Upon reading the Nike article I began to make many evaluations about the company as well as its practices. Overall, their products, research, and cutting edge technology in the sports industry are second to none. However, their practices as a business should be questioned along with the leadership within their organization. Nike's business model is "to market high-end consumer products manufactured in cost-efficient supply chains (Zadek, 2004)." This common practice used amongst many organizations proves to be effective in attracting many customers and generating a vast amount of profit. However, underlying this business model for Nike is the unethical practices of how the products are made and the unfair wages paid to factory workers in Indonesia. With the exploitations of Nike's business practices being exposed in the early 2000's a new approach was necessary, thus they developed the path to corporate responsibility.
Therefore, Nike came up with the five stages of organizational learning. These stages in order are defensive, compliance, managerial, strategic, and civil. Using this system they assessed where they were at and how they could progress through each level and eventually reaching the overall goal of becoming a civil learning organization. Assessing the first stage of being defensive, this states that companies deny their responsibilities as an organization. A company in this stage really needs to re-evaluate the power and position they have in the market and whether or not they are willing to continue to take the risks involved with this stage. Next, the compliance stage states that a company recognizes their responsibilities as an organization; however they do it just to please the corporate standard that is set. This stage is not taking a community responsibility approach and says a lot to consumers about what is important to the company. The managerial stage shows that companies are taking a realistic approach to addressing corporate responsibility yet they are still missing the long term benefit in building a partnership with the community. The strategic learning stage takes an important approach to reaching out to the company and really building in social issues with business strategies. Overall this is a great approach however the step missing is incorporating this idea across business to business relationships. The civil stage is the ideal approach for a company that wants to show ultimate social responsibility for its business actions because it promotes industry participation.
Altogether, Nike remains in the compliance stage to this day with adjustments being made to improve to the managerial stage. They have shown progress by incorporating these ideas into their business activities. However, by promoting themselves as the industry leader in corporate responsibility while still participating in shady business they really contradict their actions and progressing to the next stage. Avoiding the conflict presented by this situation was impossible, however Nike managed this improperly by refusing to do interviews and address the issue. Instead they ignored the so called bad "itch" and continued on until the power of the people starting this issue became too great where they were forced to create a plan of corporate responsibility. Overall Nike has been able to avoid a lot of negative media in the past five years since the initial outbreak of their business practices with this five stage approach. To avoid this in the future Nike would benefit in actually participating in the plan they have set forth.