"There is a big disconnect between the vast potential of the global economy and what it does for ordinary workers. Finding solutions to these new global realities is very difficult but not impossible; it just requires some hard thinking and some hard decisions. Where are the leaders with the vision to take up the challenge?"1
The keywords in the above excerpt are "workers", "solutions", "leaders" and "challenge". Nike Inc., the world leader in the athletic footwear, apparel, equipment and accessories for sports and accessories for sports and fitness enthusiasts2, faces today the challenge of finding appropriate solutions to the sweatshop conditions for the workers in its aligned factories in Southeast Asia, specially Indonesia and Vietnam.
This paper examines Nike's attempts to improve the working conditions in its operations and its sphere of influence and has been treated as being a snapshot in time (mid 1990's). The paper evaluates Nike's CSR strategy under four main headings.
Part I links Nike's CSR strategy and the issues faced by it to the UNGC Ten Principles. Part II identifies the major stakeholders of Nike and further discusses the management of the identified stakeholders with recommendations for alternative courses of action. Part III attempts to further evaluate the alternative courses of action in detail following which Part IV talks about what success at Nike would look like. Also, the paper contains my recommendations on behalf of the management to what Nike should do in order to effectively tackle the primary CSR issues it faces today.
Part I - Nike's CSR Issues and the UNGC Ten Principles
According to a New York Times article on November 8, 19972,
The Ernst and Young report painted a dismal picture of thousands of young women, most under age 25, labouring 10.5 hours a day, six-days-a-week, in...