An organizational culture entails a set of beliefs, values, and practices that distinguishes a firm from others (Tedla, 2016). The norms tend to shape how workers of the firm behave towards colleagues, customers, and other stakeholders. Nike Inc. possesses an influential culture with a set of rules and instructions that gives the employees a particular direction on how to conduct their responsibilities while considering their relationship with other employees and clients. The firm’s organizational culture advocates for flexibility among the employees, competence, and having the necessary knowledge and skills to execute the expected duties successfully. The strategy enables the company to maintain its corporate culture and brand image, which contributes significantly to the success of the firm. Nike possesses an inevitable brand reputation that associates with athletes and sports worldwide. The firm focusses on building a committed workforce as part of its techniques to maintain its image.
Innovation and Creativity
The first characteristic of the organizational culture of Nike relates to its obsession with new ideas. Nike’s brand is synonymous with creativity and innovation to ensure the provision of goods that fit the consumers' tastes. The firm invests heavily in innovation through the creation of corporate teams consisting of around 1000 employees who show dedication to the generation of new ideas (Mann, 2018). The teams attend brainstorming sessions where individual members are encouraged to share their insights with others. During the discussion, the members are allowed to vote on the best idea before submitting them for further research with actual data. The innovation protocols at Nike recognizes that there are no bad ideas; therefore, individual employees should continue pursuing their ideas even after being voted out. Also, the company’s culture allows employees, especially designers, to go out and discuss with athletes about what is working with prototype products at every step of the procedure (Mann, 2018). The company associates with sports personnel that are successful based on individual perseverance. This strategy is an extension of the organization's fundamental business principles, which allows employees to persevere individually. In general, Nike’s organizational culture on innovation values the exceptional performance of individual employees.
Nike’s organizational culture thrives on sustainability, which turns to assist senior management in dealing with tradeoffs resulting from environmental and social issues. The company continuously preach the need for ecological sustainability to the employees. As a result, the workers develop a mindset that believes in sustainability as the right thing to do (Epstein et al., 2010). The aspect of sustainability is incorporated into the culture of the company through employee engagement in the process of generating new ideas. Also, Nike hires young workers, who are mostly retired or former athletes, with the urge to compete and have the spirit to be successful entrepreneurs. The enthusiasm for success and support for innovation contributes significantly to the observation of sustainable measures. The company operates under the slogan "just do it," which symbolizes that the employees need not be reminded of what to do, but rather embrace their ideas (Epstein et al., 2010). Unlike most companies, employees at Nike portray a strong spirit of volunteerism. The company facilitates this through its culture of implementing programs that will keep up with the pace of the workers’ activism. Employees feel a sense of appreciation and involvement in the company’s routines, and therefore willing to commit to the long-term interest of the firm. Nike educates and trains the workers to be sensitive to sustainability issues, and the employees, in turn, dedicate and commit their efforts towards achieving sustainability goals.
Inclusion and Diversity
Nike’s organizational culture is also characterized by workforce diversity and inclusion. Diversity relates to traits and features that make the taskforce unique, while inclusion relates to social behaviours that ensure they feel welcome. Mark Parker, CEO Nike, Inc., revealed that the company believes that diversity facilitates creativity and accelerates innovation (Edwards, 2019). Therefore, the firms value the differences in people’s backgrounds and recognize the unique experiences each employee presents. Mark indicated that diversity and inclusion bring different perspectives, which can fuel the generation of the best ideas. Besides, this practice provides Nike with a positive brand image and competitive advantage over the rivals. The company has ensured diversity and inclusion through the creation of a new office of Chief Diversity/Equality Officer, and initiation of several programs such as “Speak Up” (Edwards, 2019). These efforts maximize Nike's product development process through the creation of new designs that represent the tastes and preferences of a wide range of customers.
Talent and Training programs
Nike Inc. understands that innovation requires the best talents and the appropriate tools to support it. As a result, it is the organization’s culture to acquire talented individuals that will ensure its growth through the accomplishment of the long-term goals of the company. Also, the firm uses training programs and employee networks to maintain their talents through coaching and mentoring (Edwards, 2019). Nike also provides the workers with the necessary tools that will enable them to turn creativity into innovation and serve clients worldwide. The firm’s culture towards employee training aims at sustaining unique talents and necessary infrastructure for manufacturing the best athletic shoe products.
Nike has a geographic divisional organizational structure, which is because of its global presence and comprehensive services. The company has global corporate leadership that involves several corporate managers. The overall managers are in the offices in the company’s headquarters in Oregon, United States of America (USA) (Brenner, 2013). These managers are on top of the hierarchy when it comes to decision making for the global corporate structure of Nike. Besides, the global headquarters has the infrastructure that operates and manages the markets in the USA, Asia Pacific, and the Americas. The leaders in the head offices focus on creating a collective identity and business culture that embraces closeness to the needs of the clients. Mr. Alebeek, Vice President for Operations in Nike’s Head Office, indicated that the leadership structure and organization's culture of the company provides an environment where employees feel that it is their responsibility to identify and satisfy the clients’ needs (Brenner, 2013). Therefore, the nature of the structure enables leaders to make and implement decisions quickly throughout the company.
Nike Inc. also has various geographic divisions, which are divided based on regional markets. The local markets include Central and Eastern Europe, Africa, and the Middle East. Each segment has leaders or managers who overlook the company’s operations in that specific region regarding sports shoes, apparel and equipment. Nike introduced the regional leadership technique to eliminate complexity, facilitate transparency, and speed up the decision-making process. The local outlets of Nike operate under the strategic leadership of the headquarters and the fundamental principles regarding innovation (Neiderhauser, 2013). The company has excellent leadership criteria under Phil McKnight, cofounder, who has shared his vision for greatness and passion for sport throughout the world.
Brenner, B. (2013). Inside the Nike matrix. WU, Vienna University of Economics and Business, 1-19. https://epub.wu.ac.at/3791/
Edwards, C. (2019). Nike diversity analysis. 1-12. https://static1.squarespace.com/static/5d382e006a15fb0001ebad29/t/5d4a5de7b37c5a000114185b/1565154792477/Nike.pdf
Epstein, M.J., Buhovac, R.J., & Yuthas, K. (2010). Implementing sustainability: The role of leadership and organizational culture. Strategic Finance, 41-47. http://www.ef.uni-lj.si/docs/osebnestrani/Epsteinetal.4-2010.pdf
Mann, A. (2018). How Nike could transform its bro culture. Forbes.com. https://www.forbes.com/sites/alicemann/2018/04/08/how-nike-could-transform-its-bro-culture/
Neiderhauser, J.E. (2013). How Nike’s leadership affects brand image internally and externally. Journal of Undergraduate Research XVI. https://www.uwlax.edu/globalassets/offices-services/urc/jur-online/pdf/2013/neiderhauser.james.marketing.pdf
Tedla, T.B. (2016). The impact of organizational culture on corporate performance. Walden Dissertations and Doctoral Studies, 1-111. https://scholarworks.waldenu.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=3612&context=dissertations
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