Levi Strauss

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Levi Strauss at Home and Abroad As one attempts to assess the business ethics of Levi Strauss and Nike in this writing assignment, we are again compelled to revisit the critical distinction of conduct that is legal, yet still unethical. In both instances, Levi Strauss and Nike behaved with the parameters of legal conduct, yet few would argue that profiting from exploitive work conditions is an ethical behavior of any socially responsible organization (broad view social responsibility). Obviously, it’s very tempting to just condense this argument to the point of “bad companies boosting profits from lower labor costs via exploiting foreign workers in sweatshops”. I am going to take a much broader approach here in my assessment, as…show more content…
The end result of this ruling is that corporations that profit greatly from outsourced labor are now able to pay for the elections of our Congressmen – and gee, wonder how this economic “favor” will be repaid when attempts to rein in outsourcing come up in Congress? Let’s move on to our two protagonists in this debate: Levi Strauss and Nike. Now that we’ve got the backdrop well in hand, and a reasonable person would agree that a massive systemic failure in the U.S. has allowed and promoted unchecked outsourcing of jobs, it’s time to discuss these two corporate giants and their respective behaviors here. Do these two corporations have a responsibility to monitor the conduct of the companies they do business with--in particular, their contractors and suppliers? As a personal believer in the broader view of corporate social responsibility, I believe that they do. Notwithstanding the fact that all of this outsourcing is legal, and despite the mitigating factors that I’ve argued above that do alleviate these two companies of all of the blame – I still believe that they need to take the higher moral ground. Levi Strauss overall has conducted itself with far greater corporate social responsibility than Nike has, in my judgment. Strauss for many years withdrew from China due to their notoriety as a non-democratic country with abusive labor conditions.
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