Open Access Freier Zugang (Open Access)  Eingeschränkter Zugriff Zugang für Abonnent*innen oder durch Zahlung einer Gebühr

Entzauberung eines Mythos? Kritik und Rechtfertigung am Beispiel von Nike

Christian Ulbricht

Volltext: PDF


Schlagwörter: Kritik, Rechtfertigung, Legitimität, Sozialstandards, Ausbeutung, Nike, Bewährungsprobe


Disenchantment with the corporate social responsibility myth? Criticism and justification using the example of Nike


This paper deals, on the one hand, with the criticism of Nike’s exploitative labour practices that has emanated from western industrial societies and, on the other hand, with the firm’s subsequent attempts to secure  legitimacy through adaptation and justification. By drawing upon Luc  Boltanski and Laurent Thévenot’s sociological theory of justification it  becomes possible to see the complex interrelationships betweencorporate responsibility, social responsibility, Fair Trade demands and the like. This perspective suggests that criticism is able to categorize and that this  categorization is then incorporated as rules in legally formalized tests. This function has two consequences: First, it plays a role in setting morally  induced profit maximization limits; and, second, it enables Nike to  measure expectations and respond to them, thereby allowing Nike to  promote an image of a socially responsible enterprise; an image that, in the end, generates value. The question therefore arises: For whom is this actually a story of success?

Keywords: criticism, justification, legitimacy, social standards, exploitation, Nike, test