Nien-he Hsieh

Associate Professor of Business Administration

Nien-hê Hsieh is an associate professor of business administration in the General Management Unit. His research concerns ethical issues in business and the responsibilities of global business leaders. Professor Hsieh teaches Leadership and Corporate Accountability to first-year MBA students and to Executive Education participants in the Program for Leadership Development. He joined the faculty from The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania, where he was an associate professor of legal studies and business ethics and served as co-director of the Wharton Ethics Program.

Professor Hsieh’s research centers on the question of whether and how managers ought to be guided not only by considerations of economic efficiency, but also by values such as freedom and fairness and respect for basic rights. He has pursued this question in a variety of contexts, including the employment relationship and the operation of multinational enterprises in developing economies. Professor Hsieh also studies foundational aspects of this question, examining principles for rational decision making when choices involve multiple values that appear incomparable. In his current work, he focuses on institutional dimensions of this question. In this research, he investigates standards managers should follow even if not required by legal and public institutions, and how managers should respond when existing institutions make it difficult to meet these standards.

Professor Hsieh's work has been published in Business Ethics QuarterlyEconomics and Philosophy, The Journal of Political PhilosophyPhilosophy and Public AffairsSocial Theory and PracticeUtilitas, and various other journals. He serves on the editorial board of Business Ethics Quarterly and the executive board of the Society for Business Ethics.

Professor Hsieh holds a B.A. in Economics from Swarthmore College, an M.Phil. in Politics from Oxford University, and a Ph.D. in Economics from Harvard University. Before joining the faculty at Wharton in 2001, he was a Postdoctoral Fellow at Harvard Business School, and he has held visiting fellowships at Harvard University, Oxford University, and the Research School for Social Sciences at the Australian National University. 


Journal Articles

  1. The Responsibilities and Role of Business in Relation to Society: Back to Basics?

    Nien-he Hsieh

    2016 Society for Business Ethics Presidential Address
    Abstract: In this address, I outline a “back to basics” approach to specifying the responsibilities and role of business in relation to society. Three “basics” comprise the approach. The first is arguing that basic principles of ordinary morality, such as a duty not to harm, provide an adequate basis for specifying the responsibilities of business managers. The second is framing the role of business in society by looking to the values realized by the basic building blocks of contemporary economic activity, i.e., markets and firms. The third is making explicit the basic institutions that structure the background against which business operates. The aim is to develop a plausible framework for managerial decision making that respects the fact of value pluralism in a global economy and that fosters meaningful criticism of current business practices while remaining sufficiently grounded in contemporary circumstances so as to be relevant for managers.

    Keywords: business and society; corporate responsibility; harm; human rights; institutions; Pareto efficiency; Corporate Social Responsibility and Impact; Moral Sensibility; Society; Rights;

    Citation:

    Hsieh, Nien-he. "The Responsibilities and Role of Business in Relation to Society: Back to Basics?" Business Ethics Quarterly 27, no. 2 (April 2017): 293–314. View Details
  2. The Social Contract Model of Corporate Purpose and Responsibility

    Nien-he Hsieh

    Of the many developments in business ethics that Thomas Donaldson has helped pioneer, one is the application of social contract theory to address questions about the responsibilities of business actors. In Corporations and Morality, Donaldson develops one of the most sustained and comprehensive accounts that aims to justify the existence of for-profit corporations and to specify and ground their responsibilities. In order to further our understanding about the purpose and responsibilities of productive organizations, and as a contribution to the scholarship on Donaldson's thought, this paper gathers together the critical responses to Donaldson's account along with Donaldson's replies to his critics. The paper argues that we would do well to continue engaging with Donaldson's account because of its distinctive and challenging conception of the purpose and responsibilities of productive organizations, but that many of the insights to be gained come from reframing the role played by social contract theory.

    Keywords: Corporate Social Responsibility and Impact;

    Citation:

    Hsieh, Nien-he. "The Social Contract Model of Corporate Purpose and Responsibility." Business Ethics Quarterly 25, no. 4 (October 2015): 433–460. (DOI: 10.1017/beq.2016.1.) View Details
  3. Should Business Have Human Rights Obligations?

