Nike and the Changing Organization

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Nike is a company that is learning from its mistakes in the past but they haven't solved the problem as of yet. The stage of learning that Nike is in is somewhere in between the compliance and the managerial stages. It is hard to really tell what stage they are in at this moment because the information that we received was dated 2004. In the past 5 years they could have made some more strides to increasing the stage of learning they are in. This is conceivable because in the span of four years from 2000 to 2004 they did make some significant changes which were apparent in comparing the video in class and the last reading. One concern that our group discussed was the issue of Nike using the public relations department in order to get the view of the company up. The thought is that Nike is using the PR department to show that Nike is doing a lot more than they actually are. This would improve the image but not cost the company more, which is also wrong.

            Some lessons that Nike have learned over the past few years is that if they don't change what they are doing as a company then people and customers will call them out on the issue again. People have already done it once and there is nothing stopping them from doing it again. Nike has also learned that it needs to be more accountable for its actions. They were able to get away with a lot because they were not taking responsibility for anything that they did which has started to recently change. This ties to the lesson that Nike learned that they need to change with the social expectations of the organization. Nike needs to learn to be more adaptable to the changing environment because the defensive strategy just doesn't work.

            As stated before, Nike is somewhere in between the compliance and managerial stage in the continuum of the learning stages. They are still in these stages because they are still trying to protect their reputation by saying that they are going to do all of these different organization changing plans but few have gotten off the ground. Since they have started some of them they are thinking about the long term problem and are not trying to just push it away or cover it up which in turn leads them towards the managerial stage. This mix of two organizational styles is way they are sitting between the compliance and managerial stages.

            Some strategies that Nike used to address the critics was to show them a lot of PR work to show what they are doing not just what they plan to do. Nike also agreed to an external audit system which was a nice step forward but it only looked at a section of the company. It was a high profile firm but they were unreliable. The next step was impressive; Nike created their own department to audit the company. The Corporate Responsibility Department was the formalized structure which Nike had audit the organization. This supply chain audit management system was a nice way to show a current system to check to see where the organization needed to be changed. This also allowed the organization to revaluate the goals of the company and the employees working for the company. Along with all this, Nike started to shift the issues focus away from them to other companies having the same issue.


Group Members: Rebecca Picha, Andre Phillips, David Dahlstrom, Ryan Hooser