Nike: Business Communication Failure at the Top
Finally, fed up, a group of women at Nike’s headquarters in Beaverton, Oregon, started a small revolt. They secretly surveyed their female colleagues about whether they had been victims of sexual harassment and gender discrimination. It concluded that 50 of them had been harassed, ostracized and had had their careers thwarted. Some of them reported episodes that included visits to brothels, unwanted touching and kissing.
On March 5, the packet of answered questionnaires landed on the desk of Mark Parker, Nike’s chief executive officer. Over the next few weeks, at least six top executives left or said they were planning to leave the company,
Some examples of internal communication problems that went wrong here include:
- It took a renegade survey by a group of employees to reveal this toxic culture
- A leader who says he was unaware of the problems
- Inefficient methods of bottom-up communication