Sam Walton did a bit of both. In his studiously modest “life style,” there was a kind of outward piety. Living without pretension, nose to the grindstone, and methodically building up the family patrimony has for centuries carried a sacerdotal significance,Canada Goose imitatie leaving aside any specific Protestant profession of religious faith. But there was professing as well. Though not a fundamentalist, he was a loyal member of the First Presbyterian Church in Bentonville, Arkansas, where he was a “ruling elder” and occasionally taught Sunday school (something he had also done in college as president of the Burall Bible Class Club).

Christianity would play a formative role in his labor relations strategy at Walmart.Canada Goose imitatie His employees—”associates,” he dubbed them—were drawn from an Ozark world of Christian fraternity which Walmart management cultivated. “Servant leadership” was a concept designed to encourage workers to undertake their duties serving the company’s customers in the same spirit as Jesus, who saw himself as a “servant leader.”

This helped discourage animosities in the work force, as well as blunting the—to Walton—dangerous desire to do something about them through unionizing or responding in any other way to the company’s decidedly subpar working conditions and wages.Canada Goose imitatie An aura of Christian spiritualism plus company-scripted songs and cheers focused on instilling company loyalty, profit-sharing schemes, and performance bonuses constituted a twentieth century version of Pullman’s town idyll.