Ethical Practices : Nike Company Essay

Ethical Practices : Nike Company Essay

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The company which I chose to research and assess their ethical practices is the Nike Company. The company is the world’s leading maker of athletic clothing and footwear however, Nike has long been facing issues since the 1990’s for their mistreatment of employees and horrible working conditions in sweat shops overseas. This makes them a perfect example of a company who is trying to overcome the tarnished image consumers have placed on the company, by turning to a new set of ethical standards
The first principle in the Better Business Bureau’s Ethical/Enterprising principles is transformation at the top. The real shift in the company begins with a May 1998 speech by then-CEO Phil Knight. “The Nike product has become synonymous with slave wages, forced overtime, and arbitrary abuse,” Knight said. “I truly believe the American consumer doesn’t want to buy products made under abusive conditions.” Also during that speech, he announces Nike will raise the minimum age of workers, significantly increase monitoring, and will adapt U.S. OSHA clean air standards in all of their factories (Nisen). All of which was key for the company to devise/implement plans for ethical enrichment.
The second principle, which is to reinforce and build, was demonstrated by the company in 1999 when Nike decided to create the Fair Labor Association. This association is a non-profit group that pools companies, and labor/human rights representatives in order to reinforce more autonomous monitoring and a standardized code of conduct. This would include a minimum age to work in these factories, a maximum 60-hour work week, and also encourages other brands to join. All of this I would say is a sure way of reinforcing the ethical values which they were trying to pu...

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...that can be universally agreed on by all people will tremendously aid in the investment of employees and consumers. Third and last, Nike must treat all people as an end in themselves and never as a mean to their own ends which is where their ethical issues were rooted from in the first place.
Nike has made a significant turnaround with their image and practices over the past couple decades. Instead of denying all the accusations and insults resulting from the unethical practices they were using, they decided to take fault and do something about the circumstances. This is most likely one of the most difficult situations the company will face, and I feel that most other companies who outsource jobs overseas could take notes from the turnaround that Nike has overcome to remain one of the world’s leading athletic apparel and shoe suppliers to people all over the world.

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