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Is Strategic Human Resource Management Socially Responsible? The Case Of Wegmans Food Markets, Inc.

Souha R. Ezzedeen, Christina M. Hyde, Kiana R. Laurin
Published 2006 · Economics

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In 2005, Wegmans Food Markets Inc., the family-owned supermarket chain, was awarded the number one spot on the Fortune “100 Best Companies To Work For.” Wegmans’ recognition illustrates an exemplary case of strategic human resource management embedded in an overall culture of social responsibility, amidst a highly competitive and low margin industry. We detail Wegmans’ human resource practices and its overall stakeholder orientation, arguing that the treatment of employees as strategic assets constitutes an effective approach to social responsibility. In other words, strategic human resource management can help organizations reconcile the often cited conflict between profits and principles. We therefore begin with an overview of the contemporary supermarket industry, provide a brief history of Wegmans, and showcase the supermarket chain’s human resource practices. In closing, we discuss Wegmans’ stakeholder orientation and comment on the divide between strategic human resource management and social responsibility research.
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