Is the criticism of Nike fair, considering that the host countries are in dire need of creating jobs? 

Is the criticism of Nike fair, considering that the host countries are in dire need of creating jobs? 

Nike and “Sweat Shop” Labor:

Nike, a company headquartered in Beaverton, Oregon, is a major force in the sports footwear and fashion industry, with annual sales exceeding $ 12 billion, more than half of which now come from outside the United States. The company was co-founded in 1964 by Phil Knight, a CPA at Price Waterhouse, and Bill Bowerman, college track coach, each investing $ 500 to start. The company, initially called Blue Ribbon Sports, changed its name to Nike in 1971 and adopted the “Swoosh” logo—recognizable around the world—originally designed by a college student for $35. Nike became highly successful in designing and marketing mass-appealing products such as the Air Jordan, the best selling athletic shoe of all time.


Nike has no production facilities in the United States. Rather, the company manufactures athletic shoes and garments in such Asian countries as China, Indonesia, and Vietnam using subcontractors, and sells the products in the U.S. and international markets. In each of those Asian countries where Nike has production facilities, the rates of unemployment and under-employment are quite high. The wage rate is very low in those countries by U.S. standards—the hourly wage rate in the manufacturing sector is less than $ 1 in each of those countries, compared with about $ 20 in the United States. In addition, workers in those countries often operate in poor and unhealthy environments and their rights are not particularly well protected. Understandably, host countries are eager to attract foreign investments like Nike’s to develop their economies and raise the living standards of their citizens. Recently, however, Nike came under worldwide criticism for its practice of hiring workers for such a low rate of pay—“next to nothing” in the words of critics—and condoning poor working conditions in host countries.


Initially, Nike denied the sweatshop charges and lashed out at critics. But later, the company began monitoring the labor practice at its overseas factories and grading the factories in order to improve labor standards. Nike also agreed to random factory inspections by disinterested parties.

Discussion Questions:

1.      Is the criticism of Nike fair, considering that the host countries are in dire need of creating jobs?  Why or why not?

2.      What do you think Nike’s executive leadership might have done differently to prevent the sensitive charges of “sweatshop” labor in overseas factories?

3.      Why should multinational companies consider the so-called “corporate social responsibilities” when making investment decisions?

Use the Discussion Forum below and click “Create Thread” to post your responses. Address all questions in your initial post.  I may also add more questions throughout the week to cover more material.


Expectations:Your first weekly post should be made no later than Wednesday of the week. It should be intuitive, thoughtful, and properly documented with supporting references using proper APA style (in-text citations AND a reference list). Your minimum of twoadditionalposts to classmates should be done on separate days between Thursday and Sunday. These responses to other posts should also be well-written, thorough, and professional. The week closes on Sunday at 11:59 PM and you will no longer have access to the discussion.

EACH POST FOR THE DISCUSSION SHOULD BE AT LEAST 1 PARAGRAPH IN LENGTH (150 words). Quantity is IMPORTANT BUT QUALITY is just as important. Say something deep & intuitive, don’t just rephrase something you read or another student’s posting. Also remember the MINIMUM number of substantial posts each week is 3, but a MINIMUM effort will not earn a 100%. You need to go a bit beyond minimum for that. Support your writing with proper APA style documentation — ALWAYS.


Discussion Grading Criteria:

(40)  Thoroughly answered all questions

(10)  Original post by Wednesday

(20)  Quality of responses to at least two classmates (more is better!)

(10)  References to text and/or other sources

(10)  Spelling & grammar at college level

(10)  Posted on separate days

TOTAL:     100 points