Even though integrated nature of global economy has facilitated international commerce and trade agreements, as well as improved conditions of migrant workers in the USA, because of the laws/policies that have been implemented and the recognition of their rights by the state, it is evident that NIKE Incorporation, a multinational company has not fully integrated a balanced women representation in the workplace, especially the migrant workers.
This essay focuses on integrated nature of global economy, especially regarding women migrant workers’ treatment at NIKE Incorporation. Under a globalization trade arrangement, the US government policies have been tailored towards the international standards, and the respect for human rights is paramount. Similarly, the working conditions for the migrant workers, especially women, on issues of salaries, wages and recognition of the individual employee have also improved, thus boosting their morale at work. Therefore, it is by having both the rules and consciousness that the standard of living of the migrant workers in the USA has significantly increased.
Under trade agreement and international laws exercised in the USA, the migrant workers’ rights and freedom are guaranteed as they work in the country. For example, the country’s Human Rights Watch (HRW) constantly monitored the ways in which the financial crisis was impacting on the government’s reaction to the workers’ rights (Smith, 2007). Moreover, the body closely monitored if such rights and privileges were being violated during the hard economic conditions. As a result of the institution’s work, the country had to uphold those rights and privileges so that the migrant workers could not suffer any form of discrimination. In the USA, even those global/migrant workers who could not have access to the social welfare had the opportunity to get proper treatment as the other ordinary Americans This practice is more prevalent in urban areas and gradually embraced in the global setting as the programs spread across the country. In addition, the restrictions were gradually being overtaken by events in the country as the authority adopted new and liberalized rules (Smith, 2007).
Integrated Nature of Global Economy and Migrant Workers
In order to show that the leadership was previously not committed to eliminating the economic and legal barriers, the USA government implemented a program that was intended to provide employment opportunities to the USA dwellers from different parts of the world by subsidizing the employers who were to recruit the people residing in urban areas. Essentially, this decision did not respect, and was not in line with the rights of the migrant workers. It was explicitly barring global/migrant job seekers the rare opportunity to compete for the vacant opportunities fairly, meaning that it was discriminative. This argument is true, because the migrant workers cannot be considered for employment under that program, even though they have migrated to urban (Smith, 2007).
The other agenda that changed the system was the argument put forward by the Human Rights Watch (HRW). The institution postulated that continued barrier to employment opportunities for the migrants had impending consequences on their descendants who were expected to continue staying in the urban centers. For example, if a migrant does not get reliable and well paying employment, his or her children cannot get quality healthcare, food, education, and other social needs (Smith, 2007). This had dire consequences in the country’s economy and the person’s standard of living. In an attempt to eliminate the occurrence of such problems, the country had adopted a policy that ensures all children go to school. This was free and compulsory, thus ensured that the children had basic education. In addition, the government also adopted affirmative action to make sure that the migrants in the country had equal access the employment opportunities. Therefore, the measures were necessary to make sure that the people remained in harmony despite their racial backgrounds. This was to make sure that the migrants lived a health and dignified lifestyle, which the country had achieved.
Since some of the migrant workers contribute to the development of innovation and development in the USA industries, the expertise achievements are worth noting. The reason for this position is that the dynamic management and working systems that the migrant workers manifest lead to the rapid growth of the manufacturing sector in the USA, as seen in NIKE Incorporation. This stresses the need for formal protection of the migrant workers, an issue that the USA government has not left for chance. Despite the government’s attempt to minimize the affects of economic problems in the country on the migrants, the latter still fall victims of such unavoidable problems such as economic or fiscal changes, trade barriers and variations in consumer tastes (Smith, 2007).
Prior to the international financial crisis that grossly affected the USA economy, there were many violations of human rights, especially among the country’s migrant workers (Smith, 2007). In most cases, they were not allowed to engage in collective bargaining for better terms of employment. This means that they could neither form nor engage in the activities of other trade unions in the country, but only follow the guidelines of the Federation Trade Union. During that time, the migrant workers could not collectively agitate for better working conditions such as pay rise, safe workplace, respect and recognition to all employees.
The adoption of international laws, which guaranteed the employees such rights and privileges, changed the way the global migrant workers were being treated. For example, the workers could not be discriminated because of their social status, but the person’s experience played a vital role in the way the employer related to the global/migrant workers. This was important, because the practice improved the worker’s morale and subsequent output (Smith, 2007).
Analysis of women (migrant workers) at NIKE Incorporation
Although many people have doubted the possibility of NIKE Incorporation possibility of performing in the competitive market, it has been proven by studies that the company has taken unhealthy approach towards the gender bias. Researches carried through interviews and questionnaires have shown that NIKE Incorporation has created gender disparities both vertically and horizontally (Smith, 2007). First, a horizontal segregation has been noted by the fact that most of women across the branches of this organization work in almost similar departments. In some work stations, it has been found that men are evenly distributed both in the department and in positions. It was shown that a large percentage of administrative and management body was carried out by men. At the same time, men filled the supervisory portfolio as well as ranks down the ladder. Most women in the company are working at the level of secretary and sales. The percentage of women in the administrative and management system are hardly 25 percent today in this company. It can be proven that the criteria is not purely based on job qualification as women respondents did believe some of them were holding if not equal then above in credentials (Smith, 2007). Vertical segregation in employment has also contributed immensely towards the advancement of gender inequality in the labour market.
