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Nike: From Sweatshops To Leadership In Employment Practices

1847 words - 8 pages

HRM522 Ethical & Advocacy for HR Professionals
Dr. Jeanette Horner-Smith
December 14th, 2014

“Nike: From Sweatshops to Leadership in Employment Practices”
The Nike Corporation is a huge brand that targets athletes, colleges, and product manufacturing. The company was founded by Phil Knight and his track coach, Bill Bowerman, in 1964. “The company was renamed Nike in 1978, and has grown to be the largest worldwide seller of athletic goods, with approximately 19,000 retail accounts in the United States and about 160 countries around the world” (Ferrell, Fraedrich, Ferrell, 2011). Nike built its “good quality” reputation from popular athletic sponsors. Although the brand was growing into ...view middle of the document...

The company was publically slandered and ridiculed. The thought of kids laboring in these factories for multiple hours without any schooling was outrageous. You would think the owners of the company didn’t have hearts or morals for that nature to allow this situation to occur. There was frequent exposure to chemicals in the factories which led to employee health issues. Nike had to think of ways to reconstruct their image without scheming or being manipulative. They simply had to regain cliental by regaining trust with the consumers. Nobody wanted to support a brand that over worked their staff with little pay. This unethical situation brought the company to a halt. Either they reevaluate their employment practices, or suffer the possibilities of losing their success to poor decision making.

Discern how a more effective ethics programs and a more viable code of conduct could have mitigated the ethical issues faced by Nike.

Nike was in distraught over how this sweatshop controversy became the central highlight of the media. They questioned other company’s progress, and compared it to the growth of their brand over the years. Nike’s public relations department dealt with legal consequences over their efforts of trying to fix the damages the company suffered from. Once the media tried to publicly criticize the company, Nike created a reputation management campaign to guard their corporate image. Nike understood the poor mistakes they made in the past and wanted to take full responsibility for it. In order to evolve as a company, they had to follow a new code of ethics, so they developed their first Code of Conduct. For management and other employees, a code of conduct describes behavior expectations in written form or another form of communication that may be informal. Ethical codes do not always prevent unethical behavior but they do provide the employees as well as management legal and ethical standards which will help to influence their commitment and job performance to the entity’s system of internal control. A code of conduct is intended to be a central guide and reference for users in support of day-to-day decision making. It is meant to clarify an organization's mission, values and principles, linking them with standards of professional conduct. As a reference, it can be used to locate relevant documents, services and other resources related to ethics within the organization. A code is also a tool to encourage discussions of ethics and to improve how employees/members deal with the ethical dilemmas, prejudices and gray areas that are encountered in everyday work. A code is meant to complement relevant standards, policies and rules, not to substitute for them. (Ethics Resource Center, 2011). A great example of how a Company reiterates how important ethics is for them is by ensuring that all entries into Company’s record be made promptly without false or misleading information. The integrity of their accounting practices requires that...

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