Ethical theory utilitarianism|Summary of Nike’s Company

Summary of Nike’s Company

Nike company is a multinational firm that is recognized for its design, development, selling and marketing sport wear, sport equipment’s and accessories. The company has remained the leading supplier of athletic equipment’s such as shoes and manufacturing sport facilities such as soccer balls. However, there are some practices that the company has been associated with that have led to their unethical issues. These have been summarized in the paper through the concept of Nietzsche; will to power and the ethical theory of utilitarianism some areas in the company that has been as weak points in the case of Nike company. Nike has been facing accusations of employing people in the underdeveloped and developed economies at low wages and poor working conditions for a notable period. Looking at the meaning of ethics, it is the science of morality and doing what is appropriate at a given time.

Nietzsche; Will to power

Nietzsche, will to power has manifested itself through physical dominance and violence. Nietzsche has emphasized on the believe that the main stimulating forcing in humans is their interest, ambition, achievement and the strive to reach the position that they feel best and the highest for them. Nietzsche was more interested on where people turn their will to power and then they tend to pursue self-mastery than having and ensuring a mastery on others.  The fundamental engine for this case of self-mastery is the will to power. In this case they tend to ignore and contrast the master morality. This has been strongly connected to the Nike company and their will of self-interest. They are having their duties for the sake of their own success. They are thriving to be at the highest position. Nike has been associated with a number of issues that have been caused by their practices.

Nike has acquired cheap labor and other low-cost facilities that have allowed them to sell at low cost hence attracting more consumers. For instance, the company has produced different types of shoes in China and in the United states. This has brought an issue that the company is making more quality products in the United States more that in foreign nations. It is evident that they have produced shoes with two zoom air cushions in United States and the same product in China with one cushion. This is unethical sales practices in the market. The company is also trying to monetize their products in a religious way such as the ad with the Arab woman who was running through the streets in Hijab.  This was a misinterpretation of the way of life of the Arab Muslim women. They do not exercise in public and the women in the gyms are few. This was something very sensitive in the Muslim culture.

They need to treat the people in a more valuable way because the employee matters as a person and requires to act for their sake and not only act for the sake of completion of duties and tasks. If the company increased the wages in the sweatshops, they would increase the standards of living for their workers to enhance a positive implication in the sweatshops. The environment in which the sweatshops are located have had some issues on working environments for the employees hence have affected some of the employees. However, the company is only concern with the location of factories in areas with low labor cost to increase their profitability.

Nike only thinks about their sales revenue and their low labor costs. In this case, Nike is not concern about bringing change in the economic system but is aimed at profitability. This, therefore, brings the reason as to why the company falls in the egoism theory. In Nike factories, the employees and the entire workforce has been provided with the poor working condition that has been low then the accepted norms in the world.

The company has practiced individualism which is an unethical practice. This is because they just want to do what they want to do but are not in the position to think and decide for others. This means that they are only focusing on the shareholder’s wealth and maximize their profits. They have ensured that they utilize low labor costs through employing unskilled employees in the undeveloped economies to work for them.  They have sent their productions overseas to acquire cheap labor force. This is not going to profit the company for a long period due to reduced reputation hence affecting the potential profits that the company would achieve (Belk 280). This is due to increased issues in the violation of human rights in the company. The fact that the employees are being humiliated, they may tend to lower their productivity if their working conditions are not improved.

Utilitarianism Theory

This theory states that the majority have the count above anything and that the greatest good depends on the greater number. This theory looks at the overall happiness of the stakeholders (White 470).  This, therefore, means that a decision reached by the majority must be right because the largest number is in agreement. Based on this principle, some benefits are only to the company and solely to the endorser. Nike has looked into the interest of the factory management and the entire company which is increased sales revenue and reduced labor costs.  The factory workers and their families are not happy about the operations of the company. The factory management is aiming at doing what they feel is good for them without looking into the consequences of others in the factory and the entire society.