Second, vertical segregation is the biggest challenge in at NIKE Incorporation. Vertical segregation is occurred in a place, where the promotion aspect is being addressed in terms of grades and pay. Despite their grades and competencies, women tend to stay longer on low-level jobs as compared to men. This is majorly contributed the organization strategies rather than inefficiency among women. For those that manage to get promotions to the higher positions, they do suffer the ‘glass ceiling effect’ (Smith, 2007). The concept of ‘glass ceiling effect’ is where the women can get to the top only in theory while they cannot achieve it in practice (Smith, 2007). The speed of promotion is also noted to be higher among men as compared to women. This could be noted by the fact that job stagnancy is more in percentage among women as compared to men. Some women end up falling out of their jobs out of frustrations, while others seek judicial interventions. Another practice that has contributed to the increase of gender inequality in the labour market is the pay-gap.
Third, pay gaps have been seen as other determinants of gender disparity in the NIKE Incorporation. It can be evidenced that many women seek aid from the court over their pay as compared to men. Men in this company feel satisfied with their pay and promotion according to women respondents. Pay in any work set up is tied to promotions and job ranks, thus women are generally disadvantaged in this organization. The pay gap between men and women is not that distinct on the employees on the same rank, however, the general pay gap is larger on men than on women. The gap is taken from the total some payable to equal number of employees of both sexes separately. A number of cases have been filed over the company, which includes poor remuneration policies among women, but the company has come to a great defense on its operation system. The gender segregation in NIKE Incorporation cannot be understood properly, as its own policies are clear and against any form of gender biasness. It was thought that gender issues affecting this company are local issues within the branches, but this has been disputed by the accumulating cases across its international branches (Smith, 2007).
Management strategies are also useful to ensure proper accountability and ways in which this can be improved. The other objective is to ensure a good strategic management, to divert any eminent global challenges in future to have a clear roadmap for the business. Analysis of major factors affecting the strategic management is looked at. The political and social environment can determine the productive nature of the organization’s performance (Smith, 2007). Economic factors can be described as the market stability, which is affected by either inflation or recession.
When the company matches internal strengths with external opportunities, it provides core ability in meeting the customers’ needs and those of their individual employees, and such practices would help in decreasing the levels of gender inequality in the labour market. Under NIKE Incorporation’s human resources global strategy, the company believes that “a talented, diverse and inclusive employee base helps drive the creativity that is central to our brands” (“NIKE, Inc.”, 2012). This case study company acted to convert internal weaknesses into its strengths and external threats into opportunities. The company knew its competitors and applied these instrumental strategies hence mobilized their market share. It is through this that they were able to capture the market and have large sales (Smith, 2007). They also knew that food industry is an investment that will never fall, especially when one goes with the emerging trends in the market. They also applied technology in their strategy to respond to the employees issues on gender inequality.
Technology played a major role in this company is reducing gender inequality since the employees are given channels and media to address their concerns. For example, the NIKE Incorporation opened a web site (“NIKE, Inc.”, 2012). This site was able to attract many people, especially those who even never knew about their products and services, especially on its employment policies (Smith, 2007). Both the employees and the customers accessed them through the web. Through this, they have enhanced their marketing strategy to reach many people. The shape of their cakes is very appealing to the potential employees and customers. This is one of their strengths (Smith, 2007). The SWOT analysis outlines that the company adopted a simple and powerful tool for strategy development of any organization. In fact, there are fewer women as compared to men (Smith, 2007). This has made the human resources of the company to experience many global challenges.
Human resource challenges across the globe are many, because they are of different categories. The most important global challenges are change management in the business. Environmental HR challenges across the globe include workplace diversity, leadership development, retention and motivation or HR effectiveness measurement, compensation and attracting the best talent (Smith, 2007).
Workplace diversity: is broad and its dimensions include age, gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation, physical abilities, race, educational background, geographic location, income, marital status, religious beliefs, parental status and work experience (Smith, 2007). The company was able to deal with all the forms in the most professional way. The human resource manager introduced training on knowledge development based on utilization skills and continuous training to enhance individual competency. The company will never succeed without all these professional approaches to the issues on gender disparity in the recruitment processes.
Retention and motivation: This can also be termed as HR effectiveness and measurement. Motivation and retention of personnel are very difficult not only to this company but also to the other competitor companies. It has become a general concern today to retain the female workforces who feel that they are discriminated in their work positions. For example, the NIKE Incorporation observed that the average number of years or tenure for some professional employees is less than three years (Smith, 2007). This applies to IT professionals, marketers and other middle strategic managers to mange their employees, but the company offers better remuneration to maintain its male employees than the female ones. There is also a problem of attracting the best talents. In a tensed job market, most organizations always experience concurrent demands to get the same kind of talented professionals. In their pursuit for talented male employees, they end up cajoling talent all over the world. This company has designed ways of attracting these talents by knowing the reward factors contributing to this, but they often ignore the talented women. In essence, an employee with good communication skills, with capacity to think logically and being able to be analytic coupled with excellent leadership qualities is of great importance to the organization (Smith, 2007).
In conclusion, the NIKE Incorporation will never face all these global challenges, if they embrace the concept of gender equality in the labour market or workplace. Even though the company argues that when these challenges affecting both the domestic and external business operations are addressed, they have certain implications. The company may offer to pay the required amount at the market demands, but the cost of operation is going to be raised rapidly. This has the effect of reducing the profit margin. For its effectiveness, the management should undertake regular assessments on all issues. These include pay, work environment, benefits, administration and promotional opportunities to monitor the progress in long term basis. Appropriate tools for measuring development must also be put in place. Introduction of IT training to all the staff will be very effective and motivational to both the male and female employees of the NIKE Incorporation. Moreover, women migrant workers like the independence and challenge that come with being the corporation’s employee as well as the opportunities for advancement. In order to recruit more females, the NIKE Incorporation should focus on early retirement and business expansion programs.