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Nike Case Study Sweatshops And Child


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How should global corporations behave in the new international world order? What constitutes good corporatecitizenship in a world where the stakeholders are diverse and dispersed around the globe and where no clear or consensual rules and standards exist?These questions shape the behaviour of most multinational corporations (MNCs) today. Althoughmultinationals are eager to pursue the opportunities of increased global integration, they are increasinglyaware of the reactions which their strategies induce


both at home and abroad. Thus, they tread warily,lacking clear and agreed-upon definitions of good corporate citizenship.Through a case study of Nike, Inc.


a company that has come to symbolize both the benefits and the risksinherent in globalization


this paper examines the various difficulties and complexities companies face as theyseek to balance both company

performance and good corporate citizenship in today’s global world.

The Athletic Footwear Industry

The athletic footwear industry experienced an explosive growth in the last two decades. In 1985, consumers inthe United States alone spent $5 billion and purchased 250 million pair of shoes. In 2001, they spent over $13billion and bought over 335 million pair of shoes. Although the industry is highly segmented


by differentsports, models and price


the branded shoe segment is dominated by a few large companies (e.g., Nike,Reebok, Adidas). In fact, the top 10 footwear companies control over 70% of the global athletic footwear market. (See Table 1). Since displacing Adidas in the early 1980s and Reebok in the early 1990s, Nike hasbecome the largest and most important athletic shoe company in the world. (See Figure 1).

Case Details:


Case Code:BECG018For delivery in electronic format: Rs. 300;
For delivery through courier (within India): Rs. 300 + Rs. 25 for Shipping & Handling Charges


HR Practices and Policies
Case Length:12 Pages
Period:1996 - 2001
Pub. Date:2002
Teaching Note:Available
Organization:Nike, CBS News, Vietnam Labour Watch
Industry:Apparel and Footwear Industry
Countries:USA, Vietnam


The case describes the maltreatment of employees and sweatshop conditions in Nike's Asian factories. In many Asian countries, Nike violated local labor laws.

According to the Vietnam labor watch, Nike did not pay the minimum wages, did not provide proper working conditions, and did not take adequate health and safety measures. In addition, Nike turned a blind eye to child labor and sexual harassment in its factories. Though the company has taken some measures to improve the situation, it has failed to improve the working conditions and put an end to the ill treatment of its employees.


» Conflict between economic performance and social obligations, non-profit organizations/special interest groups in creating awareness of malpractices



Maltreatment, employees, sweatshop, Nike, Asian, local labor laws, Vietnam labor watch, wages, proper working conditions, adequate health, safety measures, blind eye, child labor, sexual harassment, factories

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