Nike: Ethics Versus Reputation in the #MeToo Era
In March 2018, a report on workplace harassment issues was brought to the chief executive officer of Nike, Inc. (Nike), Mark Parker. The report was a result of a covert survey conducted by the female employees at Nike headquarters in Beaverton, Oregon, after the company's human resources (HR) department failed to respond to the women's repeated complaints. Soon, several senior executives left Nike. Although Parker took several steps to strengthen HR, some employees wondered whether the women's complaints had been handled appropriately. Nevertheless, according to experts, the behaviour the women described did not amount to harassment in legal terms. Was Parker's response to the survey a matter of reputation management or of genuine ethical concern? Why did the HR department not respond to the female employees' complaints earlier? If a case of harassment in legal terms could not be made against the executives, should they have been let go? If senior executives like Edwards committed or condoned harassment, should Parker allow those executives to receive severance packages? Arpita Agnihotri is affiliated with Pennsylvania State University - Harrisburg. Saurabh Bhattacharya is affiliated with Newcastle University.