    Nien-he Hsieh

    Businesses and their managers are increasingly called upon to take on human rights obligations. Focusing on the case of multinational enterprises (MNEs), the paper argues we have reason to reject assigning human rights obligations to business enterprises and their managers. The paper begins by distinguishing business and human rights from the more general topic of corporate responsibility. Following Buchanan (2013), the paper takes the ideal of status egalitarianism to be central to human rights. Status egalitarianism holds that all members of society stand as moral equals in relation to one another and that the state has a duty to recognize and protect that equal standing both in its dealings with citizens and in their dealings with one another. To assign human rights obligations to MNEs and their managers risks undermining this ideal. The paper situates this argument in relation to the United Nations "Protect, Respect and Remedy" Framework by discussing the way in which MNEs can be complicit in state failures to protect citizens. The paper argues that avoiding complicity should be the appropriate focus of managerial responsibility.

    Keywords: human rights; Ruggie Principles; corporate responsibility; multinationals; Rights; Multinational Firms and Management; Corporate Social Responsibility and Impact;

    Citation:

    Hsieh, Nien-he. "Should Business Have Human Rights Obligations?" Special Issue on Business and Human Rights. Journal of Human Rights 14, no. 2 (April–June 2015): 218–236. View Details
  4. Multinational Corporations, Global Justice and Corporate Responsibility: A Question of Purpose

    Nien-he Hsieh

    Do multinational corporations (MNCs) have a responsibility to address unjust conditions—not simply by refraining from contributing to injustice, but also by actively working to bring about a just state of affairs? This paper examines whether this question can be meaningfully addressed without having to engage two contentious debates in contemporary scholarship: the debate about the moral agency of corporations and the debate about the purpose of the for-profit corporation. Finding it difficult to avoid the second debate, the paper examines the extent to which prevailing accounts of corporate purpose (e.g., shareholder primacy, stakeholder theory, corporate citizenship) support attributing responsibilities of justice to MNCs. The paper concludes that a more promising account is one that frames the purpose of the for-profit corporation in terms of its function in allowing members of society to meet their wants and needs by coordinating labor and capital in the production of goods and services.

    Keywords: multinational corporations; global justice; corporate purpose; corporate responsibility; Human Needs; Multinational Firms and Management; Corporate Social Responsibility and Impact;

  5. Voluntary Codes of Conduct for Multinational Corporations: Coordinating Duties of Rescue and Justice

    Nien-he Hsieh

    This paper examines the extent to which the voluntary adoption of codes of conduct by multinational corporations (MNCs) renders MNCs accountable for the performance of actions specified in a code of conduct. In particular, the paper examines the ways in which codes of conduct coordinate the expectations of relevant parties with regard to the provision of assistance by MNCs on grounds of rescue or justice. The paper argues that this coordinative role of codes of conduct renders MNCs more accountable for the performance of actions specified in a code of conduct than they would be without a code of conduct. This interpretation of the significance of codes of conduct is contrasted with the view that codes of conduct render MNCs accountable for performing actions specified in a code of conduct by grounding contractual obligations for the performance of such actions.

    Keywords: Business Ventures;

    Citation:

    Hsieh, Nien-he. "Voluntary Codes of Conduct for Multinational Corporations: Coordinating Duties of Rescue and Justice." Business Ethics Quarterly 16, no. 2 (April 2006): 119–135. View Details

Book Chapters

  1. Incommensurable Values

    Nien-he Hsieh

    Values, such as liberty and equality, are sometimes said to be incommensurable in the sense that their value cannot be reduced to a common measure. The possibility of value incommensurability is thought to raise deep questions about practical reason and rational choice as well as related questions concerning topics as diverse as akrasia, moral dilemmas, the plausibility of utilitarianism, and the foundations of liberalism. This entry outlines answers in the contemporary literature to these questions, starting with questions about the nature and possibility of value incommensurability.

