Andrew Young Nike Study
Ernst & Young Study on Vietnam factory
Nike Press Releases restored
Phil Knight Speeches
The purpose of this site is keep up with the historical record, given that Nike (for whatever reason) amends (drops and adds) various studies, reports, and other documents on its official web site. In particular, the Amos Tuck study was dropped from Nike's site after the research method was so thoroughly challenged. Yet Nike, still mentions the study as an example of its "commitment to Academic and university research" as recently as the August Toronto Academy of Management Meeting.
In the past two years, Nike has begun restricting access to documents to "approved" media agencies. Their strategy makes Academic Research difficult. This is page of my collection of Nike Inc. web site documents that were publicly available from 1997 through approximately June, 1999. These were located in a site called nikeworkers.com that Nike Inc. has since been revised to exclude the documents which are the basis of my research. Please consult NEW NIKEWORKERS.COM (press here).
Nike Inc. replaced many of its old web documents with the new set of public relations documents that can be found there today (press here). The documents at each given step in time represent, to me, Nike's face to the public, its official storylines. I call this Nike's face or faciality (Deleuze & Guattari, 1987). Since Nike changes its faciality (the documents it displays) from time to time, as a story research, I wanted to trace what was happening in the context of Nike's life space that could explain its faciality changes. I have therefore restored quite a number of the old nikeworkers.com web files to give you the reader some sense of the historical record and how facial changes by Nike Inc. may well be a response to critical work being done by activists, journalists, and documentaries.
I saved the items below to my computer between 1997 and 1998, while writing a half dozen journal articles and conference proceedings on the topic of Nike and the activists. I did simply copy all commands and created my own text files in order abide by the requirements of the NUD*IST content analysis and text-retrieval software. To reconvert back to html, I had to take out a zillion line returns. So I hope you enjoy the data and excuse some of the crude formatting.
In my writing, I am also getting challenged by Nike Inc. to verify where I obtained various documents. Even though I obtained these from Nike's nikeworkers.com before the faciality changes. I therefore decided for my own peace of mind and to help other scholars who may be trying to sort out the storytelling and counter-storytelling among the activists and Nike Inc. I decided to put up these files.
If you are looking at my series of Nike studies and trying to find the links that do not work in my references, you will find most of these are Nike links that were once alive at nikeworkers.com. To give you a sense of time frame, at the beginning of each file contains a date each was created and last modified.
This collection is being made available to researchers, students, and others who would like to contrast what Nike Inc. said in 1997 with what it is now saying in 1999. I have provided transcripts of phone calls on the Amos Tuck Business School Wage study, speeches by Phil Knight, the Methodist Church proposal to the stockholders' meeting, Nike press releases by Dusty Kidd (head of Labor Practices Division of Nike), and a number of Frequently Asked Questions pages. Several of these documents defend Nike against charges made by activist groups such as Global Exchange (mentioned frequently), Boycott Nike, TRAC, and others (See Boycott Nike of New Mexico for links to these sites).
An interesting study would be to look at the
activist and journalist web sites and compares the Nike texts and
their changes over time (press
here for NEW NIKE SITE).; then, attempt to determine what aspects
of Nike's position has changed since 1997?
Nike's Code of Conduct While Nike notes it has the first code of conduct of any athletic shoe make, the question is, is that code enforced?
Nike General FAQ's
Nike and labor conditions of 500,000 contract employees in 350 Asian factories
Nike and labor practices, is how Nike monitors and enforces its code of conduct. A series of reports coming out of Vietnam, China and Indonesia
Nike responds to its critics, particularly Global Exchange
Nike and collective bargaining, Nike asserts it promotes collective bargaining.
and independent monitoring, Nike favored Ernst & Young and
Price Water House, but with the release of Vietnam Labor Watch and
other on-site studies, former-Ambassador Andrew Young was sent in.
But, this resulted in a number of questions about Young's methodology.
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Report by Young Andrew and Hamilton Jordan. "The Nike Code of Conduct" report. Good Works International June 27, 1997. (Full Text this link has strange behavior; New link to Andrew Young report).
If you do not use frames go (Press
Here). Young's photos depict a
Nike (at its old web sites) provides a list
of people who support the findings of the Young report.
Recently, NGOs have been allowed to investigate, including Dara
O'Rourke recent 1999 studies. Nike put up a response to questions about
Non-Government Organizations (NGO) it works with.
Environmental Initiatives Counter
also provide a fair amount of critique of Nike's environmental
rhetoric in several papers.
Nike's Response to Subcontractors, that Violate Nike's Code of Conduct. The issue here is, does Nike respond swiftly and effectively when there is a manager charged with sexual harassment, assault on workers, or not addressing safe working conditions? Counter stories (press here).
The Ernst & Young Audit of Nike Factory Conditions and Labor Practices
Counter stories - Ernst & Young. "Environmental and Labor Practice Audit of the Tae Kwang Vina Industrial Ltd. Co., Vietnam." January 6, 1997. This was Nike's own paid auditors, who had been producing reports since 1993 for Nike. This one was released to Dara O'Rourke, UN consultant, and then to the front page of the New York Times (Greenhouse, November 8, 1997), and finally the WWW-ing. It was a major public relations disaster for Nike Inc. The scientifically administered wage studies, health surveys, and other empirical reports ran counter to Nike's public claims, the web site FAQ, and Phil Knight's speeches. Nike has tried to discredit its own auditor's reports since that time.
