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Global Business and Ethics

Essay by   •  July 10, 2011  •  Essay  •  978 Words (4 Pages)  •  1,205 Views

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Many businesses have gone to globalization to increase production and profit. While globalization can be quite beneficial, there are often stories told of sweatshop labor and lack of jobs in the United States. Nike Corporation is one of the largest and well known globalizations that caused major dispute and also set the standard for many other companies that decided to move business overseas. While intentions may have been in the right, the outcome of globalization often does not go without a black eye.

Nike has made great strides in producing profit primarily due to their ability to successfully build product overseas. Nike's success in global trade has accounted for millions in increased revenue that would not be possible if all production had stayed in the United States. While increasing profit is beneficial to investors, an ethical dilemma of how the organization achieves such cheap expenses raises a red flag to many and is reason for question.

While employing over 700,000 people in more than nine countries, Nike has successfully created jobs in poverty stricken countries and brought to them assets and resources that never before existed. Families in Vietnam, Thailand, Pakistan, and Singapore, just to name a few, now have the ability to eat and have shelter at night. This being said, Nike has been fought for over a decade to produce good benefits for employees.

The dilemma brought about is the fact that while the cost of living is less expensive in other countries allowing for the cost of labor to fall as well, Nike has taken advantage of extreme poverty stricken areas and employed people for less than what they can live off of simply because the need for a job far outweighs the need for a decent wage. Children under the age of 16 were working in factories that had unsafe conditions, losing limbs by crush accidents, breathing toxic chemicals that were 170 times the limits set by OSHA here in the United States. While Americans benefit from $100 pairs of sneakers, and Nike benefits by making almost $45 in profit on that pair of sneakers, a factory worker is making less than $3 a day to produce this product with no medical benefits and being forced to work in an unsafe environment. To top it off, if the worker complained and went public about the surroundings in which they worked they were threatened with losing their job and even their friends losing jobs.

An ethical issue arises when diverse cultures are involved with globalization and global trade. While countries such as Pakistan see jobs that Nike brings as beneficial, our culture sees people that are being taken advantage of, jobs in the United States that are lost, and a greedy company getting richer off of the sacrifices of others. There comes a time when the need for a job outweighs the desire to complain about the job at hand. Imagine having no health insurance, no workman's compensation, no vacation, no retirement, unsafe conditions, no safety training, working 70 hour work weeks, and when you try to alert someone of improper treatment you lose your job.

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