Looking at the utilitarianism theory, Nike is considered to be unethical in its operations. The employees are no happy because they are being treated as if they are animals with physical abuse and the names they are being called by their employers. The consumers are not also happy with the superior quality produced in the factories after they understand the unethical practices hence they take that the product has been created in an inhuman way. In this case, for instance, the laborers in Nike are being humiliated with poor working conditions. The endorser has been paid a large amount of money rather than the company ensuring the safety of their workers through looking into the employee’s welfare. The employees are entitled to have their fair wages and also getter better treatment.

Child labor has been a persistent problem in the Nike company. The company has employed children in their factories that are located in underdeveloped countries to cut down the costs and increase their sales revenue. The issue of child labor and sweatshop in the company has been one of the legal challenges that the company is facing (Kolk 50).  For instance, in Pakistan, the Nike company has been accused of using child labor to produce soccer balls. The children in the factories have suffered physical and psychological harms. Nike has been targeting children through providing them with Nike products giving them the mentality that they will be more confident, be stronger and also obtain endless opportunities.

Their marketing campaigns have made the children believe that they can achieve by using the Nike products. Children have believed that the Nike products can make them better while they do not understand that the benefits cannot be proven. Children have been denied the opportunity to acquire education. Nick has violated the theory of utilitarianism through the use of low-cost labor and hiring children to serve their interest in keeping low labor cost. Overall, the violation of the utilitarianism has caused unhappiness hence creating problems in the present and future that Nike requires to fix.

They have laid off some workers in the company without making proper severance pay and has failed to consider their stakeholders in their poor decision making. Forcing the sweatshop employees to work for long hours, dangerous shifts, exhausting tasks, and low wages has led the company to act unethically.

Nike has established companies in countries with low standards of living with desperate workers that are willing to work overtime and also work for long hours in the companies. This has led to the concern of working conditions in some factories such as one in Korea where the employees work for seventeen hours. Workers have claimed to be physically and verbally abused by their employers. This has been a barbaric behavior towards the worker’s conditions in the factories. Nike has failed to employ workers at a rate that they can sustain their basic needs.  The wages are much lower than the required. Nike has been known for selling its products at steep prices while it is known that they manufacture their products in foreign countries at low cost. There some skin problems and breathing problems that have been faced in the factories that have manufactured the Nike products.

Virtue does not look into consequences and motives but rather looks at the moral character of the company.  Nike has attempted to have a new approach to the corporate social responsibility which has been considered unethical (DeTienne 374). Despite the CSR benefiting their employees worldwide, they are still having a bad moral character with an overall personal gain which is profit in this case. They have failed to train their employees in the places of work to reduce the labor costs. They have employed unskilled labor to pay low wages and increase loads of work and the number of working hours for them. The company has violated human rights hence denying employees their justice. This has been considered unethical as they try to hide the bad moral character in the new approach of corporate social responsibility.


The summary of Nike’s company cons has revealed that they have been involved in unethical issues in their business. The ethical theories have proved that the company is unethical according to the described unethical practices. The decisions and consequences of their activities have affected their employees, the consumers and also the factories. The use of children has been unethical about morality. It is therefore important for the company to try and achieve ethical practices in gaining profit and stop mistreating the workers. The con summary of the company has been achieved through the concept of will to power and the ethical theory utilitarianism.

Works Cited

Belk, Russell W., Timothy Devinney, and Giana Eckhardt. “Consumer ethics across cultures.” Consumption Markets & Culture 8.3 (2005): 275-289.

DeTienne, Kristen Bell, and Lee W. Lewis. “The pragmatic and ethical barriers to corporate social responsibility disclosure: The Nike case.” Journal of Business Ethics 60.4 (2005): 359-376.

Kolk, Ans, and Rob Van Tulder. “Ethics in international business: multinational approaches to child labor.” Journal of World Business 39.1 (2004): 49-60.

White, Judith, and Susan Taft. “Frameworks for teaching and learning business ethics within the global context: Background of ethical theories.” Journal of Management Education 28.4 (2004): 463-477.

Whysall, Paul. “Addressing ethical issues in retailing: a stakeholder perspective.” The International Review of Retail, Distribution and Consumer Research 10.3 (2000): 305-318.


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