Nike: From Sweatshop to Leadership

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This essay analytically evaluates Nike and the company’s recovery from its ethical and strategic missteps to its progressive practices in becoming a socially responsible leader in its industry. In spite of Nike’s efforts in striving to develop a better reputation, the company has room for improvement in achieving higher ethical standards. The first section of this paper supplies a brief company background of Nike and the accusations against the company, establishing the context for its ethical and strategic errors. The second section assesses Nike’s response to societal and consumer concerns regarding its contract manufacturing. The third section explores the challenges Nike faces in the future. This paper closes by reviewing Nike’s current areas of concern and future challenges and the opportunities for further consideration. Introduction Nike’s story is one of reclamation, providing the prototype of a multinational company achieving industry leadership as a socially responsible corporation while recovering from extensive ethical and strategic oversights. Initially, Nike failed to address their responsibility in the widespread contract site manufacturing problems. Only later did Nike take these issues seriously, largely due to negative media attention and consumer demands. While Nike has made immense strides in overcoming its tarnished reputation from not confronting social responsibilities early on, it remains committed to establishing high ethical standards while tackling ongoing labor and pollution issues, and the sustainability challenges they face ahead. Nike’s Failure to Address Corporate Social Responsibility Early On Nike, founded in 1964 by University of Oregon alumni Philip Knight and Bill Bowerman, ... ... middle of paper ... ...The ethics of management: A multidisciplinary approach. (7th ed.). New York, NY: McGraw-Hill/Irwin. Nike. (n.d.). Supply chain disclosure. Retrieved from the Nike web site http://help-en-us.nike.com/app/answers/detail/article/supply-chain/a_id/20878/p/3897 Nisen, M. (2013, May 9). How nike solved its sweatshop problem. Business Insider. Retrieved from http://www.businessinsider.com/how-nike-solved-its-sweatshop-problem-2013-5 Zadek, S. (2004). The Path to Corporate Responsibility. Harvard Business Review, 82(12), 125-132. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com.ezproxy.liberty.edu:2048/login.aspx?direct=true&db=bth&AN=15242507&site=ehost-live&scope=site Ziek, P. (2013). CSR infrastructure for communication and the nike controversy. Journal of Management and Sustainability,3(1), 63-73. Retrieved from http://search.proquest.com/docview/1437977603?accountid=12085
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