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Making Sense of Change Management (Nike, Inc. Company)

A multinational corporation based in the United States, Nike, Inc. creates, develops, produces, and markets footwear, clothing, equipment, accessories, and services globally. In the greater Portland area, the business has its headquarters close to Beaverton, Oregon. It is one of the largest global suppliers of athletic shoes and apparel as well as a sizable manufacturer of sports equipment, with sales exceeding US$37.4 billion in its fiscal year 2020. (ending May 31, 2020). It employed 76,700 people globally as of 2020. Nike was ranked No. 89 on the 2018 Fortune 500 list of the biggest American corporations based on total revenue.

The leadership team at Nike is made up of a variety of people with various levels of business experience. John Donahoe, the CEO of Nike, has been a part of the organization since 2001 and has held some executive positions (Duarte, 2018). Donahoe was the CEO of eBay before joining Nike. Additionally, he has held board positions with several businesses, including PayPal Holdings, Inc. and Gap, Inc.

Nike takes a chance by developing products that are distinct from the competition. They also go beyond their authority scope by producing goods not always authorized by the government or other regulatory bodies. Nike turns up the heat by consistently innovating and creating new products and technologies that compel repeat business from their clientele. Nike also recognizes their contribution to the adaptive challenge through ongoing product improvement efforts and openness to customer feedback. Nike also acknowledges its flaws by working hard to improve its products and being open to customer criticism.

Nike has taken a number of noteworthy risks in the past. The business was involved in a significant scandal involving the use of child labor in Cambodia and Vietnam in 2002. Nike’s reputation suffered after allegations that child labor was used in its supply chain. As a result, Nike improved its supply chain procedures by increasing transparency and conducting audits. The business has also come under fire for its treatment of workers in China. Nike was charged with using sweatshops for manufacturing its goods in 2006. Nike acknowledged that its Chinese factories were subpar and had not properly supervised its suppliers. As a result, Nike introduced some reforms, such as raising wages and improving working conditions.

The adaptive challenge that the team is facing is significant, and the team’s response will contribute to the overall response to the challenge (Heifetz et al., 2009). Nike has successfully tackled adaptive challenges, despite the risks involved with its business. The company has been particularly effective at turning up the heat by directing people’s attention toward problems and responsibilities. For instance, Nike improved its supply chain procedures and increased transparency due to the child labor scandal. Similarly, Nike implemented several reforms in response to complaints about its labor practices in China, including raising wages and enhancing working conditions.

Nike has also been successful in getting recognition for its involvement in the relevant adaptive challenge. In response to the child labor scandal, Nike acknowledged its part in the issue and vowed to change its supply chain procedure (Duarte, 2018). Similar to how Nike admitted fault for the issue and vowed to do more to improve working conditions in response to criticism of its labor practices in China. Eric Sprunk, president, and chief operating officer of Nike, accepted the risk of sweatshop labor in Nike’s supply chain in 2006. Sprunk accepted responsibility for changing Nike’s procedures after acknowledging Nike’s contribution to the issue.

The leader(s) can, but are not obligated to, be honest about their flaws if they believe it will help the team (Heifetz et al., 2009). Nike has finally been successful in owning up to its mistakes. Nike acknowledged that it had not properly monitored its suppliers after the child labor scandal. As a result, Nike made efforts to boost transparency and enhance its supply chain procedures. Similarly, in response to complaints about its labor practices in China, Nike acknowledged that its factories were subpar and had not properly monitored its suppliers. Nike implemented several changes in response, including raising pay and enhancing working conditions.

Conclusively, the leadership team at Nike has taken several risks. The team has frequently overstepped its bounds, but they have always accepted accountability for its choices. The team has also increased the pressure on the business a few times, forcing it to alter its procedures. The leadership at Nike is not averse to owning up to mistakes and accepting accountability for deeds. I have learned from this research how important it is to take chances, go beyond one’s authority, apply pressure, and admit one’s shortcomings to deal with adaptive challenges. Additionally, I have learned how crucial it is to own up to one’s part in the issues one faces and take action to fix them.

The insights I take from this study is that Nike is a business willing to take chances to succeed. They are also a company ready to go above and beyond what is expected, turn up the heat, and admit their own to handle adaptive challenges successfully. Nike is another company that strives to improve its products while being open to customer feedback. Additionally, I think Nike is a business dedicated to owning up to its part in the issues it faces and acting to change its ways.


Duarte, G. B. (2018). Nike inc: sportswear & apparel (Doctoral dissertation).

Heifetz, R. A., Heifetz, R., Grashow, A., & Linsky, M. (2009). The practice of adaptive leadership: Tools and tactics for changing your organization and the world. Harvard Business Press.


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