The following three steps could’ve ensured that Nike was
actually paying attention to the rising criticism and attempting to address
them – Firstly, Knight as the CEO could’ve made sure that local translators
were used while interviewing the workers. Secondly, the primary objective of
the report could’ve been to try and address the main issue of factory wages.
Thirdly, rather than using photos and a wishy-washy kind of format, Nike
could’ve instructed specifically to use statistics and data which would’ve
maintained the sanctity of the report.
Nike executives had consistently argued that they were
targets of an uninformed media campaign, pointing out that although Nike was
being monitored by activists and the media, no one was monitoring the monitors.
Such claims were nothing but instances of futile attempts to restore public
There was denial all the way right from the beginning, and
rather than accepting faults and taking a strong step towards effectively
handling the critics, Nike was acting like a child caught stealing and its
hoarse cries failed to have any effect on its critics
A debate ensued around the topic of market wages and while
labor activists argued that workers in the developing nations were overworked
and paid minimal wages, which were not enough for sustenance, Economists, on
the contrary, argued that wages were driven by market forces. Paul Knight
could’ve taken a stance and decided to at least make sure that Nike paid
attention to the working conditions. The Young Report although slammed by one
Stephen Glass gained negative popularity
because of its method of research. Later on, it was found that Glass’s work had
been fictional and lacked solid ground.
Knight could’ve taken this opportunity to make a comeback by arranging
for an independent audit at that very moment to display Nike’s commitment
towards bettering the lives of the workers in Indonesia. That would’ve been
seen as a positive step on Nike’s side.