Nike Ethical Dilemma
Ethical dilemma is an issue involving moral principles with no right or wrong. There will always have debates on whether one matter is considered being right or to some people’s perspective, it might be wrong. Take for example in Singapore, many people will be against the idea of abortion as it is the same as murder. However, there are also some who are not against the idea. In fact, abortions were considered legal so long the pregnancy does not exceed 6 months.
It actually depends on one’s conscience and moral to how they look at the matter. In this paper, the ethical issues we will be covering will be on Nike child labour. NIKE inc, a well-known brand in the market that specialize in sporting goods has been reported that the manufacturer engaged, were using children as labour from as young as 10 year of age. These children were for the making of sporting equipments such as soccer ball, shoes and clothes in Pakistan and Cambodia. Using children as labour were seemed morally wrong for many people.
It is considered as exploitation of children as they were deprived of their educational and individual rights. However, in the eye of the developing countries, known as “third-world countries”, child labors were seen perfectly fine with various reasons behind their point of views. The main factor contributing to child labour was mainly due to the poverty face in these developing countries. These children worked so in order to earn money to support their families where parents do not earn enough to support the families (Catherine, 2010).
Therefore, there are no doubt these children was not send to school for appropriate education. From the business point of views, is Nike wrong by engaging these manufacturers for the production of sporting products? Well, it depends. Firstly, strictly from business point of view, the manufacturer has an agreement with Nike. This means the manufacturer has to fulfill the amount of soccer balls to be ready for sale at an agreed time or within a time frame.
Nike main concern was the final product, soccer ball, and had no wish to interfere or rather was unaware of the working situation in Pakistan In support of the unawareness of the labour, report have shown that one of the manufacturers such as Saga Sports was secretly outsourcing many balls to casual worker where sewing of these balls took place in their homes in which Nike were unaware of, thus, monitoring and keeping track of the labour situation be extremely difficult (Clark, 2006). Children ages were also easily forged since birth records do not exist in Pakistan. As such, Nike ight have employed them according to the information given to them which they assume is correct and real. From another point of view, Nike was actually providing job opportunities to the developing countries where their culture encourages children to start working as early as the age of 10 due to insufficient money earn from parents to support the families. In this point of view, Nike actually did a great help in term of improving the country poverty condition. I believe that the culture and the practices of child labour in Pakistan were present way before Nike was involved.
So, technically speaking, Nike was not wrong to employ this manufacturer as Nike could not and will not have control over these cultural issues. In this case, Nike does not have sufficient good reason to terminate the services of these manufacturers and therefore, Nike strictly were evaluating manufacturer based on their supply chain performance. All other issues such as the age group to use for labour, Nike technically speaking can choose not to interfere in the child labour issue even if it has the power or discretion to do so.
Therefore, Nike does not seem to be morally wrong in the continuation of partnership with the manufacturer in Pakistan. Take a look from another perspective, Nike may be morally wrong for the partnership with these suppliers. As everyone is aware, children should be receiving proper education when they are young and not working. Nike action has not only tarnished their images but as well sending a message globally, in supporting the use of children as labour in these developing countries should Nike continue to engage these manufacturers.
It is definitely an ethical dilemma in a business situation with the strong reasons on both sides on the employment of these manufacturers. Nike has to make a decision somehow. 2. Proposed Solution The proposed solution was to implement a manufacturer selection system where Nike could place emphasis on the labour selection, specifically, the age group. The purpose of the selection systems was to ensure that no children were to be use in these manufacturing factories.
Terms and condition will be stated in the agreement contract where Nike has the rights to take legal action against manufacturer when contract were breach. Nike should also closely monitor the labour situation by conducting regular checks at factories so as to ensure that the standard sets were follow. Auditor and representative from Nike could conduct surprise check on these factories with goals to prevent or reduced manufacturer from deviating from the agreement on the labour requirement.
Towards the extreme side, Nike has the right to terminate manufacturer that has repeatedly not adhere to the agreement signed. It 2006, Nike terminated one of the manufacturer in Pakistan namely, Saga Sports after a six month investigation revealed of the non-compliance of the labour standard and requirement set by Nike. With the various proposed solution and some measurements to take into consideration, Nike could definitely enjoy the benefit of outsourcing and at the same time not destroying the children bright futures.