rights than the distancing of Nike from the suppliers, Nike's Corporate Responsibility teams realized
that paying the role of a corporate citizen not responsible for their supply chains was only going to
make matters worse over time (DeTienne, Lewis, 359). Instead of incrementally creating programs that
sought to bridge the gap in both critics and the publics' trust that Nike was indeed concerned about
unethical and immoral practices in their supply chain, Nike should have immediately moved to ban any
supplier caught in a violation. Nike however took years to get to this point, further fueling the need for
even more expensive audits and independent monitoring and inviting more ...view middle of the document...
Critics of Nike are seeing the depth of commitment that HP and
others have to Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) initiatives, and judging the company harshly as a
result. HP has gone as so far at this point to define metrics of performance for evaluating the depth
and extent of their performance to CSR initiatives as well, and publishing them in sustainability and
CSR reports anyone can download from their website in Adobe Acrobat format. Nike is absolving
themselves of any responsibility for their supply chain in an era where companies of their comparable
size are embracing costly yet strategically important initiatives to ensure a very high level of
compliance to sustainability and CSR initiatives. By not taking action comparable to other companies
in this time period the company is inviting criticism and further auditing efforts (DeTienne, Lewis, 359).
What damage, if any, has been done to Nike? Has Nike reacted appropriately? Has it overreacted?
Nike has isolated itself from a specific segment of customers who are concerned about workers' rights
globally and those that see manufacturers having ethical and moral responsibilities for their supply
chains. The fact that Nike continued to keep this crisis at arms-length then created governance and
compliance frameworks to organize their response did little. What was needed was more of an
internalizing of the ethical and moral values to ensure this would be attacked with the same urgency as
an issue impacting their profits (Lim, Phillips, 151, 152). Instead, it was treated as an issue that could
be resolved through systematic rather than complete immersion in. Nike consistently underreacted to
these concerns and as a result created an even larger public relations challenge for themselves by not
internalizing it equivalent to a threat to profitability. As with any crisis that gets ignored, the critics only
get louder the more they perceive their voices not being heard. For Nike, this continued on for years
until they began to aggressively attack the problem as if it were one impacting profits, including the
development of auditing and independent monitoring programs, and an open-door policy to
Congressional critics who had the power to initial investigations and define if any US laws were being
broken or not.
Many of Nike's competitors subcontract production to Asian factories similar to those used by Nike.
What was Nike singled out by human rights and labor activists?
Nike was singled out for a variety of reasons. First, the company's lack of seriousness in response to
human rights and labor activities was taken as arrogance, which only fueled the activists to attack the
company more. Second the company refused to apologize and stated instead that they had no
responsibility for their supply chain partners' ethical or moral behavior. Keep in mind that during this
period there are other companies including HP who have shown remarkable levels...