mart. Home Depot continues to do things on a grand scale, including putting its corporate muscle behind a tightly focused social responsibility agenda.
Every week 22 million customers visit Home Depot, and that means some conflict associated with providing services in a retail environment will occur. However, even Home Depot is feeling stress of the economics crisis they announced on January 26, 2009 that they plan to layoff over 7000 employees employed with their Home Depot (Expo) operation (Retalindustry. about. com, 2009). Although Home Depots Philanthropic efforts appear to be sincere; Home Depot continues to suffer in customer and employee relations. 1. Rank the relative power of Home Depot’s various stakeholders. Defend why you have ranked the first three as most important.

Ferrell, John Fraedrich, Linda Ferrell (2009) define stakeholders as “those whose continued association is absolutely necessary to the firms survival. These included employees, customers, investors, shareholders as well as governments and communities listed that provides necessary infrastructure. So Home Depot stakeholders would include the customers, the employees, the communities that benefit from the philanthropic activities of Home Depot. I ranked the customers first because if Home Depot had no customers they would not need any employees and they would not be able to help others.
I ranked the employees second because the employees represent Home Depot to the world – if a customer does not have a positive experience with the employees when dealing with them they will probably not make purchases and if no purchases are made no money is made and ultimately, no Home Depot. The third important stakeholder is the community because if often benefits from Home Depot’s desire to give back to the community. All of Home Depot’s stakeholders listed on their websites would qualify as primary stakeholders 1) Custmoers 2) Associates 3) Communities ) Vendors ; suppliers 5) Shareholders 2. Evaluate Home Depot’s philanthropic activities as a link to its overall corporate strategy. Home Depot has always wanted to be an outlet for “the people” not just builders or other professionals. Their mantra is “You can do it. We can help. ” This mantra is exemplified in the philanthropic activities that Home Depot has been a part of. Home Depot has shown that they are committed to giving back to the community with their philanthropic efforts. They have given back to the community by donating their time, money, labor and supplies.
Their chairtable contributions alone have exceeded $200 million. In 2002, the Home Depot Foundation was established. The foundation supports many community projects, including Habitat for Humanity. City of Home Cancer, a California-based cancer-treatment center, and KaBOOM, a playground construction organization. In 2007, the Home Depot Foundtion commited to investing $400 million in grants over the next 10 years, which will result in the development of 100000 affordable, healthy homes for working families, and the planting and preservation of more than three million community trees in urban areas. Homedepotfoundation. org, 2009) All of Home Depots philanthropic activities are too numerous to mention.
Giving back to the community through philanthropy is one of their eight core values that Home Depot delivers on the most. Through an extensive community relations program , we reach our to the communities where our associates live and work with philanthropic and volunteer support. Programs bring together volunteerism, do it your self expertise, product donations and monetary grants to meet critical needs and build affordable communities. . How do you think Home Depot has handled ethical issues such as gender discrimination and other human resource issues over the last ten years? In Aug 2004, as a result of an approved settlement, the U. S. District Judge in Colorado ordered Home Depot to pay $5. 5 million to current and former employees, as well as significant injunctive relief. Like many other large corporations, when there is a settlement there is no admission of wrong doing. Home Depot has had a long history on not dealing with it issues of gender discrimination.
As a recent blogger best, put it, If Home Depot was serious about handling their long standing gender discrimination issues, it would 1) Stop systematically sexually harassing and discriminating against women, especially in their merchandising organization. 2) Submit gender and race employment information as promised in 2002 to shareholder (oweners) of the company 3) comply with federal and state regulations on contraception coverage, wage discrimination and civil rights issues (especially since they are federal contractors two times over). ) Stop encouraging and allowing claims of discrimination, harassment, retaliation to go univestigated or unchecked, and 5) Hold the perpetrators of these actions accountable to their moral turpitude contract clauses and their largely ingoned code of Ethics and HR SOPs. This appears to be an area that still needs work as they have had several lawsuits in recent years related to these issues and are currently involved in a suit. Perhaps additional training in this area and a comprehensive ethical program will help in this area.
References
http://corporate.homedepot.com/, retrieved on October 20 ,2009 http://www.msnbc.msn.com/, retrieved on October 20 ,2009
http://www.homedepot.com/webapp/wcs/, retrieved on October 20 ,2009
978-1-111-08264-2, Business Ethics: Ethical Decision Making and Cases, 2009 Update, 7e, O.C. Ferrell, John Fraedrich, Linda Ferrell – © Cengage Learning

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