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Nike began as Phil Knight’s semester-long project to develop a small business, which included a marketing plan. This project was part of Phil Knight’s MBA course at Stanford University in the early 1960s. Phil Knight had been a runner at the University of Oregon in the late 1950s. His idea for his project was to develop high quality running shoes. He thought that high quality/low cost products could be produced in Japan and then shipped to the United States to be sold at a profit.
His professor thought that Knight’s idea was interesting, but not much more than a project. In 1963 Phil Knight went to Japan and had a meeting with a running shoe manufacturing company called Tiger. He told them that he was the representative of an American distributor that wanted to sell Tiger running shoes to runners in the United States. This was all very much a spur of the moment idea, and Knight quickly made up a name and called his company Blue Ribbon Sports. Knight started small, and he continued to work with Tigers until he reached over a million dollars in sales in the early 1970s.
Phil Knight Thesis
In 1971 came up with the name Nike along with the Swoosh trademark for his products. The winged goddess of victory from Greek mythology nspired both the name Nike and the Swoosh symbol. In the late 1970s Blue Ribbon Sports officially became Nike and increased its sales from $10,000,000 to $270,000,000. During the 1980s and 1990s the company and sales continued to grow. In 1996, Nike was named Marketer of the Year with sales at $6. 74 billion. Sales and profits have continued to grow over the years, but at what cost to those who work in Nike’s factories worldwide?
http://xroads. virginia. edu/?”CLASS/ am483_97/proJects/hincker/nikhist. tml
As far back as 1998, Nike was being criticized for the way their footwear was being produced. Remember that Phil Knight wanted to produce high quality footwear at a low cost. Michael Moore’s film “The Big One” brought to light Nike’s overseas labor practices and raised many questions about Mr. Knight and his company. In his film, Michael Moore questioned the number of hours Nike factory workers were working, the amount they were being paid, and the age of some of the factory workers. As a result of the film, Nike felt compelled to raise the minimum age of their factory workers in factories.
http://dogeatdog. ichaelmoore. com/nikerelease. html
However, Michael Moore’s film did not bring an end to Nike’s problems related to hild labor. In an article entitled “Nike Admits to Mistakes over Child Labor” by Steve Boggan, published on October 20, 2001 it says, “Philip Knight, the company chairman, clearly stung by reports of children as young as 10 making shoes, clothing and footballs in Pakistan and Cambodia, attempted to convince Nike’s critics that it had only ever employed children accidentally. ‘Of all the issues facing Nike in workplace standards, child labor is the most vexing,’ he said in the report. Our age standards are the highest in the world: 18 for footwear manufacturing, 16 for apparel and equipment, or local standards whenever they are higher. But in some countries (Bangladesh and Pakistan, for example) those standards are next to impossible to verify, when records of birth do not exist or can be easily forged.
http:// www. commondreams. org/headlinesol 11020-01. htm
The article goes on to discuss a situation in 1995 when Nike thought it was producing footballs in a responsible factory with good conditions, only to discover that the work was being subcontracted to small villages and children were making the footballs.
It is clear that historically there have been problems with working conditions in Nike’s sweatshop factories as well as the use of child labor. Nike has taken steps to improve the conditions in its 1,000 factories overseas. However, there are many more recent problems that still exist today. As recently as 2011 Nike was again facing allegations of abuse and mistreatment of factory workers in Indonesia. The problems seemed to be occurring in the Pou Chen Group Factory in Sukabumi, which is located about 100 kilometers from Jakarta. This factory started making Converse shoes in 2007, which was four years after Nike bought Converse.
It has been reported that, “workers making Nike’s Converse brand sneakers in Indonesia said supervisors regularly physically assaulted and verbally bused them. Nike admits that abuses occurred but insists there was little it could do to stop it.
http://www. wsws. org/en/articles/2011 /09/nike-s08. html
The Pou Chen factory is located in a place where the minimum wage is far below the national average. It has 10,000 workers who make Converse sneakers. Most of the workers are women, and they earn only 50 cents an hour. The amount that they earn is not even enough to cover their food and very poor housing.
In this factory, the women are both physically and verbally abused. Nike’s own investigations have proved these complaints to be true. The company made a statement saying that mmediate actions would be taken to deal with the situation. It is interesting to note that, “an internal Nike report, released to the Associated Press after it inquired about the abuse, showed that nearly two-thirds of 168 factories making Converse products worldwide failed to meet Nike’s own standards for contract manufacturers. Twelve access to Nike inspectors.
Another 97 are in a category defined as making “no progress” in improving problems ranging from verbal harassment to paying less than the minimum wage.
http://www. wsws. org/en/articles/2011 /09/nike-s08. html
There have been many years of criticism of Nike’s sweatshop factories. Despite Nike’s promises to make improvements and address the issues, Nike has not been successful in their initiatives. The fact is that in order to make enormous profits, companies like Nike continue to exploit their factory workers. For example, a pair of Nike running shoes that sells for $140. 00 only costs about $3. 0 to produce. Nike’s sweatshop factories give Jobs to about 800,000 low-paid workers. A high percentage of the workers are young women between the ages of 18 to 24. They are paid less than a reasonable wage. In Indonesia, they should earn about $4. 50 a day to be able to cover their basic needs. However, Nike only pays them about $2. 50 a day. This problem is not unique to Nike. “The sweatshop conditions endured by low-wage garment workers around the globe arise from the necessity of capital to extract ever- greater amounts of surplus value, and profit, from the labor of the working class.