    Keywords: Measurement and Metrics; Values and Beliefs;

    Citation:

    Hsieh, Nien-he. "Incommensurable Values." In Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy, edited by Edward N. Zalta. Stanford University, 2016. View Details
  2. Managerial Responsibility and the Purpose of Business: Doing One's Job Well

    Nien-he Hsieh

    Business managers routinely make decisions that significantly affect the lives of others in both positive and negative ways. In the light of these wide-ranging effects, much scholarship has been devoted to specifying the responsibilities of managers of for-profit business enterprises. Much of this scholarship is framed in relation to “shareholder primacy”—the view that managers should maximize shareholder wealth subject to the constraints of market mechanisms. In this chapter, I outline another alternative to shareholder primacy that aims to improve upon existing alternatives and avoid some of the difficulties they encounter. I argue that even though business enterprises are private associations, in overseeing them as loci of production, managers help to realize important market-specific social values. These values in turn ground responsibilities on the part of managers to pursue specific ends. By framing managerial responsibility in terms of the values realized through the functioning of business enterprises, this account of managerial responsibility is also meant to address debates about the role and purpose of business firms.

    Keywords: Business or Company Management; Goals and Objectives;

    Citation:

    Hsieh, Nien-he. "Managerial Responsibility and the Purpose of Business: Doing One's Job Well." Chap. 5 in Ethical Innovation in Business and the Economy, edited by Georges Enderle and Patrick E. Murphy, 95–118. Studies in Transatlantic Business Ethics. Northhampton, MA: Edward Elgar Publishing, 2015. View Details
  3. Corporate Social Responsibility and Multinational Corporations

    Nien-he Hsieh and Florian Wettstein

    A central question that arises from the perspective of global ethics is what standards ought to apply to the activities of multinational corporations (MNCs). This chapter surveys the contemporary theoretical literature on this question. The first section provides background on MNCs and their rise. Section two summarizes attempts to promulgate global standards for MNCs in relation to human rights, labour, bribery, and the natural environment. Section three surveys the literature on the theory and practice of corporate social responsibility (CSR)—those corporate activities and policies that are not legally mandated and are framed in terms of the corporation's impact on society. The remaining sections consider the ethical dimensions of the question. Section four introduces the debate surrounding the universality of moral standards in the context of business activity. Section five describes attempts to specify standards for MNCs that involve taking a position on two key debates in the broader literature: the debate over the purpose of the for-profit business corporation and debate about the moral agency of corporations. The sixth section of the chapter summarizes accounts that aim to specify standards for MNCs without having to take a position on the purpose of the corporation or the moral agency of corporations.

    Keywords: multinational corporation; corporate social responsibility and impact; Multinational Firms and Management; Corporate Social Responsibility and Impact; Standards;

    Citation:

    Hsieh, Nien-he, and Florian Wettstein. "Corporate Social Responsibility and Multinational Corporations." Chap. 19 in The Routledge Handbook of Global Ethics, edited by Darrel Moellendorf and Heather Widdows, 251–266. London: Routledge, 2014. View Details
  4. Can For-Profit Corporations Be Good Citizens? Perspectives from Four Business Leaders

    Nien-he Hsieh

    This chapter serves an epilogue, turning to ask practitioners how they would answer the question, "Can for-profit corporations be good citizens?" In reflecting on their answers, the chapter puts forward an account that grounds the purpose and responsibilities of for-profit corporations in their role in enabling productive activity that allows members of society to meet their needs and wants. This account is contrasted with prevailing accounts in scholarly literature (e.g., shareholder primacy and stakeholder theory) that frame corporate purpose and responsibility in terms of whose interests the corporation is meant to serve. One area of comparison concerns a central activity of citizenship, which is participation in the political and legislative processes.

