Research Paper on CSR: An Essential Tool for Businesses to Contribute to Society

Paper Type:  Research paper
Pages:  7
Wordcount:  1885 Words
Date:  2022-12-29


Corporate social responsibility (CSR) is a vital tool in the running of business activities in the economy. This approach of running businesses is supposed to contribute greatly to the majority if not all the stakeholders in the industry (May et al. 459). The society has a lot of expectations on the businesses operating in their neighborhood concerning social responsibilities. However, the business fraternity has the choice in deciding the aspects of social responsibilities they will actively undertake in various parts of their regions of operation. Some companies may put in efforts to achieve their best in social responsibilities at all fronts. However, it is difficult for most companies to be at the forefront of all aspects of corporate social responsibilities. The given scenario where Nike performed one of their responsibilities of fulfilling its CSR shows their desire to impact a meaningful change in society (Carroll et al. 42). CSR has impacted on the organizational decisions especially regarding ethics which is a critical consideration for any business in the modern world (Brenkert and Beauchamp 24). The decision by Nike has received equal criticism as praise regarding the ethical considerations of the same. In this regard, this research analyses how ethical Nike is while carrying out its mandate in corporate social responsibility in the protest against racial inequality and police brutality. The decision and actions by Nike are considered ethical as they sought to fight vices and improve moral values in business.

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Nike used this channel to defend its important public image which is a moral and ethical obligation. This move was ethical as both the company and the public would benefit. Nike has dominated the industry of sportswear for a good number of years. It is, therefore, vital for the company to defend and keep its image clean at every opportunity they get (Frederick 56). The company redefines itself from the others and ensures its competitors in the market do not outdo it. Branding is a crucial aspect in the running of the business of Nike's magnitude. Nike uses the opportunity to brand itself as the community's spokes representative (Laasch et al. 367). It uses its huge resources and the current control in the sportswear market to reach out to all governance bodies. Nike's customers are convinced the message will reach out to the relevant authorities given the command the company has in the industry and the various relationships between the company and organs of government. These links with governance bodies give Nike a legitimate role in seeking justice for the people and their customers at large. This move to speak for the masses boosts the command its logo will have in terms of public influence and marketing strategies (Laasch et al. 367). The Swoosh (Nike's logo) could be considered a heroic symbol as it represents and defines athleticism, honor, teamwork, courage, and victory among other aspects correlated with sports. All these qualities can be found in Nike's choice to defend the fight against racial inequality and police brutality. This has a positive impact on influencing consumers of sportswear around the globe to use Nikes products.

Nike used the opportunity of implementing its corporate social responsibility in differentiating itself from its competitors. Nike exercises its corporate social responsibility in an ethical way by taking such an initiative in the best interest of the consumers and the community at large. In the eventuality that the governing authorities' acts positively in the response to Nike's advertisement, the community's outcry for social justice would have been heard and put to rest. The positive outcome of the advertisement achieving its goal would put the company a notch higher in differentiating the organization from its competitors (Madsen et al. 24). This element of Nike's interest in benefiting and placing the public's interest first helps in setting the company apart from the rest in the market. This move will establish the company's brand and place it on a unique level only to be admired by its competitors. The use of such an approach is significant as all the stakeholders will benefit in the process (Pohl and Nick 245). This approach by Nike shows its willingness to place its services to customers as a priority hence establishing trust between the community and the company. Nike's willingness to fail in such an attempt of manipulating the governing bodies to act in the people's desires has impacted on the customers positively. The customers may view it as a sacrifice on the company's side, for their sake, and thus prompting them to stick to the company's services in a bid to pay them back for the sacrifice.

Nike's decision in placing the controversial advertisement helped to prevent financially damaging boycotts, strikes, and lawsuits among other backlashes from its stakeholders (Fernando 371). The move would have caused stakeholders with a contrary opinion to withdraw from the company's services, but instead pulled them in, as a result of the company's change in ethical practice to support the community. By contracting Colin Kaepernick (a National Football league quarterback-turned activist), the company tarnished its initial intention for the advertisement which was meant for the good of the community. Nike was viewed to have ventured in unfamiliar political territories that could alienate the youths, one of its vibrant customers, from its services. Instead, the move helped in the change of its ethical practices to be accepted by the society ones again. The company used the opportunity to salvage itself from historical disagreement that included the company's shame in public due to its undermining labor practices on its employees (Fernando 371). The collapse of the Bangladesh factory showed the company's challenges in the market despite its improved image and turnaround of its finance muscles. The Oregon-based sportswear giant faced opposition to its decision, where stakeholders opposed to the advertisement began calling for boycotts of its services and products. Despite the tumbling opinions and the risks attached to the decision of the advertisement, the move was an ethical one, as it helped the company avoid lawsuits at the end (Prescott and Rothwell 251). The respective cases on its unfair labor practices, and the collapse of the Bangladesh Company, which led to the loss of employment, could have been used against it in a political rivalry contest. Instead, the company used it to change its ethical game as a result of its good intentions to voice the plight of the community.

