Nike Case Study

These workers state the \”only thing they have is their work\”. This statement suggests that without this work, they would have a lower standard of living. Should we inflict western values on this society? 

Even though the workers admit that without work they would face low standards of living, it is still important for business organizations to safeguard their human rights and dignity, while handling workers in an ethical way.  Organizations that thrive on integrity usually perform ethical and morally acceptable actions regardless of the consequences they face.  It is unethical and morally wrong to inflict western value on the society depicted in the video (YouTube, 2011). This is because a social responsibility by organizations involves appreciating the cultural diversity of employees and respecting their culture, even in cases where it is different from the dominant company culture. One of the benefits of diversity to companies is that it encourages different ways of thinking based on the differences in perceptions, thoughts and beliefs held by a diverse workforce. Ultimately, cultural diversity fosters creativity and innovation through introducing new ways of resolving organizational challenges.  It is unethical and immoral to view a certain culture as inferior merely because it differs from the dominant culture, and for this reason, then western values should not be forced onto this society.

From Nike\’s standpoint, is this a fair assessment of their ethical standards? Explain the some of the ethical issues that Nike is facing in the case. 

The video depicts a fair assessment of Nike’s ethical standards, and from the viewpoint of Nike, it should consider the video a fair assessment (Nisen, 2013). The main reason is that Nike is ultimately responsible for actions that its contractors and agents engage in. Even though these unethical activities are being performed outside the US, it is ultimately Nike’s decision to work with contractors who exploit their employees. One of the main ethical issues that Nike faces is employee exploitation and human rights abuses for workers who are employed in its sweatshops. Even though Nike subcontracts its production to Asian countries, it ultimately responsible for employee exploitation and human rights abuses that are perpetuated by contractors. Another ethical issue is the illegal practices by Nike’s overseas contractors including actions such as child labor, which are illegal in these countries. Nike faces legal liability if victims hold the corporation accountable for actions by its agents. 

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Explain what Nike has done to improve this situation since this 2011 video. Include the use of codes of ethics and other ethical standards implemented within the organization. 

According to Van Buren III and Greenwood (2013) corporations are expected to conduct their business while adhering to ethical principles such as integrity, responsibility, honesty, fairness, respect for the law, social responsibility, respect for the environment and others. Nike has strived to address problems in its sweatshops by implementing a series of steps. According to Nisen (2013), the Nike CEO began by acknowledging the problem and issuing an apology to the world. This was important in taking responsibility for the issue and it paved the way for formulation of solutions. Nike created the Fair Labor Association which was tasked with monitoring the code of conduct on its sweatshops, including the working environment and minimum wages among others. Through implementing this initiative, its overseas contractors began embracing ethical ways of doing business, and they addressed most of their concerns relating to their sweatshops. 

Is your opinion of Nike any different now after viewing this video? Would this change your buying behavior with respect to Nike products? 

In my opinion, Nike is different now and I would purchase Nike products. After its CEO publicly acknowledged the problem facing the company, this was a positive sign that Nike would changing the human rights practices and employment environment in its overseas production plants. The company enforced initiatives that changed the behavior of its suppliers through monitoring their business practices and ensuring that they adhered to Nike’s code of conduct (Nisen, 2013). Ultimately, the human rights abuses in Nike sweatshops significantly reduced and there are very few allegations, if any, in the modern society concerning Nike’s unethical practices  The changes that Nike implemented changed its negative human resource management strategy and I am confident that the corporation has changed for the better. I would therefore purchase Nike products in the modern day and age. 


Nisen, M. (2013). How Nike solved its sweatshop problem. Retrieved from

Van Buren III, H. J., & Greenwood, M. (2013). The genesis of employment ethics. Journal of 

Business Ethics, 117(4), 707-719. Retrieved from

YouTube. (2011). Nike Sweatshops: Behind the Swoosh. Retrieved from

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