Nike remains a leader in the apparel and footwear industry. The 2020 fiscal year saw the company generate $39.3 billion in revenue, and its assets
How does the issue affect the purpose of your organisation?
Nike believes in the power of sport to bring out the best in people (Nike Inc., 2021). It also believes in the ability of people to bring out the best in our world (Nike Inc., 2021). The company’s forced labour issue affects its purpose both negatively and positively. Nike seeks to unite the world through sport to create a healthier planet, active communities, and fair competition for all (NIKE, Inc, 2019). Nike employs facilities around the world to manufacture a range of its products, creating employment opportunities for people living in lower and more developed nations. The company continues to strengthen alliances with other countries, thus helping to develop their economies. This aligns with the company’s purpose of moving the world forward by providing employment and better wages.
Nike aims to build relationships with suppliers that show respect for both, people, and the environment (Nike Inc., 2021). The company outlines its expectations of suppliers in Nike’s Code of Conduct and Code Leadership Standards. These include guidelines for fair pay and detail zero tolerance for any form of child or forced labour (Nike Inc., 2021). In contrast, sweatshops employed by Nike and the apparel industry reflect a complete disregard for humanity and compliance. The continued use of partners involved in forced labour activities negatively affects the company’s purpose. Foreign partners achieve their goals by often employing coercive tactics. In less-developed countries, Nike partners may act in ways not permitted in developed countries. Polluting the environment, creating safety risks, imposing poor working conditions, and offering low wages to workers creates problems for these enterprises. This occurs because of the lack of strict international rule enforcement.
Is social responsibility taken seriously by the organisation? If so, how? If not, what issues does this create?
Nike commits to promoting positive social change across the globe. The company’s past conduct complements its social responsibility. Social responsibility involves participating in social, cultural, and charitable causes (Cavico & Mujtaba, 2005). It also involves taking an active part
Nike Inc. views sport as a platform for fighting racism, managing conflict, increasing leadership and teamwork, and improving youth life skills. Through the company’s recruitment of sports personalities of diverse races, it has spread the equity campaign and encouraged the world to ditch the discriminatory attitude, which lines up with its purpose. Nike seeks to increase its influence in the world by utilising sports as a means of social transformation. To elevate sports to the next level, Nike has incorporated innovative technologies into its products to enhance sports. Nike’s production of Nike Air Zoom Alphafly Next% product played a part in the Kenyan, Eliud Kipchoge, runner completing the 26.2-mile marathon running distance in under two hours (Dyer, 2020).
In contrast, the idea behind offshore manufacturing in search of cheap labour hardly benefits society. It benefits the company by portraying an element of social irresponsibility within it (Haleem, 2017, p. 15). In January 2020, the Trump administration banned all imports of cotton from the Xinjiang region, as well as products made from the material (Friedman & Paton, 2021). Nike remains strict about prohibiting forced labour within its supply chain (Nike Inc., 2021). The company paid outside firms more than $400,000 in 2020 to lobby on issues including climate change, and the Uyghur Forced Labour Prevention Act (Swanson, 2020). Nike lobbied Congress to weaken a bill that would ban imported goods made with forced labour in China’s Xinjiang region (Swanson, 2020). This creates the impression that Nike is a brand that is not concerned about human labour.
What are your recommendations and solutions for a more ethical purpose?
Nike should place a greater emphasis on behaviours that align with the company's purpose statement instead of making comments on paper. There are more tangible outcomes that come with taking action to achieve the company’s purpose. The company must establish an ethical framework that takes into consideration all stakeholder concerns and desires. Nike must shift their focus to ethical sourcing to offset the stigma associated with outsourcing. Environmental and social implications must be considered with ethical sourcing. Thus, it is Nike's responsibility to ensure that the products they source are obtained responsibly and sustainably and that suppliers treat workers fairly