Nike's decision in running the advertisement against racial inequality and police brutality was in a bid to appeal to the ethical consumer. The controversy that surrounded Colin Kaepernick's choice in participating in the advertisement, would have kept the company in a controversial political situation. This is due to the political activism attached to Colin Kaepernick when he joined the political class after his footballing career. The company's need to salvage its image to the ethical consumer was critical (Harrison et al. 196). This is due to the historical bad image; the company had earned itself. The poor labor practices and the closure of the Bangladesh factory left the company's image dangling for its survival, as it had created a negative image. Despite Colin Kaepernick's negative image due to his association with some political divides, Nike decided to contact him in the advertisement job. This went against the odds, as the company salvaged the trust it had lost with the ethical consumer and turned the company's ethical game entirely (Harrison et al. 196). The company took the initiative and pushed for the leadership to deal with the challenge in the society on racial inequality and police brutality, through the advertisement. This was viewed by the public as an interest in defending the society ethical practices and hence earning itself the ethical consumers as well as the courage to promote its products.

Nike used Colin Kaepernick as the advertisement main character mainly due to his controversial political position. This was done in a bid to appeal to the ethical investors, as the company's intention was to strengthen its brand and not focus on the political side of Colin Kaepernick's statement. Investors would have been turned off, were it not for the positive reception of the advertisement carried out. This showed Nike's risk in expanding its market due to the expected backlash resulting from the advertisement. The ethical investor is attracted to a company's boldness in venturing in risky opportunities. This due to the reason that the higher the risk, the greater the returns. The decision by the company to go ahead and use Colin Kaepernick as their main character convinced many investors that Nike was ready to explore the market and the industry by all the zeal to succeed (Werther and Chandler 184). The investors would choose Nike for its ethical stance as the company is averse to litigation making it compliant to track record and consistency. Nike desired to convince the ethical investor of its ability to strictly abide by the law, in the absence of direct supervision. This aspect came out clearly when they chose Colin Kaepernick as their main character despite his controversial choice of the political divide. This move by Nike was ethical, as Colin Kaepernick did not have a negative stance on humanity but he showed he did not support racial inequality and police brutality in the US.

Nike's choice of Colin Kaepernick as the main character in their advertisement, sort to appeal to the ethical employee in showing that despite one's political stance, they could still work with the company. The ethical employee viewed Colin Kaepernick's choice as controversial as it had two sides, with different political positions. On one side, Colin Kaepernick's position showed his support for the campaign against racial inequality and police brutality in the US. On the other side, his controversial stance showed disrespect to the national flag of the US by kneeling instead of standing during the national anthem song. It took Nike's decision to choose which side they would buy, but instead, they went ahead with Colin Kaepernick as their choice. This decision, appealed to the ethical employee as it showed, the company's ability to select an employee for their performance at the job and not their personal opinions (Scherer and Palazzo 40). Any employee would gladly work for a company that supports the freedom of choice in personal decision making. Nike reiterated its ability to manage good conduct of its employees and hence changing their ethics game. This appealed to the ethical employee as the employees will have the freedom to express themselves in the company in case of contradicting scenarios.

Nike's choice of Colin Kaepernick showed their ability to operate without further regulations outside the current laws in place. This aspect is illustrated in their choice to select a controversial public influencer for their advertisement (Tencati and Perrini 126). The move showed their respect for Colin Kaepernick's political stance, and their willingness to employ him despite is a controversial public image. This shows their ability to make crucial decisions in the market as well as the industry, without the fear of contradiction or compromise (Harrison et al. 47). Nike's desire to keep away from the strict regulations in the market arose from their past controversial relationship with the regulating bodies. This follows years of criticism by the public and regulatory bodies over its poor environmental and labor standards. Nike claimed to have changed its ways of operations for the better, but the regulator could hear none of...

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Research Paper on CSR: An Essential Tool for Businesses to Contribute to Society. (2022, Dec 29). Retrieved from

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