    Citation:

    Hsieh, Nien-he. "Can For-Profit Corporations Be Good Citizens? Perspectives from Four Business Leaders." Chap. 16 in Corporations and Citizenship, edited by Greg Urban. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 2014. View Details
  5. Multinational Enterprises and Incomplete Institutions: The Demandingness of Minimum Moral Standards

    Nien-he Hsieh

    Multinational enterprises (MNEs) operate across countries that vary widely in their legal, political, and regulatory institutions. One question that arises is whether there are certain minimum standards that ought to guide managers in their decision making independently of local institutional requirements, especially when institutional arrangements are incomplete. This chapter examines what follows if managers recognize two kinds of duties of forbearance in their decision making that are commonly held to be among the most minimal of moral duties: the duty not to harm and the duty not to violate the liberty of others. The chapter concludes that the standards for MNEs may be more demanding than what the minimalist nature of duties of forbearance initially would suggest.

    Keywords: Multinational Firms and Management; Decision Making; Standards;

    Citation:

    Hsieh, Nien-he. "Multinational Enterprises and Incomplete Institutions: The Demandingness of Minimum Moral Standards." In Business Ethics. 2nd ed. Edited by Michael Boylan, 409–422. Hoboken, NJ: John Wiley & Sons, 2013. View Details
  6. Multinational Enterprises and Corporate Responsibility: A Matter of Justice?

    Nien-he Hsieh

    Keywords: Multinational Firms and Management; Ethics; Corporate Social Responsibility and Impact; Lawfulness;

    Citation:

    Hsieh, Nien-he. "Multinational Enterprises and Corporate Responsibility: A Matter of Justice?" In Morality and Global Justice: The Reader. 1st ed. Edited by Michael Boylan. Boulder: Westview Press, 2011. View Details

Cases and Teaching Materials

  1. Making Target the Target: Boycotts and Corporate Political Activity (B)

    Nien-hê Hsieh and Victor Wu

    Public Opinion; Social Issues; Corporate Social Responsibility and Impact; Mission and Purpose; Problems and Challenges; Laws and Statutes; Rights; Crisis Management; Risk Management; Media; Political Elections; Taxation; Corporate Accountability; Values and Beliefs; Fairness; Diversity; Customers; Communication; Business and Government Relations;

    Keywords: campaign finance reform; corporate accountability; corporate political activity; lobbying; LGBTQ; campaign contributions; campaign finance; retail; shareholder activism; Public Opinion; Social Issues; Corporate Social Responsibility and Impact; Mission and Purpose; Problems and Challenges; Laws and Statutes; Rights; Crisis Management; Risk Management; Media; Political Elections; Taxation; Corporate Accountability; Values and Beliefs; Fairness; Diversity; Customers; Communication; Business and Government Relations; Retail Industry; United States;

    Citation:

    Hsieh, Nien-hê, and Victor Wu. "Making Target the Target: Boycotts and Corporate Political Activity (B)." Harvard Business School Supplement 317-131, June 2017. View Details
  2. Making Target the Target: Boycotts and Corporate Political Activity

    Nien-he Hsieh and Victor Wu

    Through the challenges facing Target, the case examines the ways in which corporations can become involved in political and legislative debates and processes, ranging from campaign contributions to lobbying. In 2016, Target CEO Brian Cornell must determine how to respond to the debate over North Carolina's recently signed law, commonly known as "HB2," that invalidated LGBT non-discrimination ordinances at the local level. In contrast to other organizations, Target did not threaten to leave the state. However, its public statement in support of LGBT rights prompted a boycott against its stores. Adding to the difficulty was the fact that Target was caught on the other side of the debate in 2010 in one of the earliest high-profile controversies resulting from the Citizens United ruling. Target had contributed to a SuperPAC supporting business-friendly candidates. As one of the candidate's opposition to same-sex marriage became well publicized, Target faced a consumer boycott as well as a shareholder proposal to change its policies on political contributions. The case covers current campaign finance regulations as they relate to business as well as Target's lobbying activities regarding online sales tax legislation.

