Nike and Vietnam: the Impact of Globalization

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Globalization is a phenomenon that has become a fact in today’s business world. Companies, always looking to cut costs and improve productivity, often look overseas to either expand current business operations or to outsource existing business operations. Companies often make the decision to go global with the hopes of taking advantage of more favorable business environments, better technologies, or relationships with suppliers and customers. While these facts are a part of globalization, there are also positive benefits, which range from lower prices to consumers, increased education for individuals within the countries where expansion occurs, and a higher standard of life for the individuals in these countries. While arguments can be made that globalization is a positive or negative force on a country or on the world economy, the debate is not likely to end any time soon. This paper will take a look at the positive impacts of globalization by examining Nike in Vietnam. Nike has long been viewed as the poster child for problems associated with globalization. Many have accused Nike of employing workers in sweatshop like conditions in poorer countries like China, and more recently Vietnam. In addition to the sweatshop claims, people often say that Nike employs child labor, often even claiming that the child labor is forced and takes place in sweatshops. Many of these same people also suggest that Nike has taken jobs from the United States to these countries where there are fewer laws regarding work conditions and wages so that they can pay their employees less in an effort to make a higher profit with no regard to the value of human life. These are just a few of the accusations that people often make against multinational corporations such as Nike, and this list is much longer. While it is true that there have been problems at certain factories that make Nike products, the company has taken aggressive steps to ensure that all of its factories now comply...
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