Russell Athletic Tries to Keep the Shirt on Its Back (B)

by: Brian Talbot

Publication Date: January 12, 2010
Length: 4 pages
Product ID#: 1-429-010

Core Disciplines: Ethics, International Business, Leadership/Organizational Behavior, Sustainability

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Teaching Note

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This case involves a recent labor rights controversy surrounding Russell Athletic, one of the University of Michigan’s primary providers of collegiate athletic clothing. Russell had been a trustworthy and responsible supplier to the University for years, but the committee was very concerned about Russell’s decision to close a manufacturing facility in Honduras, a move that had received severe condemnation from some labor rights groups. The B case updates students on the February 9, 2009 action taken by the University of Michigan’s President’s Advisory Committee on Labor Standards and Human Rights.

Teaching Objectives

After reading and discussing the material, students should:

  • describe a labor rights controversy surrounding Russell Athletic,
  • analyze potential courses of action the University might take,
  • assess the role of the University in makig decisions about its brand.