Quote/Citation (adopted from The Prince, by Niccolo Machiavelli)

According to Machiavellis The Prince,

Wealth is changeful and men will always remain steadfast in their actions. As long as men are in agreement, they will always be successful. They fall short of success when they are in disagreement. In a personal perspective, it is better for an individual to be adventurous than wary. This is because wealth is like a woman. If an individual wishes to retain her, he/she should abuse the woman and allow her to master a way to deal with the negative treatment. (Machiavelli)

This quote can be used to portray the advantage of working together to achieve a successful end. It asserts that wealth ownership and control can always change from one party to another. This is despite mens actions to attain, control and enhance it. Failure of corporation members to work in unison can lead to the abandonment of their strategic plan. In a business perspective, an entity should be explorative and a risk taker in order to expand and become more successful. This quotes relation to the corporate environment can be evidenced by the story of success of Walmart Corporation, since its establishment in 1962 to date.


The following dissertation is a reflection of Walmarts performance analyzed in respect of Machiavellis principles set out in his work The Price. The essay portrays the manner in which the company conforms to different Machiavellis principles and their manifestation in the companys trading activities, locally and internationally. In this regard, there will be four principalities discussed in the research paper. They will be; hereditary principalities, new principalities and mixed principalities. Niccolo Machiavelli authored his renowned dissertation about power in 1517. His thoughts, expressed by the usage of the principles, revolve around are apparent in different levels of power. This is observed in different processes from the proletariat strives of the corporate world to mechanisms used by global leaders since 1600s to now.

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Executive Summary

Walmart is an American conglomerate retail corporation that manages a chain of warehouse and departmental stores. The companys HQs are located in Bentoville, Arkansas. The corporation was started in 1962 by Sir Sam Walton. Walmart then became an amalgamated entity in 1969. According to Fortune Global 500 magazine, Walmart was ranked first in NYSE. Currently, the company is owned and directed by Sam Waltons household. They hold fifty percent equity in the corporation. Today, Walmart has continued to perform exceptionally well, and they have had a positive growth rate in their stocks. The company has an assertive position in the United States retail market, and it has a potential for globalization. Walmart operates the same on Canadian and European markets. Its success can be accredited to its ability to sell low-priced items to the market. This has enabled the company to have a vast number of loyal customers, both locally and internationally.

Company Analysis/ Explanation

Walmart has been operating for 53 years. It was started as a small retail outlet and has grown immensely over the years. Today, it is the leading international corporation with the highest revenue turnover, and highest value in NYSE. Its growth over the years has been accredited to various tactics used by the corporation to attain wealth and power, both locally and internationally. The growth and development concepts used by the company over the years are closely connected to Machiavellianism principles. Machiavellianism, in business context, characterizes a situation where an organization can use manipulative tactics or unethical ways to attain wealth and power. Walmart Corporation has used various principal strategies to amass a high financial control and retail market dominance over the years.

Price Wars

The cost of a product is a paramount factor to consider when any profit generating entity launches its products to the market. Walmart stores sell their goods and services at lower prices compared to all other stores in the United States. Their pricing has pushed some of their rivals in the retail market out of business. Walmart has over 11,000 retail outlets around the world. The corporation operates in 27 nations globally. This means that Walmart can advantage from economies of large scale when selling its products. This has enabled the corporation to reduce its pricing levels on all its products and still make a gigantic profit at the end of each financial year. Economic critics have from time to time condemned the oligopolistic behavior of Walmart as the company has made numerous businesses close due to intense price competition.

The reduction in the prices of goods and services offered in Walmart has attracted vast number of customers to the company over the years. The prices of goods and services in Walmart are very competitive compared to the prices of similar products in other rival corporations. Since it is also a convenience store, most of the shoppers in Walmart have turned to be loyal customers. Clients can obtain a wide variety of products all under one roof. Walmart is renowned to offer purchase incentives to its customers in form of cash and trade discounts. Some of the customers have also bought some shares of Walmart and become part owners of the establishment. This way, shoppers not only enjoy buying products at subsidized prices but also acquire satisfaction by being part of owners of Walmart through share acquisition.

Innovation Oriented

Walmart has tried to put its customers satisfaction level as a high priority over the decades. This has been managed through the adoption of recent technology. Walmart has used innovative technology to enhance its performance and service delivery to its customers. Among the latest innovative technology devices used in the corporation are the thermal imaging cameras. They are located at strategic positions where they can record the number of customers streaming in and out of the shop. From this, Walmart management team has a possibility to calculate the average number of clients entering the establishment each month. This way, they can allocate new staff members if the number of customers increases. Ensuring that there is enough staff member to serve all the clients in the establishment using innovative technologies has made service delivery fast and effective.

Machiavelli Theories

Hereditary Principalities

Hereditary principalities are passed by those in power to their descendants. The rules and systems of performance are passed from one generation to another in the same family. Machiavelli considered these principles the simplest to govern (Machiavelli). According to him, a prince can transgress the customs of his ancestors when dealing with various governance circumstances as they occur. For a hereditary prince there is no cause or reason for the principle to be offensive. Prince is loved by the persons he rules unless something extraordinary happens to alter his love from the descendants. So if anything detrimental occurs to such a prince, he will be in a position to recover and be in a favorable state.

