With the increased monitoring and enforcement of labour practices; Nike being in the public spotlight and subject to negative publicity on their subcontracted factories is forced to readjust the working conditions of their cross ocean factory workers to abide with proper regulations. This has caused Nike to modify their factory standards and employee working conditions by; limiting the maximum hours worked a week, implementing proper ventilation systems to filter out toxic fumes, increase worker access to protective equipment, and increase the capacity of medical facilities and medical staff for their workers.
Another area of concern is the discrepancy of differences in East Asian worker regulations and wages compared to the North American standards. Much speculation has gone toward attacking Nike for their blatant disregard of American labour ethics, but Nike is having difficulty explaining their justification of meeting offshore requirements. For example, the legal age in Indonesia was 14, an age at which compulsory Schooling has ended. Nike was criticized for apparently having girls at this age working in their factories (which wasn’t true), and was shunned for inhuman labour practices according to American standards. Economical Analysis
Nike’s Asian operations had previously continued to soar generating US$300 million in 1994 in revenues to a whopping US$1.2 billion in 1997. However based on the Asian economic crisis, this had adversely affected revenues, while regional layoffs were inevitable. Nike also performed well in the European market generating about US$2 billion in sales and a good growth momentum was expected, however, some parts of Europe were only slowly recovering from an economic downturn. In the Americas (Canada and the U.S.A.), Nike experienced a growth rate for several quarters. The U.S. alone generated approximately US$5 billion in sales. The Latin American market at this point was exposed to economic volatility; however Nike still saw them as a market with “great potential for the future”. Social Analysis
With the increasing awareness and publicity of poor working conditions in subcontracted factories in East Asia, Nike has stimulated an uprising of activist and watchdog groups working toward seeing these conditions changed. With Nike in the negative spotlight, various organizations have revolved around generating a negative outlook on Nike’s practices of social irresponsibility. Certain campaigns such as the “National Days of Consciousness” and “International Day of Protest” were organized to educate people on the deplorable working conditions in Nike’s Asian manufacturing plants, and were designed to get more people involved in global employment issues. Whether or not this factor is directly related to Nike’s experienced decline in revenues, it has definitely hurt the company image, and may possibly affect the loyalty of future generations. Company Analysis
As a company, Nike has been the dominant presence in the athletic apparel industry globally. Although they were not the only company known to practice unethical manufacturing processes, they were the major target of criticism because of their leadership role. To fight back against the negative publicity, Nike changed many working conditions and practices, arranged for independent audits by very reputable individuals in the industry to rate these improvements and grade the working conditions, they created a corporate responsibility division within their company, and they even implemented an open door policy for activist groups to see firsthand of their commitments to improve the quality of the work environments in these factories. Unfortunately, these changes have proven to be unsuccessful as of late. Strategic Options
Nike, knowing their company image and reputation were at stake worked day in and day out to solve this problem. Although they had already directly resolved the issue of the unfair...
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