I know, cliche to use a movie titled “Wall Street” in a blog post about comparing a film to business ethics. But I couldn’t help but draw the direct ‘shareholder wealth vs stakeholder’ analogy to the 1987 blockbuster hit. The movie portrayed a wall street millionaire/billionaire, corporate-raiding Gordon Gekko, and the journey of a young stock broker named Bud Fox.
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 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.
For my paper I want to look more into the Shareholder and Stakeholder theories and how they pertain to Apple. I think Apple is a very good company to look at in terms of these theories because of their popularity right now. I personally am the most invested in the Apple company, more so than in Nike or Enron. I found myself very engrossed in both of the Podcasts we listened to about Apple, probably because I am an Apple product fan. I think that it would be extremely to compare the ethics of the company or producer, and also the ethics we face as consumers. Because Apple is such a huge name brand and has a wide and strong grasp on a customer base, it is hard to blame Apple for any unethical claims – but does that mean they are not at fault? Does it mean the consumers are at fault?
For paper 1, I plan on using Apple as a real world example to discuss the conflicting theories of stakeholder ethics and shareholder ethics. I plan on focusing on the struggles of creating value for the wide variety of stakeholder’s that Apple has, and the difficulty in identifying which stakeholders are the most important for certain decisions. Furthermore, I want to investigate the changing ethics Apple has undergone over the past few years, the true reasoning for this change, and if they could ever become a socially responsible company to their core.
For the first paper, I would like to look into the strength of the Apple brand. Apple has not always been a leading name in innovation, I want to explore how the role of both shareholders and stakeholders impacted Apples transformation. How have ethical and /or non-ethical decisions impacted the brands image? Has Apple continuously been able to appeal to the share and stakeholders and how has that impacted the overall brand name?
Exploring the tension between Shareholder ethics and capitalism and Stakeholder ethics and capitalism using the Nike Case. Continue reading