Ethics and Nike Essay

Submitted By lynne64
Words: 1065
Pages: 5

Individual Ethical Perspective: Nike Corporation College of Humanities ETH/316

Individual Ethical Perspective: Nike Corporation The Nike Corporation is well known in America and throughout the world. Nike is one of the largest global athletic companies selling shoes, clothing, and a variety of logo items. Nike does not produce any products that are sold. The company contracts with companies globally who manufacture these products specifically for Nike. Many of the manufacturing facilities are primarily in Asia where low wages and labor laws have been an issue for years. There are cultural issues that affect Nike‘s interactions globally, and it is a continual learning process for the corporation to create an environment conducive for ethics and social responsibility. Companies like Nike who decide to do business globally experience a profitability increase, but this does not come without a price. There are a variety of issues, including cultural issues that a successful business, such as Nike has to address when doing business in a foreign country. Nike has faced many challenges in respect to these cultural issues. The company consistently falls under scrutiny for using factories located in Asia, Mexico, Indonesia, and Vietnam. Criticism comes from deplorable working conditions, low wages, extensive hours, safety, and profits from sweatshop labor. Because of these issues, there is a code of ethics in place for employees called Inside the Lines (Nike, Inc., 2013A). This code of ethic is an avenue for employees to use and follow. It covers such topics as ethical behavior, safety, legalities, and compliance (Nike, Inc.,2013A). Nike also has a global toll-free AlertLine in place for employees (Nike, Inc.,2013B). AlertLine gives employees the opportunity to report any violations, or ethical issues confidentially (Nike, Inc., 2013B). Nike, Inc. states, “We expect our suppliers to share our standards and operate in a legal and ethical manner. While Inside the Lines addresses the behavior of Nike, Inc. employees, the Code of Conduct addresses contractors that manufacture Nike-branded products. It directs them to respect the rights of their employees and to provide them with a safe and healthy work environment (Nike, Inc., 2013C). Nike is learning that it is just not enough to provide jobs in third world countries. There are ethical and social responsibilities that the company must adhere and deal with if the company is to be successful as a global organization. The responsibilities differ from that domestically in that domestically there are laws, regulations, and procedures protecting employees. This is not necessarily the case in third world countries where Nike has a large majority of their manufacturing facilities. As a result, individuals in the western world were furious when the media exposed Nike sweatshops. Nike has started to take steps in correcting the situation by implementing a code of social responsibility. This code held each manufacturing facility to a code of standards that would ensure improvement in working conditions. However, the management responsible for the bottom line of each facility did not welcome the change. These individuals focus was on the bottom line and not necessarily the involvement of risks with respect to the employees. There is a definite separation between Nike and the manufacturing facilities the company employees. Nike has one set of code of ethics and the suppliers typically do not follow a code of ethics. Nike realized a disconnect existed between the two and had to do something to change the process. As a result, Nike’s diligent research led them to the discovery that combining education and learning by example was perhaps the best approach. Change did not occur for the Nike Corporation overnight. This continues to be a work in progress. Nike also implemented corporate social