The importance of ethics and social responsibility in business has been the subject of debate since time immemorial. For many businessmen, ethical values are not very pertinent to the business. However over the period of time, legal and ethical responsibilities are started to be regarded as one of the prime decisive factors of a business’s success (Ferrell, Fraedrich & Ferrell, 2009). …
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For many businessmen, ethical values are not very pertinent to the business. However over the period of time, legal and ethical responsibilities are started to be regarded as one of the prime decisive factor of a business’s success (Ferrell, Fraedrich & Ferrell, 2009). The reason why it is necessary to regulate business practices by legal and ethical evaluation is because business is an essential constituent of the human society (Roa, 2007). Business organizations today are coming to realize that the famous dictum by Milton Freidman, the social responsibility of business is to increase its profits, may not hold much wisdom. This is well-exemplified in the example of Nike. Nike is a world-renowned producer of sportswear and other sports items. However, the company has had to face some major issues in the past related to its unethical conduct. Despite the fact that Nike is not the sole organization to be found guilty of unethical practices, it became the hub of censure and denigration because of its international presence and significant market share. In response, Nike took myriad of steps to improve its image and to make the process of manufacturing transparent. However, these measures have failed to be of much consequence. This paper will analyze the business practices of Nike in the context of three main values i.e. law, ethics and social responsibility. ...
The legal responsibilities of a business are in effect manifestations of the society’s perception of “codified ethics” and reflect the primary perceptions of just conduct as defined by the law (Carroll & Buchholtz, 2008). The business is accountable to the society for the fulfilment of this role; failing to do so, the business is subjected to a political process where the dissidents are dealt with. Thus, public companies are liable to certain legal responsibilities and are required to comply with them as part of their role in producing goods and services for the society. Nike, however, has been the subject of criticism due to the fact that its policies and practices have not been observant of the laws and legal responsibilities set forth for businesses. It was in the early 1990s that criticism against Nike’s practices began to come to light. Nike has been a famous name in the clothing and sports items industry. Seeing the large market share that it had abroad and the appeal of lesser manufacturing costs, Nike outsourced to a number of countries more than a couple of decades ago. There was nothing wrong in subcontracting work to other factories in the Southeast region. Nike did not violate any laws and argued that it provided jobs to many people in the poor countries (Hill & Jain, 2009). However its prime motive was to increment the profits it made and to bring down the costs of manufacturing. For many years before the criticism being levelled against the organization gathered substantial support, ethical and legal aspects of business conduct did not enter the cost-profit equation of Nike. Nike’s factories overseas had poor working conditions despite the
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