Part of Nike’s problem was that it didn’t address the total criticisms, and chose to answer the age issue rather than the issue of total inferior working conditions. Its strategy to announce policy change at large public relations functions appeared insensitive, rather than addressing criticism directly, on the spot, and with corrective action strategy in hand.
From a policy perspective, it would be better to suggest programs for training of workers, changes in suppliers and a general improvement of the plight of the worker. The development of advisory boards and the involvement of interested agencies and outside organizations to achieve a consensus for the improvement of working conditions might be more effective, both from a PR point and a policy initiative than to continue to with its own inward looking policies.
5)Clearly Nike needs to make changes in its policy, if only because its current policy has served it so poorly. One strategy would be to involve international agencies to assist with policy adjustments that will help to correct the problem.
Another change might be abandoning a defensive, “it’s not too broke” strategy and admitting the problem, while outlining strategies for improvement. But Nike’s major obligation is to its shareholders and to continuing to operate in an increasingly competitive marketplace. It does the plight of the worker not good if Nike adopts policies that eventually cause its business to go under.
The question of changes that make the company uncompetitive is a real one—one that is addressed by international business managers all the time. Clearly, Nike has to remain competitive while still causing change to occur to its workers, and that is a challenge that is formidable.