Connell D Gaskin
School or Institution Name (University at Place or Town, State)
Inflict Western Values on Society
In the case study, it is evident that several labor practices common at Nike’s setups stand in clear violation of the Catholic and Western values of responsibility, integrity, and business ethics CITATION Orl18 \l 1033 (Orlitzky & Monga, 2018). It is important for an American company with a standing such as Nike to take ethical issues in production into consideration and incorporate ethical practices into their business. In the case study, inhumane working conditions can be observed at Nike sweatshops, such as offering below average wages offered to laborers, while also tolerating child labor. The labor, in turn, has to work additional to earn a normal living, while workers can face action in case they refuse to work time. Together these factors lead these workers to find their jobs as horrible (TeamSweat, 2011). However, even if they work in a different part of the world, core western values of integrity, responsibility, and ethics in business must apply as the ultimate beneficiary of their labor is a company who is otherwise accountable to the law, and claims to be an ethical business.
Ethical Issues Faced by Nike
The case study shows that Nike was provided multiple opportunities to address some of the allegations made against them, yet they refused. Although the company claims to have an open door policy, nevertheless the scenario depicted in the case showed a very different picture (TeamSweat, 2011). A range of unethical practices were evident in their sweatshops, such as the unfair treatment meted out to employees, abusive bosses and supervisors at sweatshops, and cheap labor hired from foreign countries who are paid at the lowest rates, all the while as their customers remain unaware of their unethical work practices. In addition, information about these employment conditions is usually hidden by their executives, and no responsibility is taken with regards to the horrible work conditions provided. Moreover, the public remains misinformed and continues to pay high premiums for Nike’s products. These practices indicate that Nike is willing to indulge in unethical practices to expand its revenues and reveals their priorities when it comes to upholding ethical standards of business.
Improvement in the Situation
As the documentary shown in the case study became viral, it eventually led Nike to admit allegations of meting out unfair treatment to its employees at their sweatshops. Additionally, it forced Nike to ensure compliance with its stated code of conduct when it came to contract factories and sweatshops. Some of the requirements in Nike’s code of conduct relate to minimum wages, hiring practices, and employee safety and health CITATION Nik171 \l 1033 (Nike Inc., 2017). Moreover, the code of conduct also obligates Nike to develop an equitable supply chain and ensure that it chooses suppliers that comply with its standards by assessing their factories periodically. These evaluations consist of unannounced and announced audits by external and internal parties.
Influence on My Buying Behavior
The video had a profound effect on me who personally preferred Nike’s products over other brands. However, after watching the video given in the case study, I have decided not to buy any Nike products further due to the inhumane practices and unfair treatment it adopted, which would have continued had the video not surfaced and gone viral. Although, the code of ethics adopted by Nike mentions Nike’s commitment towards labor rights and higher ethical standards of business, however, there is no guarantee whether compliance is being strictly ensured in many of its contract factories operating in other parts of the world. Thus, before I start buying Nike again, I will personally try to explore and research whether Nike’s supplier factories are complying with its code of conduct and whether labor conditions have improved or not. Being a global brand, it is incumbent upon Nike to value to employees and align its labor practices with its global reputation.
BIBLIOGRAPHY Nike Inc. (2017). Code of Conduct. NIKE Brand, Jordan Brand, Hurley and Convers. Retrieved from https://sbi-prd-s3-media-bucket.s3.amazonaws.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/05/14214947/Nike_Code_of_Conduct_2017_English1.pdf
Orlitzky, M., & Monga, M. (2018). Integrity in Business and Management: Cases and Theory. New York, NY: Routledge.
TeamSweat. (2011). Nike Sweatshops: Behind the Swoosh [Video]. Retrieved from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M5uYCWVfuPQ
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