Individual Case Study Nike: the Sweatshop Debate


Individual Case Study Nike: “The Sweatshop Debate”
University of Phoenix
Global Business Strategies
June 06, 2011

Individual Case Study-Nike “The Sweatshop Debate”
When the marketing phrase “Just Do It” is uttered, one is fully aware of the corporation that is responsible for the saying. “Nike states that their greatest responsibility as a global company is to play a role in bringing about positive systemic change for workers within their own supply chain, and in the industry, by looking at their overall footprint in the world and realizing the needs of nearly 800,000 workers in their contract supply chain overshadow any other group.” (Nikebiz, 2011, ¶ 1)   This responsibility they have adopted after serious allegations of their products being made in sweatshops by women and children working in hazardous conditions for less than minimum wage in overseas factories scattered across the globe.   This paper is based upon the case study entitled, “Nike: The Sweatshop Debate”, and will describe the legal, cultural, and ethical challenges that confront Nike’s global business.   This paper will also determine the various roles that host governments have played, and summarize the strategic and operational challenges that face global management for the Nike Corporation.
Blue Ribbon Sports was founded in January of 1964 on a handshake, $500, and mutual trust between Bill Bowerman and Phil Knight.   Blue Ribbon Sports soon became Nike in 1971 with the help of their first employee Jeff Johnson who is responsible for creating the first marketing materials for the company including brochures, print ads, and company catalogues.   The first athlete to endorse for the company, Steve Prefontaine is remembered as the “soul of Nike”, and many famous athletes including Michael Jordan and Bo Jackson have literally followed in his footsteps.   When Michael Jordan joined Nike as a rookie in 1985 by wearing and fully endorsing his signature...