    Keywords: boycott; corporate accountability; corporate political activity; lobbying; LGBTQ; campaign contributions; campaign finance; retail; shareholder activism; Public Opinion; Social Issues; Corporate Social Responsibility and Impact; Mission and Purpose; Problems and Challenges; Laws and Statutes; Rights; Crisis Management; Risk Management; Media; Political Elections; Taxation; Corporate Accountability; Values and Beliefs; Fairness; Diversity; Customers; Communication; Business and Government Relations; Retail Industry; United States;

    Citation:

    Hsieh, Nien-he, and Victor Wu. "Making Target the Target: Boycotts and Corporate Political Activity." Harvard Business School Case 317-113, April 2017. (Revised June 2017.) View Details
  3. The Ready-Made Garment Industry: A Bangladeshi Perspective (A)

    Nien-hê Hsieh and Saloni Chaturvedi

    Responsibility for working conditions in contract factories within the supply chain presents an ongoing challenge for managers and an area of debate. Much of the debate approaches the challenge from the perspective of large global apparel brands. This case helps students take the perspective of a Bangladeshi contract factory that is part of the brands' supply chain but must also deal with challenges in its own supply chain. The case leads up to the Tazreen factory fire of 2012, in which over 100 people died, and covers subsequent developments in Bangladesh and the apparel industry.

    Keywords: Apparel; Bangladesh; corporate responsibility; human rights; labor; safety; supply chains; Working Conditions; Labor; Working Conditions; Supply Chain; Safety; Rights; Corporate Social Responsibility and Impact; Apparel and Accessories Industry; Bangladesh;

    Citation:

    Hsieh, Nien-hê, and Saloni Chaturvedi. "The Ready-Made Garment Industry: A Bangladeshi Perspective (A)." Harvard Business School Case 317-052, March 2017. View Details
  4. Responsibilities to Society

    Nien-hê Hsieh

    This module note for students outlines an approach to help managers deliver on their responsibilities in relation to society. The approach frames these responsibilities in terms of potential harms to third parties beyond investors, customers, and employees. The approach aims to help managers identify relevant harms, analyze their responsibility for harms, and determine an appropriate response. The approach also considers limits on how far managers ought to go to address these harms, emphasizing respect for boundaries relating to political legitimacy and legal authority. The module note was written for students in the first-year course Leadership and Corporate Accountability.

    Keywords: corporate political activity; corporate social responsibility; ethics; human rights; role of business in society; Corporate Social Responsibility and Impact; Ethics; Business and Community Relations; Rights;

    Citation:

    Hsieh, Nien-hê. "Responsibilities to Society." Harvard Business School Module Note 317-065, March 2017. View Details
  5. Apple: Privacy vs. Safety?

    Henry McGee, Nien-hê Hsieh and Sarah McAra

    In 2015, Apple CEO Tim Cook debuted the iPhone 6S with enhanced security measures that enflamed a debate on privacy and public safety around the world. The iPhone 6S, amid a heightened concern for privacy following the 2013 revelation of clandestine U.S. surveillance programs, employed a default encryption system that prevented both Apple and government authorities from accessing data stored on the device. Law enforcement officials warned that the encryption hindered investigations for criminal cases and international terrorism and called on Apple to build a backdoor, a way to bypass the encryption. But Cook maintained that any backdoor would compromise customers' privacy and security. In 2016, a federal judge ordered Apple to provide technical assistance to unlock the iPhone used by one of the two terrorists who killed 14 people in San Bernardino, California. Apple refused to comply with the order and asked the government to withdraw its demand. As the court case unfolded, Cook considered his responsibilities to the U.S. government as well as to Apple's customers, employees, and shareholders.

    Keywords: iphone; encryption; data privacy; Safety; Corporate Social Responsibility and Impact; Mobile Technology; Civil Society or Community; National Security; Leadership; Technology Industry; Consumer Products Industry; United States;

    Citation:

    McGee, Henry, Nien-hê Hsieh, and Sarah McAra. "Apple: Privacy vs. Safety?" Harvard Business School Case 316-069, March 2016. (Revised December 2016.) View Details
  6. Putting the Guiding Principles into Action: Human Rights at Barrick Gold (A)

