Nike is the largest seller of athletic footwear and apparel in the world. The company is primarily engaged in the design, development, and worldwide marketing of footwear, apparel, equipment and accessories. The company operates in the US, Europe, Asia Pacific, the Middle East and Africa. It is headquartered in Beaverton, Oregon. (Datamonitor, 2006, p 4) By shifting manufacturing to developing countries, Nike is able to achieve significant cost savings owing to the lower cost structures in these countries. (Datamonitor pg. 5) No successful company can exist and succeed without utilizing its human capital. While Nike has had various policies in place, weaknesses still exist in regards to labor policies in overseas locations. Nike has received quite a bit of bad publicity as well as experiencing a decrease in sales as a result of poor labor policies and lack of policies established abroad. Because of this and Nike's goal to be a responsible citizen of the corporate world, Nike has committed to goals to better the problems as part of the aforementioned labor initiative:
Increasing the minimum age of footwear factory workers to 18, and minimum age for all other light manufacturing workers to 16;
Expanding education programs, including junior and high school equivalency courses, for workers in all Nike footwear factories;
Increasing support of its current micro-enterprise loan program to 1,000 families each in Vietnam, Indonesia, Pakistan and Thailand. Despite these initiatives, Nike remains one of the central targets of the anti-sweatshop movement. Non-governmental organizations, many college students and many average citizens still associate Nike with sweatshop conditions in its factories. (Strategic Analysis of Nike, 2000, p. 17) Can Nike turn this around to their advantage? An opportunity produced by pressure groups is the ability to react in a positive manner to concerns of the public as well as customers....
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