What Responsibility Does Nike Have For Conditions Of Work At Foreign Factories Making Its Products?

What Responsibility Does Nike Have For Conditions Of Work At Foreign Factories Making Its Products?

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Introduction
The majority of multinational corporations have elected to outsource their production processes to Asia in countries such as Indonesia, China, and Vietnam. The logic behind such practices is that moving production abroad is that costs are significantly lower when compared to the costs if production is based in the States. Companies such as Nike have embraced the practice of using foreign factories to manufacture its products. Labor conditions and wages are two issues that have courted concern for the company. The concern stems from questions about the level of responsibility that a company such as Nike has regarding working conditions in the foreign factories.
1. What responsibility does Nike have for conditions of work at foreign factories making its products?
The strategy of outsourcing production to foreign countries has allowed Nike to enjoy low production costs. The workers who operate in the factories are usually not directly employed by Nike. They work for companies that are sub-contractors for Nike. The argument, therefore, goes that it is the sub-contractors who should be answerable to concerns over working conditions in those factories. However, has social and ethical responsibilities to ensure that factories producing Nike 's product offer favorable working conditions to their workers (Ferrell, Fraedrich and Ferrell 411). The claim that the responsibility lies with the subcontractors does not consider the fact that if Nike stopped its relationship with the contractors, the factories would not exist. Most of these factories are based in countries that have little or no regulations on labor practices and therefore companies such as Nike owe the workers an ethical responsibility of making sure they are trea...


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...product because they did not want to fund the exploitation of workers. Since the desired effect of the statements on Nike’s sales was positive, it has to be commercial speech. Statements that do not impact the sales of a company in a positive or negative way can be classified under non-commercial speech. Misrepresentation of facts to the public and then hiding under the shade of non-commercial speech is a violation of business ethics.


References
Baker, C. Edwin. "Paternalism, Politics, and Citizen Freedom: The Commercial Speech Quandary in Nike." Case W. Res. L. Rev. 54 (2003): 1161.
Ferrell, O C, John Fraedrich, and Linda Ferrell. Business Ethics: Ethical Decision Making and Cases. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Co, 2008. Print.
Locke, Richard M. "The promise and perils of globalization: The case of Nike. “Management: Inventing and delivering its future 39 (2003): 40.

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