Mixed Principalities

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Mixed principalities characterize a scenario where new territories are summed to the territories that are already in existence (N. Machiavelli). These principalities face a major challenge. The reason of this is that the followers expect the new head of governance to be better than the one before. In this principality, the prince must be very cautious of the people he overthrew from power. At the same instance, he must endeavor to satisfy those individuals who placed him in the seat of power. It is hard for the prince to create a harmonious scenario, in regard to the two principles. New conquered territories may be from the same region with the old ones. They may share the same cultures and languages. If the two territories share a similar culture, the new prince can extinguish all the protocols set forth by the previous princes. This will make the new regions get assimilated into the cultures and religions of the old areas.

New Principalities

New principalities are those systems which can be acquired by using individuals power or attained by the power of others. They can also be attained through criminal activities or by use of extreme cruelty. Finally, they can be obtained by using the will of the people. When the will of the people is used, the prince can be said to be using civic principalities (Machiavelli, Cliff Notes: The Prince ). In most cases, two different cities may have two principles with separate means of attaining their principality. One prince may be placed in power because of his good qualities, as a favorite person among the people. Another prince may arise to power because of his immense cruelty. If two cities have these different princes, a new city may emerge as either a self-government, anarchy or principality (N. Machiavelli, Concerning a Civil Principality).

Walmarts Relationship Analysis with the Three Machiavelli Principalities

Walmart follows Machiavellis principles set out in The Prince. The company was started in 1962 by Sam Walton. At that time the business was a small establishment that retailed goods and services to American citizens at lower prices. Through the founders efforts, the company grew bigger over the years, and it has become a multinational corporation. The business was passed from Sam Walton to his descendants over the years. Today, the company is still owned by Waltons family, as they control 51 percent of the shares in the company. The passing on of the business from one generation to the other can be related to Machiavellis hereditary principle.

According to the publication, The Prince, hereditary nations are accustomed to the princes family governance, and there are few problems in maintaining them (Machiavelli 328). This quote can be classified valid in reference to the administration of Walmart Corporation. Despite the company being in operation for half a century, it has still continued to perform well and expand to numerous foreign markets. According to Fortune 500 Magazine, the corporation topped fortune 500 companies in the NYSE market. Sam Waltons family members have managed to maintain the productivity of the business over the years, and even made it develop immensely. No major event has happened since its establishment that could have made the Waltons Princes in control of the corporation unable to perform. The corporation was not affected immensely by the Great Economic Recession in 2011.

Consequently, Walmart Corporation has a close connection to Machiavellis theory of mixed principalities. In mixed principality, new regions are added to pre-existing ones under the princes governance. Walmart has grown immensely over the years and established its operations in 27 nations worldwide. Since the company was started in the United States, the 26 other nations can be considered as new principalities when related to Machiavellis principles. There are numerous challenges of adding a new region to a pre-existing one. It is the new principality that causes problems, (Machiavelli 328). The challenges faced by Walmart when investing into foreign markets included; competition, government legislations and inflations in domestic currencies.

Walmart has faced stiff competition from rival corporations which sell the same products. Nevertheless, to combat the competition, the company has used pricing strategies to remove some businesses off the market. Walmart is a large corporation with a good financial base. Even if it prices its products cheaply in the market, it can still enjoy profits through its economies of scale. Some competitors in the markets have been forced to close their businesses due to stiff price competition they have faced from Walmart. Government legislation is a principal problem that faces numerous corporations in international markets. It includes local bylaws, which may restrict the sale of some products in their region and heavy taxation policies.

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Walmart has concentrated on establishing its operations in areas where they are affected by stringent government legislation policies. It also partakes in corporate social responsibilities in the countries it operates in an attempt to reduce the taxable income from the gross revenue earned. Some of the activities the company undertakes under corporate social responsibilities include creation of dispensaries for communities in areas where it operates. Walmart also supports homeless people by providing them with cheap shelter, food and medical assistance. It is involved in facilitating and supporting public hospice walks and other charitable events.

Walmart has a close connection to Machiavellis theory of new principality. It argues that a prince can rise to power and attain wealth through being cruel, or be favored by the majority members of a society (Machiavelli 331). In Walmarts case, it has become a favorite store for numerous shoppers around the world due to its affordable pricing on goods and services. It also has an effective and efficient system of handling its customers, which has increased its popularity over the years. For this reason, Walmart has been demanded in numerous nations around the world. This has led to the creation of the companys centers in 27 nations globally.

Does the Use of the Three Machiavelli Principles Made Walmart Successful or Unsuccessful?

1. Walmart is successful because of using the hereditary principality. Sam Walton managed to transfer his entity along his family since its establishment in 1962.

2. Walmart is successful due to using mixed principality in its system of administration. The corporation was initially started in the United States but has grown to over 27 nations globally. This has made it escalate its profit generation to the top in NYSE.

3. Walmart is successful because of using new principality theory in its operations. Due to its low pricing of products and efficiency in handling customers, the corporation has become favorite one among numerous shoppers around the world. The public has voted the company as their favorite and increased its demand to other nations around the world.

4. Walmart has been successful due to using the new principality theory to cut down intense competition from rival firms in global markets. Through its pricing mechanisms and excellent service and product delivery, the corporation has removed numerous competitors from the market.


Walmart Corporation is a successful company which has had a tremendous growth over the years. It has a close connection to Machiavellis principles of wealth and power, through its systems of administration and governance. The principalities Walmart has had a close connection with are the hereditary principality, mixed principality and new principality. The usage of them can be accredited for enabling the company to grow both locally and internationally. Its growth made it become successful in 27 nations globally and ranked top 500 in NYSE. Machiavellis Principalities are true systems that can be used to push any profit generating entity to great heights of success.

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