Class Forum 3 (Updated
10/29/2012 11:03 AM
Large firms like Wal-Mart are often portrayed as 'bullies'
due to their supply chain management practices (e.g., hard bargaining tactics
with suppliers (including internal suppliers such as labor), supplanting
'mom-and-pop' stores with 'big box' store alternatives). There have been
increasing calls to regulate the activities of large supply chain operators.
At issue is this: What are the pros and cons of size in supply chain
management? And also, under what conditions, should the activities of
large supply chain operators be regulated?
In advance of our class discussion, your team should
prepare a memo of at least one page that collects your views on the issue and
expresses your position on the issue. The
writeup should include at least 3 cited references
(this is because arguments are often more effective when they are augmented by
outside sources). In fact, one way to collect your 'participation' points
during our discussion is to share some meaningful data/info with the class via a
URL, pdf, hard copy, reading from an authoritative source, or other means.
Some areas to consider as you prepare:
Identify two large supply chain operators and cite
documented examples of these organization using their size to influence
other supply chain participants (e.g., Wal-Mart's RFID intiative, etc).
Is size always an asset in business? Identifiy
two ways that size might hinder, rather than help, an operator's supply
chain management practices. Provide evidence to support.
What were the Sherman Act and Clayton Act? When
were they enacted? What was the justification for bringing
these laws and others like them into existence? Does it appear that
those laws have been effective?
Have industries become more or less concentrated (i.e.,
market share tilted toward a few big operators) over the past few decades?
Provide evidence to support.
Influence of government policy, both domestic and
abroad, on faclitating or hindering industry concentration. Stated
differently, do government polilcies tend to promote competition or hinder
it. Give examples. Consider effects of government actions such
as regulation and Federal Reserve monetary policies.
Define capitalism and socialism. Compare these
two systems of economic organizing with respect to theoretical effect on the
size of producers and on the influence of these producers on other 'links'
in the supply chain.
Should government policy intervene in activities of
large supply chain operators such as Wal-Mart? Can you find
justification for this in the
What role should the federal government play in facilitating exchange
between buyers and sellers in supply chains?