8.7 Cases and Problems

Learning on the Web (AACSB)

Factors Contributing to Nike’s Success

This writing assignment solicits your opinion on factors contributing to Nike’s success. To complete it, you should go to http://www.nikebiz.com/company_overview/timeline to learn about Nike’s history by reviewing the company’s time line.

Memo Format

Use the memo format described in the chapter for this assignment. Your memo should not exceed two pages. It should be single spaced (with an extra space between paragraphs and bulleted items).


You’re one of the fortunate college students selected to participate in Nike’s summer internship program. The program is quite competitive, and you still can’t believe that you were chosen. You arrived in Beaverton, Oregon, yesterday morning and have been busy ever since. Last night, you attended a dinner for new interns where you were welcomed to Nike by CEO Mark Parker.

You were lucky to be sitting next to a personable, well-informed Nike veteran named Simon Pestridge. Pestridge joined Nike about twelve years ago. He was telling you about a past assignment he had as director of marketing for Australia. (You were impressed with his status at Nike, not just because he doesn’t look much older than you, but also because you’ve always wanted to travel to Australia.) The dinner conversation turned to a discussion of the reasons for Nike’s success. Others at the table were giving their opinions on the subject when Pestridge turned to you and said, “As a new intern, give us an outsider’s point of view. Why do you think Nike’s been so successful?” You were about to venture an opinion when Pestridge was called away for a phone call. As he got up, however, he quickly said, “Send me a memo telling me what factors you think have contributed to Nike’s success. Keep it simple. Three factors are plenty.” Though you were relieved to have a little time to think about your answer, you were also a bit nervous about the prospect of writing your first official memo.

As everyone else headed for the Bo Jackson gym, you went back to your room to think about Pestridge’s question and to figure out how to go about writing your memo. You want to be sure to start by telling him that you enjoyed talking with him. You also need to remind him that you’re responding to his question about three factors in Nike’s success, and must be sure to explain why you believe they’re important. You’ll end by saying that you hope the information is helpful and that he can contact you if he has any further questions.

So far, so good, but you’re still faced with the toughest part of your task—identifying the three factors that you deem important to Nike’s success. Fortunately, even at Nike there’s always tomorrow to get something done, so you decide to sleep on it and write your memo in the morning.

Ethics Angle (AACSB)

The Goof-Off

You and three other students have been working on a group project all semester in your Introduction to Business class. One of the members of the team did very little work; he failed to attend almost all the meetings, took no responsibility for any of the tasks, didn’t attend the practice session before your presentation, and in general was a real goof-off. But he happens to be friends with two of the team members. You and your other team members have been asked to complete the attached team member evaluation. You want to give the student what he deserves—almost no credit. But your other two team members don’t agree. They argue that it is “unsocial and mean” to tell the truth about this student’s lack of contribution. Instead, they want to report that everyone shared the work equally. The evaluation will be used in determining grades for each team member. Those who contributed more will get a higher grade than those who did not. Prepare an argument that you can advance to the other team members on the ethics of covering for this student. Assuming that your two teammates won’t change their minds, what would you do?

Attachment to Ethics Angle Problem

Introduction to Business

Team Member Evaluation

(To be given to your faculty member during the last week of class)

TEAM ___________________

You have a total of $100,000. You can use this to reward your team members (including yourself) for their contributions to the team project.

Fill in each team member’s name below (including your own), and show beside each name how much of the $100,000 you would give that member for his or her contributions to the preparation and presentation of the team project. Do not share your recommendations with your team members.

Your recommendations will be confidential.

Team Members (including yourself) Amount to be given for efforts on team project
____________________________________ $_________________________
____________________________________ $_________________________
____________________________________ $_________________________
____________________________________ $_________________________
____________________________________ $_________________________
____________________________________ $_________________________
TOTAL (MUST EQUAL $100,000) $_________________________

YOUR NAME ______________________________________________________

Team-Building Skills (AACSB)

Team Skills and Talents

Team projects involve a number of tasks that are handled by individual team members. These tasks should be assigned to team members based on their particular skills and talents. The next time you work on a team project, you should use the following table to help your team organize its tasks and hold its members responsible for their completion.

Here is how you should use this document:

  1. Identify all tasks to be completed.
  2. Assign each task to a member (or members) of your team based on their skills, talents, and time available.
  3. Determine a due date for each task.
  4. As a task is completed, indicate its completion date and the team member (or members) who completed the task. If more than one team member works on the assignment, indicate the percentage of time each devoted to the task. You can add tasks that surface as your team works its way through the project.
  5. If the assigned person fails to complete the task, or submits poor quality work, add a note to the report explaining what happened and how the situation was corrected (for example, another team member had to redo the task).
  6. Submit the completed form (with all columns completed) to your faculty member at the class after your team project is due. Include a cover sheet with your team’s name (or number) and the name of each team member.
Tasks to Be Completed Initials of Team Member(s) Who Will Complete Task Date to Be Completed Date Completed Initials of Team Member(s) Who Completed Task (Add a Note Below the Table Explaining Any Problems with Completion or Quality of Work)
________ ________ ________ ________ ________
________ ________ ________ ________ ________
________ ________ ________ ________ ________
________ ________ ________ ________ ________
________ ________ ________ ________ ________

The Global View (AACSB)

A Multicultural Virtual Team

You work for Nike, a global company. You just learned that you were assigned to a virtual team whose mission is to assess the feasibility of Nike’s making an inexpensive shoe that can be sold in Brazil. The team consists of twelve members. Three of the members work in the United States (two in Beaverton, Oregon, and one in New York City). Two work in England, two in China, two in India, and three in Brazil. All are Nike employees and all were born in the country in which they work. All speak English, though some speak it better than others. What challenges do you anticipate the team will face because of its multicultural makeup?. How could these challenges be overcome?

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