    Rebecca Henderson and Nien-he Hsieh

    In 2010, Human Rights Watch, a well-regarded international NGO, approached Barrick Gold asserting that members of the company’s security force at the Porgera Gold Mine in Papua New Guinea had on multiple occasions raped women who were trespassing onto the mine’s waste dumps in search of gold. Subsequent investigations identified significant evidence to support the allegations, and the revelations led to broad ranging change at both Porgera and at Barrick more generally. Drawing heavily on the United Nation’s Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights (GPs), Barrick not only moved to make efforts to provide restitution to the women involved, but also designed and rolled out a comprehensive set of policies designed to embed the protection of human rights into the entire company. Barrick also played a central role in leading the development of an auditing and verification framework for the Voluntary Principles on Security and Human Rights (the VPs), a set of commitments embraced by most of the world’s largest extractive companies. The case provides students with an opportunity to analyze the challenges that arise from operating in environments with weak state institutions; to examine the challenges of implementing voluntary frameworks, such as the GPs or VPs, and their potential as alternatives to state institutions; to learn about the field of business and human rights; and to develop an analytic framework for evaluating the responsibilities of business leaders to society, especially from the perspective of human rights.

    Citation:

    Henderson, Rebecca, and Nien-he Hsieh. "Putting the Guiding Principles into Action: Human Rights at Barrick Gold (A)." Harvard Business School Case 315-108, March 2015. (Revised April 2016.) View Details
  7. Responsibilities to Employees

    Nien-he Hsieh

    The note provides a framework to conceptualize managers' responsibilities to employees in relation to economic, legal and ethical considerations. The note frames the central ethical challenge for managers as exercising power in a fair manner. The fair exercise of power involves three components: respect for legitimate expectations, procedural fairness, and distributional fairness.

    Keywords: Leadership & Corporate Accountability; ethics; legal aspects of business; employees; responsibility; fairness; decision making; Ethics; Fairness; Employees; Decision Making; Jobs and Positions; Labor; Law;

    Citation:

    Hsieh, Nien-he. "Responsibilities to Employees." Harvard Business School Module Note 315-067, December 2014. (Revised April 2016.) View Details
  8. Governance and Sustainability at Nike (B)

    Lynn S. Paine, Nien-he Hsieh and Lara Adamsons

    Two members of Nike's executive team must decide what sustainability targets to propose to Nike's CEO and to the corporate responsibility committee of Nike's board of directors. Set in 2012, the case traces the evolution of Nike's approach to environmental and social concerns from its origins in student protests against labor conditions in the supply chain in the 1990s through the development of a board-level corporate responsibility (CR) committee in 2001 to the creation of the Sustainable Business & Innovation (SB&I) strategy in 2009. In this context, Hannah Jones, Nike's VP of SB&I, and Eric Sprunk, VP of Merchandising & Product, are working to finalize the company's next round of sustainability targets for presentation to the CR committee. When Nike signs on to the Roadmap to Zero, a Greenpeace-inspired initiative to eliminate the discharge of toxic chemicals into the water supply by 2020, the company's target-setting process becomes more complex. Jones and Sprunk must decide whether to recommend that Nike dial back other sustainability goals to meet the zero toxics challenge, modify its commitment to zero toxics, or find another solution.

    Keywords: Nike; Hannah Jones; Mark Parker; Phil Knight; Philip Knight; Eric Sprunk; Jill Ker Conway; Phyllis Wise; Don Blair; sustainable business and innovation; SB&I; Flyknit; DyeCoo; Footwear; Athletic Footwear; Apparel; Athletic Apparel; sustainability; Greenpeace; Detox campaign; Dirty Laundry; Water; Water Use; Water Pollution; Water Resources; Corporate Responsibility Committee; Decision Choices and Conditions; Decisions; ethics; fairness; Globalized Firms and Management; Multinational Firms and Management; Globalized Markets and Industries; governance; corporate accountability; corporate governance; Innovation and Invention; Innovation and Management; Innovation Leadership; Innovation Strategy; Goals and Objectives; Management Practices and Processes; corporate social responsibility and impact; Performance; Alignment; supply chain; Organizational Change and Adaptation; judgment; board of directors; board committees; environmental and social sustainability; footwear industry; Decision Choices and Conditions; Decisions; Ethics; Fairness; Globalized Firms and Management; Multinational Firms and Management; Globalized Markets and Industries; Governance; Corporate Accountability; Corporate Governance; Innovation and Invention; Innovation and Management; Innovation Leadership; Innovation Strategy; Goals and Objectives; Management Practices and Processes; Corporate Social Responsibility and Impact; Performance; Alignment; Supply Chain; Organizational Change and Adaptation; Judgments; Apparel and Accessories Industry; Asia; China; United States; Oregon; Portland;

