The report seeks to offer recommendations to Nike Company concerning the negative publicity and a number of charges that the company has faced regarding its labour practices in its Southeast Asian plants. The company has negative image from the media and Trade Unions as well as from Non Governmental organizations. They are accused of cheaply outsourcing their products from companies in the South-East Asian region, and the said companies have poor record of employee satisfaction, while some exploit their employees. This paper seeks to offer diverse recommendations, which are envisioned to enable Nike, have a better public image, and ensure that the negative publicity does not affect the company’s performance.
The company has grown tremendously within a short span of time into one of the most successful companies in the sports apparel industry globally. The media has had a role in the development of the company’s image. The perceptions of most of the populace are significantly influenced by the mass media, (Fombrun 261). It is therefore recommended that the company utilises the mass media in controlling misinformation. In this case the company should set the record straight to the masses that Nike does not own the company’s which are alleged to have violated the employees rights, and that the companies are just subcontracted by Nike, this does not mean that Nike should bear sub responsibility for those facilities.
In addition, Nike has to show an excellent engagement with the contracted facilities where the facilities should be encouraged to be part of the process in improving the employees conditions and wages. Nike should therefore strive to differentiate its image from that of the subcontractors, without damaging its relationship with the contractors. While doing this however, the company should not attempt to apportion of shift blame. This will substantially decrease criticism since each company shall be scrutinized independently.
Publicize Positive actions
Another recommendation to Nike is to publicize positive actions. In this case, the company has to publicize the positive actions that the countries in which the factories are set have benefited. Nike should publicize immensely the positive actions that they have taken to ensure safe working conditions and acceptable wages to the employees. In addition, the company should invest in strategies such as Corporate social responsibility in the places where the contracted companies are located as presented by Copley (124).
In addition, Nike should publicize on the positive steps they have made and accomplishments that they have achieved in ensuring employee satisfaction in the said companies. In this case, Nike should pursue a positive image, that they don’t condone employee exploitation.
The company should also offer statistical findings on the payments, terms and conditions of other companies not related to Nike in the region. Nike should inform the populace that the company’s contracted pay rates similar or better than what is actually paid for similar jobs in the region.
Regain Consumer Trust/Respect
The other recommendation is to strive to regain consumer trust and respect. Consumers should not have an opinion that Nike is profit seekers since they source cheap labour but sale shoes expensively. In this case Nike can argue that they value their consumer’s demands and that consumers should be given items of the highest quality at all times. The company can present that what they want from the contracted companies is the best value, and how the companies make the employees achieve value is none of their business.
Nike can also consumer trust by pointing out the reasons for contacting companies with cheap labour source. That is, they value their customers and want the customers to always pay the least price, for the best product.
Enforce Code of Conduct
The company should also enforce a Code of Conduct which actually shows that the company actually pays attention the labour exploitation. The code of conduct should be clear to all, and that its realization should be controlled since without proper adherence, the Code will be just be alibi, with no consequence in the company’s image.
Recourse for violating code of conduct
It is recommended that the company develops a means of ensuring proper adherence to the Code. Nike should have proper surveillance measures, such as sending permanent inspectors in the named companies, to ensure conformity with the code. In addition, Nike should cooperate with the said companies to implement latest manufacturing facilities which are not labour intensive. Moreover, Nike should encourage employee training and development in the companies, such that the companies should adopt modern managerial skills. Furthermore, Nike should also cooperate with the host governments, to prosecute acute cases of employee exploitation.
If the company shall implement the above strategies, it is envisioned that its image shall be salvaged and that its consumers will have confidence with Nike’s products.
Copley, Paul. Marketing communications management: concepts and theories, cases and practices. Burlington: Butterworth-Heinemann, 2004.
Fombrun, Charles. Reputation: realizing value from the corporate image. Harvard: Harvard Business Press, 2008.