Child Labor In Developing Countries
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Ethical Analysis Of Nike Activities in Southeast Asia
Introduction to Child Labor in Developing Countries
Child labor is regarded as a serious social problem in which children are engaged in employment practices and work processes (Rugman and Verbeke, 2007). Apparently, children should not be included in employment management; still due to lack of financial resources, families were open for child labour. Most of the children work for their families and also to maintian their livelihood. Thus, in such respect focus has been laid on Nike’s practices regarding child labour. Thus, in this context, the present research study has been emphasizing on Nike which operates business as a athletic footwear organization and which delievers several products and accessories to the consumers.
Along with different sports products, Nike is engaged in rendering other acessories as well. The organization is greatly focused on brand management which also ensures to enhance customer satisfaction rate. In this respect, focus has been laid on organizational practices of Nike with regards to child labour in developing countries.
Hnece, discussion has also been included regarding labour practices of Nike in South East Asia. Therefore, in this respect reearcher has highlighted all the ethical practices of Nike through using semiotic square (Srivastava, 2011). However, many countries do not prioritize the child development and instead allows its children to get involved in child labor. Many millions of laborers across the world are children where many are working as hidden workers in homes or the underground economy (Srivastava, 2011). The international labor organization prohibits child labor simply because it is a violation of human rights. Child labor is one of the factors contributing to the failure of children to complete education and thus affecting their future negatively.
Labor Practices Of Nike In Southeast Asia
In developing countries, many families are poor, and the issue of family planning is a big challenge. It is easier to find a family with around ten children all under the age of 18years and that both parents are not employed in these countries.Resolving the issue of child labor in such situations is therefore not an easy task (Shah, 1998).
This is because the children are in such cases are working to get basic commodities and forcing the companies that employ these children to terminate the employment may lead to the children seeking other employments with lower paid work or even get involved in child prostitution in some cases (Shah, 1998). However, this does not mean that practicing child labor should be encouraged in such areas, but instead, other ways to help the children is encouraged.
A good example of child labor issues is Pakistan. In 1996, a life magazine published an article about child labor, and it had had a photo of a 12-year-old kind stitching a ball which was a product of Nike. This kid would spend most of the day stitching the pieces together only to be paid 60cents at the end of the day. This article led to activists complaining about the issue of child labor, and Nike later accepted that some of the soccer balls that Nike bought from Pakistan had been made by a contractor who was using child labor. Although the issue of Nike using subcontractors who are using child labor came into public in 1996, it may have started earlier because Nike has always used the third world countries to produce its commodities and to leave when the living standards of the country rise and make the manufacturing more expensive.
A good example is Japan where Nike used to produce its commodities and later left when Japan’s living standards went high. The case of the 12year old boy stitching the soccer ball was just one of the many cases which happen, and it shows that child labor is existent in many developing countries. However, this does not mean that the governments’ involved has allowed child labor but the problem is that enforcement is weak. For instance, Pakistan has laws concerning child labor, but in some places within the country, some children work for 10hours a day, six days a week simply because the law is not enforced by the government (Schanberg, 2006).
Semiotic Square is also called as Greimas square which is a tool that is used for structural analysis. This also identifies relationship between semiotic signs through considering opposite sides of the concepts. Applying the model in Nike, it can be said that the semiotic square is formed by an binary relationship among two contrary signs. It basically focuses on the study of signs and symbols which are the major elements of communicative behaviour. At the same time, it also includes identification of the system of communication such as language, clothing and gestures. Another dimension is that it depicts a general theory of signs and symbolism. This is usually divided into the branches of pragmatics, semantics and syntactics.
There are three different aspects that lies in this model and this can also be applied in Nike in terms of showing the relationship between business aspects. Thus, on the basis of above diagram, it can be said that Nike has to implement ethical aspects in to business practices. However, the practice of child labour increases ethical implications on Nike and as a result it affects the business prospects. The diagram depicts that child labour impacts Nike business operations and at the same time it also increases legal implications of the business. Therefore, with the elementary structure, it is evident that the model shows relationship between contrary, contradictory and implication. In this context, it can be said that business marketing is mainly focusing on the business interaction between organizational actors.
According to the Semiotic Square, Nike has to ensure that all the business practices are ethically and legally managed as that has a direct impact on business performance and productivity aspects. In addition to the same, it can also aid Nike to avoid all such aspects that can affect the business practices. However, the model shall not be applied in the situation if Nike already follows all ethical dimensions.
For instance- Nike can protect the business practices and performance through acting ethically and at the same time it does not require implementation of Semiotic Square in diverse business aspects. Therefore, this context it is clear that Nike needs to ensure that all legal and ethical dimensions are being considered. In addition to the Semiotic Square, Nike is also required to emphasize on ethical theories so as to apply different principles which aids business entities to judge the effectiveness of business practices.