    Citation:

    Paine, Lynn S., Nien-he Hsieh, and Lara Adamsons. "Governance and Sustainability at Nike (B)." Harvard Business School Supplement 313-147, June 2013. (Revised September 2016.) View Details
  9. Governance and Sustainability at Nike (A)

    Lynn S. Paine, Nien-he Hsieh and Lara Adamsons

    Two members of Nike's executive team must decide what sustainability targets to propose to Nike's CEO and to the corporate responsibility committee of Nike's board of directors. Set in 2012, the case traces the evolution of Nike's approach to environmental and social concerns from its origins in student protests against labor conditions in the supply chain in the 1990s through the development of a board-level corporate responsibility (CR) committee in 2001 to the creation of the Sustainable Business & Innovation (SB&I) strategy in 2009. In this context, Hannah Jones, Nike's VP of SB&I, and Eric Sprunk, VP of Merchandising & Product, are working to finalize the company's next round of sustainability targets for presentation to the CR committee. When Nike signs on to the Roadmap to Zero, a Greenpeace-inspired initiative to eliminate the discharge of toxic chemicals into the water supply by 2020, the company's target-setting process becomes more complex. Jones and Sprunk must decide whether to recommend that Nike dial back other sustainability goals to meet the zero toxics challenge, modify its commitment to zero toxics, or find another solution.

    Keywords: Nike; Hannah Jones; Mark Parker; Phil Knight; Philip Knight; Eric Sprunk; Jill Ker Conway; Phyllis Wise; Don Blair; sustainable business and innovation; SB&I; Flyknit; DyeCoo; Footwear; Athletic Footwear; Apparel; Athletic Apparel; sustainability; Greenpeace; Detox campaign; Dirty Laundry; Water; Water Use; Water Pollution; Water Resources; Corporate Responsibility Committee; Decision Choices and Conditions; Decisions; ethics; fairness; Globalized Firms and Management; Multinational Firms and Management; Globalized Markets and Industries; governance; corporate accountability; corporate governance; Innovation and Invention; Innovation and Management; Innovation Leadership; Innovation Strategy; Goals and Objectives; Management Practices and Processes; corporate social responsibility and impact; Performance; Alignment; supply chain; Organizational Change and Adaptation; judgment; board of directors; board committees; environmental and social sustainability; footwear industry; Decision Choices and Conditions; Decisions; Ethics; Fairness; Globalized Firms and Management; Multinational Firms and Management; Globalized Markets and Industries; Governance; Corporate Accountability; Corporate Governance; Innovation and Invention; Innovation and Management; Innovation Leadership; Innovation Strategy; Goals and Objectives; Management Practices and Processes; Corporate Social Responsibility and Impact; Performance; Alignment; Supply Chain; Organizational Change and Adaptation; Judgments; Apparel and Accessories Industry; Asia; China; United States; Oregon; Portland;

    Citation:

    Paine, Lynn S., Nien-he Hsieh, and Lara Adamsons. "Governance and Sustainability at Nike (A)." Harvard Business School Case 313-146, June 2013. (Revised September 2016.) View Details
  10. A Framework for Ethical Reasoning

    Sandra J. Sucher and Nien-he Hsieh

    A practical framework for evaluating the ethical dimensions of a proposed course of action for managers and executives.

    Keywords: Decision Making; Ethics; Values and Beliefs; Framework; Corporate Accountability; Leadership; Social Enterprise;

    Citation:

    Sucher, Sandra J., and Nien-he Hsieh. "A Framework for Ethical Reasoning." Harvard Business School Background Note 610-050, January 2010. (Revised December 2011.) View Details

Other Publications and Materials