The globalization of production has created the objective conditions for forging the international unity of working people in struggle against the giant transnational corporations such as Nike. Under capitalism, however, the vast expansion of productive capacity taking place only leads to a never-ending competitive drive to lash wages and conditions.
http://www. wsws. org/en/articles/2011/09/nike-s08. html
Although Nike has recognized the fact that the sweatshop conditions are terrible, and have done so for many years, the problem goes much further than Just Nike.
Steps must be taken worldwide to improve conditions in the global workplace. Nike is not the only company that exploits its workers. They are not the only ones who are making a fortune while their workers live in poverty and suffer constant abuse. It is difficult, however, to clean up Nike’s factories when Nike’s competitors are using the ame factories at the same time. The cycle of exploitation will be very hard to change, as there is nothing new concerning horrible sweatshop conditions. Since sweatshop conditions are very widespread, it is difficult to avoid buying products made in sweatshops. The problem is a global production system that drives contractors to cut costs, increase productivity, and meet shorter and shorter delivery times, all of which further squeeze workers. This global system continues to lower standards and worsen conditions in developing countries. ” http:// nature. berkeley. edu/orourke/media/globe-op-ed. html The video entitled “Nike Sweatshops: Behind the Swoosh” explores the Nike sweatshop issue. It uses a Nike factory town in Indonesia as a case study to make the film. It shows the oppression and exploitation in this part of the world.
The film shows the horrible conditions of the workers living in squalor. They work very long hours under very difficult conditions and cannot even meet their most basic needs. been threatened not to talk to anyone about factory conditions. They are not allowed to talk about their living conditions. The film shows that Tiger Woods is paid $100,000,000 dollars for wearing Nike lothing, and Nike is making billions of dollars each year. However, Nike continues to exploit the people who work very hard for the company. The film says, “Nike is in Indonesia for one reason cheap labor.
It is an ideology of maximizing profit at all costs of humanity and nature. ” The film calls for truth Justice, and equality for all people. The message should continue to be spread.
http://www. youtube. com/watch? FM5UYCWVfuPQ
It is essential that the companies responsible for the horrible conditions in sweatshops around the world take further steps to find out exactly what problems exist and how to resolve them. There needs to be greater public awareness and accountability. The factory conditions should not be kept secret. The factory workers and their communities need to have a strong, united voice.
They should be represented by their own strong organizations. Conditions will only begin to improve when workers are no longer exploited and oppressed. It will only be then that the most serious problems in the global supply chains can be identified and resolved.
http://nature. berkeley. edu/orourke/media/globe-op-ed. html
Since the 1990s Nike has been criticized for exploiting workers in sweatshop conditions. Nike has admitted that the problems exists, but has not been able to change the system of exploitation and harsh working conditions. Nike violates U. S. labor laws. Sweatshops exist internationally as well as in the United States.
Consumers are an important part of the global system that supports sweatshop exploitation. If consumers refused to buy items made in sweatshop conditions, then sweatshops would not survive. Worker conditions would have to improve in order for us to purchase the products. We need to make sure that companies continue to create jobs and products while making major improvements on concerning working onditions. All employees must be treated with dignity. Companies can continue to make good profits while raising salaries and improving conditions. Companies that are based in developed countries like the U. S. ake advantage of lower wages and poor labor laws in developing nations. By having their factories in developing countries, companies can avoid having to respect labor laws and exploit workers. In order to combat sweatshop conditions, we need a strong, global movement against corporate greed that will make sweat-free purchasing, and trade agreements with enforceable labor rights, political priorities. Despite the claims f transnational corporations-and the economists that work for them- sweatshops are not a “natural” stage of economic development, nor will they automatically disappear if we abandon the economy to market forces.
Like any other injustice, we rid the world of sweatshops only if we demand that they be abolished. ” Sweat-free policies is essential to educate consumers by publicizing current working conditions. Consumers must demand better conditions for factory workers. Stricter laws should be enforced with sanctions for violations of labor laws. With all the money Nike and other companies make on their product and spend Just o market their product is an abomination for them to say well there is nothing we can do.
It is not about that it is about the big guy always has the power at the top and giving a cut to the ones who could make a change. If our society didn’t revolve around greed and realize that they can put that money that they use to market their product which is no longer nessecary because people buy it anyways… and put it towards providing better working conditions and a higher salary and health care. At the end of the day it is up to us the people to see the changes we wish to see bestowed upon ur world and the future of our children.
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2. http://dogeatdog. michaelmoore. com/nikerelease. html
3. http://globalpeaceandconflict. wordpress. com/2012/02/23/nike-and-modern-day- slavery/
4. http://nature. berkeley. edu/orourke/media/globe-op-ed. html
6. http://www. change. org/petitions/]ust-do-it-nike-stop-abusing-indonesian-workers
7. http://www. commondreams. org/headlinesol 11020-01 . htm
8. http://www. dailymail. co. uk/news/article-2014325/Nike-workers-kicked-slapped- erbally-abused-factories-making-Converse-line-lndonesia. tml
9. http://www. huffngtonpost. com/2011107/13/nike-faces-new-worker-abuse- Indonesia n 896816. html
10. http://www. time. com/time/nation/article/O,8599,11132,00. html
11 . http://www. wsws. org/en/articles/2011 /09/nike-s08. html
12. http://www. youtube. com/watch? v=CCrUZuyZHyk
13. http://www. youtube. com/watch? Fe9ZktmrGGMlJ
14. http://www. youtube. com/watch? v=FveOxJEyk41J
15. http://www. youtube. com/watch? FM5uYCWVfuPQ
16. http://wwwl . american. edu/ted/nike. htm
17. http://xroads. virginia. edu/?”CLASS/am483_97/proJects/hincker/nikhist. html