If this was not enough bad news, Dara O'Rourke critiqued the methodology and procedures of the Ernst & Young auditors to assert that conditions may well be worse than reported. O,Rourke, Dara. "Smoke from a hired gun: A critique of Nike's labor an environmental auditing in Vietnam as performed by Ernst & Young." November 10, 1997 (Full text).
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In order to respond to increasingly vocal critics and journalists alleging that Nike paid less than poverty wages and no where near living wages, Nike paid expenses for MBA students to conduct a wage study. This study (press for Vietnam Results) has come under increased critical review since it went public. I have put the links back up form Nike. I was able to obtain the original data set from Dartmouth and do a re-analysis of the empirical results. My findings do not match those of the two Dartmouth professors and their MBA students. Dara O'Rourke has also widely critiqued the study, raising method and interpretive issues. The following is the initial press release by Nike followed by telphone transcripts of reporters and Nike PR staff putting questions to the MBA students and their professors. The original study itself has been removed from both the Dartmouth and Nike web sties. Nike gives phone numbers where the studies can be obtained.
A colleague has restored copies of the original Amos Tuck Study Files to the Web (press here). Note, in August of 2001, Nike restored a pdf version of the Amos Tuck wage study (press here).
Nike First Press Release About Tuck Wage Study (Press Here for Vietnam Results). Counter stories See Amos Tuck's Post-Sweat Nike Spin
Part I of Nike Conference Call, October 17, 1997 with Professors Gene Mihaly and Joe Massey of the Tuck Study. In these two transcripts there is good interaction between several reporters, Dusty Kidd, Vada Manager, and the two Dartmouth professors from the Tuck Business School. Reporters include Naomi Klein from Toronto Star, Bruce Ramsey with the "Seattle Post Intelligencer," Tim Shorrock from "The Journal of Commerce," and Jeff Manning from "Oregonian" Newspaper. Note: Oregonian Newsfiles has an archive of photo and journal reports on Nike including the Jeff Manning series on Nike (Search for Manning).
Part II of Nike Conference Call, October 17, 1997 with Professors of the Tuck Study.
Nike Conference Call with the Professors and MBA Students Final Report of Amos Tuck Business College, November 3, 1997. This is a transcribed conference call with Dusty Kidd, Vada Manager - Senior Manager for Public Relations, and the MBAs who conducted the study. The students cite many statistics to support Nike's claims that it pays a living wage.
Nike's 1998 Response to Michael Moore's "The Big One" interview with Phil Knight gives this mention of the Amos Tuck study:
Wages at Nike factories have been hotly debated by activists– many who choose to disregard the growing body of data regarding our contribution to workers in developing economies. An example of this debate is captured in an excerpt from a recent TIME magazine story and illustrates Nike's position:"Another huge issue is the question of a fair wage.
To study Nike's current archive of statemtns on wages (click here).
In Sum, The Amos Tuck study, I believe may have been removed from web circulation because it is old news or perhaps because it has been widely critiqued for methodological flaws and Nike and Amos Tuck just wanted to end the controversy. See these reports:
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REMARKS BY PHIL KNIGHT FOUNDER & CHIEF EXECUTIVE OFFICER NIKE,INC. to Annual Shareholder’s Meeting, Oregon Convention Center; Portland, Oregon on September 22, 1997.
REMARKS BY PHIL
KNIGHT, Nike Chairman and CEO to National Press Club, where the
New Labor Initiatives, May 12, 1998. It was these initiatives that
were to address the FAQ issues raised between 1996 and 1998.
VIDETTE BULLOCK MIXON DIRECTOR OF CORPORATE RELATIONS AND SOCIAL
RESPONSIBILITY OF THE GENERAL BOARD OF PENSIONS AND SOCIAL
RESPONSIBILITY OF THE UNITED METHODISTS CHURCH gives speech at NIKE,
Inc. Annual Shareholder’s Meeting, Oregon Convention Center.
Portland, Oregon on September 23, 1997 (Note: This speech is now
available at Nike.com (click
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Nike Press Release for 1997 Shareholder's Meeting.
Nike Press Release (un dated). It was a release shortly after the first critiques of the Ambassador Andrew Young report. The PR responds to Global Exchange, who had released a study by AMRC/HKCIC Asia Monitor Resource Centre and Hong Kong Christian Industrial Committee Hong Kong, "Working Conditions in Sports Shoe Factories in China Making Shoes for Nike and Reebok", September 1997,
Nike Press Release, September 16, 1997. NIKE PUTS ITS CODE OF CONDUCT IN THE POCKET OF WORKERS. After several critics commented that Nike workers in Asia did not know the code and that it was in English and they did not speak English, Nike issued pocked sized codes in many languages.
Nike Press Release, October 13, 1997 NIKE INAUGURATES MICROENTERPRISE PROGRAM FOR WOMEN IN VIETNAM. This is one of the new initiatives outlined in Phil Knights speech May 12, 1998 (see above).
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I hope these documents, stories and counter-stories help other scholars to make sense of the interactions between Nike Inc. and the Activists. In that sense making, I think there is one story, I must tell. That is through the actions of a hundred small activist web sites and investigative studies, Nike Inc. has elected to raise wages, improve labor practices, and even invest in micro-enterprise loans for its workers. I encourage Nike Inc. its executives, shareholders, and especially the 500,000 workers to just keep it up. - David M. Boje August 30, 1999
If you have any information that is more
accurate or up to date, please
Please press to return to Academics Studying Nike Web Page
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