Nike 's Impact On The World 's Most Influential Consumers Essay example

Nike 's Impact On The World 's Most Influential Consumers Essay example

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Nike, is a sneaker company “armed with an inimitable attitude, phenomenal growth, and the apparent ability to dictate fashion trends to some of the world’s most influential consumers.” (Spar, Page 2) Regardless of its prosperity among young adults, Nike was faced with an overflow of scandals and “was increasingly becoming known as the company of labor abuse.” (Spar, Page 2) By the late 1990s, “the Nike product had become synonymous with slave wages, forced overtime, and arbitrary abuse.” (Knight, Page 13)
For years, Nike faced harsh criticism across the globe for its labor practices. Continued backlash from the media caused outrage among consumers and activists. In the early stages, Nike responded by insisting “that labor conditions in its contractors’ factors were not their concern or responsibility”. Simultaneously, other shoe companies facing similar allegations embraced responsibility and took matters into their own hands by implementing human rights’ policies.
“What differentiated Nike from its competitors was its strategy.” (Spar, Page 2) Nike outsourced all its manufacturing “specifically to low cost parts of the world.” (Spar, Page 3) Taking advantage of governments who were “more interested in wooing investors than in acceding to any union demands”, Nike was able to settle into countries such as Indonesia and China which, according to a reporter for the Far Eastern Review, “manufacturing shoes costing 50% less than those sourced from Taiwan and South Korea.”
Jeff Ballinger, a labor activist, caught wind of what was going on at Nike and set out to make an example of the country. Ballinger was “particularly concerned with the stubborn gap between wage rates in developed and developing worlds.” (Spar, Page 4) Ballinger argu...

... middle of paper ...

... Nike had to take steps to save its reputation.
Knight announced a series of sweeping reforms, including raising the minimum age of workers; adopting U.S. OSHA clean air standards in all its factories; expanding its monitoring program’ expanding educational programs for workers; and making micro loans available to workers. Nike’s next step was “to get more involved with Washington-based reform efforts.” (Spar, Page 12)
By 1999 Nike was running extensive training program for its managers that required them to learn the native language and receive training in cultural differences and acceptable management styles. Nike is believed to have made some serious changes regarding its factory chemicals making factories relatively safe for workers. However, Ballinger believes that the company has done nothing regarding wages and that “they’re still lying through their teeth.”

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