To what extent do you believe that Nike depicts the "learning organization"?
Nike seems to be learning but not necessarily to an extent that breeds consistent action. They appear to be growing in the sense that their recognition of their labor practices not being acceptable is causing them to make some adjustments in their organization. Even though Nike is making adjustments it does not seem that they are radical enough to have made a large difference in the ways things have been done. But, we do not think that perfection means that you are learning and Nike does appear to be making some effort in advancing when it comes to the labor practices within their organization.
What lessons do you think Nike learned?
Nike is finding that being the biggest in the market causes them to take the heat. The article stated that Nike was not the only company in their industry with these kinds of labor practices. But, because Nike is the leader in the market, they will be made the example. Also, we believe that Nike is more aware of the fact that people do notice when their organization it not following the rules. They may think their practices will go unnoticed but eventually they will be found out.
What learning stage would you currently place Nike? Why?
We would place Nike in the strategic stage because it appears as though they are aware of their current situation with labor practices and have tried to improve their standards. But it does not seem like much of their sought out improvement are coming to fruition. If Nike is to follow through with improving their labor practices and it is known to the world that they are following the standards then we believe that they will be able to move into the civil stage.
What types of strategies did the company use to address their critics about their unethical corporate practices?
Nike used strategies such as audits, increase personnel for their labor compliance team, offering rewards for sweat shops that met standards set by Nike, and attempting to take the lead, amongst their competitors, in the ways that they dealt with their labor practices.
Which strategies where more effective? Why?
It is hard to say which strategies have been affective up to this point because it does not appear as though much has changed for Nike, in terms of their labor practices. But if we were to pick one that has helped them move along thus far it would be the increased personnel for their labor compliance team. Their audits did not appear to be successful and they were almost an embarrassment. Their increased personnel on their compliance team show that they are fairly serious about addressing their downfall with labor practices. It is also a good move that they are trying to take corporate responsibility and lead the rest of their competitors in a direction that will improve labor practice across other organizations.