For Paper 1 I am planning to write about the Nike case in conjunction with “Shareholder Value Myth” by Lynn Stout. I’d like to analyze Nike’s actions along with what they failed to do in response to the PR nightmare that surrounded their brand in the 1990s. Based on Stout’s ideologies surrounding the pitfalls of “shareholder value”, I will make suggestions on what Nike could have done differently in this situation, or what they can do if a similar situation ever arises again in the future.
Nike Foundation Uniform Project (Photo credit: The Advocacy Project)
For my paper 1, I am thinking about analyzing Nike’s case on the basics of three ethical schools of thought, and see whether they agree with each other. Then, it will be nice to brainstorm a couple of different courses of actions that Nike can take and recommend the best one. It will be a nice idea to speculate the future consequences and prospects and then compare and contrast that recommended action and the actual course of action that Nike took.
For the first paper, I want to take a look at Nike’s current business and manufacturing practices, and examine them through the lens of the shareholder/stakeholder debate. The Michael Moore movie that we watched for class was outdated, as was the case study. The picture that was painted of Nike’s labor practices in those days seemed overwhelmingly bleak, and I would like to know if that has changed. A quick preliminary search turned up this article, indicating that Nike has changed for the better. I look forward to addressing the questions of whether ethically-motivated protests can actually have an effect on a huge company like Nike, and whether their current focus is more stake or shareholder-motivated.
As an idea, I’m curious about the recent news of the facebook stocks on a steady decline. I’d like to explore the recent “Tech bubble” in social media, Zuckerberg’s future with facebook, and the differences with the company now that it’s public. Will Facebook be successful by continuing to support it’s users, or should Facebook justly focus on appeasing its shareholders. Despite what he says, Zuckerberg seems to value his users with the free-service of facebook rather than prioritizing shareholders’ wealth and revenue. Will Zuckerberg ever be fired? Will he then be compared to Steve Jobs, whom was fired from Apple at age 30? This dilemma is an example of shareholders vs stakeholders.
Check out this excerpt from the article, in which former Apple CEO John Sculley says, Continue reading
Although we have continually analyzed the situation regarding Apple and the Foxconn controversy, it seems to me that there exists a general lack of accountability regarding the case. Everyone seems to point their fingers at someone else. One vital question still stands out to me – who’s fault is it? Who has let this happen? Who is responsible for a corporation’s good or bad ethics and how does this affect the business decisions? I want to further analyse the scene to identify Apple as either a shareholder or a stakeholder company, clarify what this means and the responsibilities held by each associated party, and finally answer the question of who is to blame. Who has to be ethical? Who’s job is it to protect the ethics of a company?
As an athlete, I have loved Nike for as long as I can remember. Because of this, for my first paper, I want to further explore the Nike case we discussed. I would love to incorporate consequentialist ethics and determine whether Nike seems to be a shareholder- or stakeholder-focused company. Additionally, I plan to examine how Nike’s ethical stance and business strategy have (or have not) affected its status as arguably the most successful sports apparel company in the United States.
For my first paper I think I want to do something involving Enron, and corporate responsibility, as well as corporate fraud. I think Enron itself is such an interesting and complex case that can be more deeply explored than what was just in the case. I want to view the case by trying to identify all of the parties who were to blame, and try and identify what their motives were and how they treated both their stakeholders and shareholders. This mindset of everyone involved is interesting because it dives into the question of nature versus nurture. Had Enron created a toxic environment or were there simply a couple of bad apples who ruined everything. By trying to understand all parties motives I think that at least part of this question can be tackled.
I am a huge supporter of Nike and though the case painted the picture of a mysterious unethical company I would like to explore that more. I want to see if there are any other points of view that can be taken. I use Nike products every single day and when thinking of my favorite company Nike is high on the list. I had no idea before this class that Nike had so many issues in the late 90’s. So I want to deeply analyze Nike as a company and compare the actions to the stakeholder/shareholder debate. I then would like to tie in the The Rights in the Global Marketplace by Donaldson.
For my essay, I would like to explore further the ethical issues associated with Apple and its factories in China, specifically Foxconn. In the essay, I will discuss the conditions found in the factories and how they are ethically wrong and go against most American social standards. I will focus specifically on stakeholder ethics and how Apple should force its factories to treat their workers better, since they are technically shareholders. I will also touch on Mike Daisy’s expose of the Foxconn factory, its retraction, and the general reaction (or lack there of) in the US.
For Paper 1, my topic will be Nike. I’d like to form my thesis around the identity of Nike – Phil Knight and how it began, the stakeholder vs. shareholder debate, its marketing strategy, its shaking off of the brutal working conditions in the factories, and so on. All in all, by addressing these subtopics I hope to identify who Nike is as a company, how they are perceived, and all in all what their responsibilities are as the major athletic apparel/sportswear company in the world today.