Posted by: itm2011 | May 24, 2011

Adidas Group – Alberto Gomez

Passion, authenticity, innovation, inspiration, honesty and commitment – that is what Adidas means. Above all, it is the stories that made Adi Dassler’s idea and principle “no athlete left behind” come to life on the biggest sports stages around the world.”

Adidas part of the Adidas Group is a large German company that consists of apparel, footwear, accessories, shoes and sport goods store. The company met all goals financially for 2010 with a net income increase of 131% and $15.6 billion in revenues. Adolf “Adi” Dassler started the company in 1948, and it is now the largest sports goods and Apparel Company. Its headquarters are located in Herzogenaurach, Germany. 


In terms of their employees at Adidas “Creating an Attractive Work Environment “is an important aspect of the foundation of the company. Being involved with the employee’s wants, needs and concerns is something that Adidas takes pride in being concerned on.  They ensure to involve themselves with their employees lives by arranging an array of activities that appeal to the employee’s lives. Everything from kayaking, mountain bike riding and ski tours is covered as activities on behalf of the company. In addition to all of these activities a company gym is available to employees in their Germany, Portland and Canton headquarters.

Employee’s safety and health are also a concern for the Adidas group and taking initiatives such as having activities and gym’s is a part of the company’s action regarding this concern. Stating in the Adidas group 2010 IN THE REAL WORLDPERFORMANCE COUNTS Sustainability report Adidas states “Every employee must have a safe working environment. Nothing less is acceptable. This is valid for every kind of workplace, including machine workplaces in production areas, home office workplaces for administration functions and workplaces in our stores.” By stating this we can infer that Adidas performance is based on their employee’s happiness and safety and they are aware of that. An important part of CSR is making sure that your employees feel happy about the place that they work finding things in the company that make them feel proud to work for a specific company. When a company shows concern for their employee’s health and safety they are entering into an important aspect of CSR, one that would benefit both the company and the employee. Adidas formed a health and safety management team to ensure that these policies are adhered to the policies include “Workplace health and Safety at the sites, Travel Security, Major incident response including precautionary measures related to communicable diseases, HIV/AIDS Policy.

We strive to be a sustainable company, one that recognises its responsibilities towards the environment, our employees and the people who make our products. In our Sustainability Report 2010 – ‘PERFORMANCE COUNTS’ we set out our goals, strategies and actions we have taken in further shaping the adidas Group sustainability performance.“

In Germany, all employees are trained annually on workplace hazards and safety measures. That also includes a safety day dedicated to educating and training about safety. The day is organized in coalition with the Textile and Clothing Trade Association, Labour Safety Committee (which works with police and local health insurance companies) this in alliance with First aid training, checking workplace health and safety in retail stores displays the concern for employees that set the bar for employee concerns atAdidas.

The Adidas group CEO Herbert Hainer has a clear idea of where he wants the company to be including his employees in the company’s 2010 annual report a lot of Mr. Hainer’s leadership skills and concerns can be seen throughout the interview done with him concerning his employees and the company as a whole. Herbert Hainer’s leadership style is described by many as open and honest. He has been quoted to showcase confidence in his speeches and excellent leadership skills regarding his company and employees. He is also described as a practical realist and he has a vision he wants to carry out for Adidas and he is not the type of manager to sit around and wait for it to happen. He is very hands on and dedicated to the company that he works for. In various interviews like the ones that I watched Herbert believes in driving culture to the “top” and creating a diverse work place where everyone learns about each other. He can be described as a Theory Y participative  leader because he is involved in leading the company to a higher point and letting employees motivate each other and creates an environment where people are inspired to accomplish something themselves. But as being part of the AG he has adhered to a more paternalistic and autocratic leadership style that involves boards to over look each other and manages each other heavily. He has worked for companies such as Procter and Gamble as a Division Marketing and Sales Manager in Germany until 1987 where he joined Adidas as a sales director for Hardware and eventually moved on to become the company’s CEO in March 2001. In an interview with WWD he described the merger with Reebok in 2003 as a chance for the both companies to rejuvenate with speculated retention from the financial aspect Hainer stood behind his word to reinstate the brand. In excerpt from the interview below you can get a taste and glimpse of what his leadership style is as he uses the word “we” very often. The Labour Rights Principles are in accordance to the United Nations Declaration of Human Rights and this put Hanier and Adidas at the top of their list regarding employee CSR.

When looking for a company to work for an appealing aspect of the company that an employee seeks is that of company morale. How the company treats their employees and how do they treat everyone as a whole throughout. Also, an important driver is how the company handles situations in which they may be scrutinized and criticized. There is a dual board system where there is a Supervisory board and an Executive board. Both of these boards work independently. The Executive Board is in charge of managing the company “developing the Group’s strategic orientation” the Supervisory Board is in charge of making this happen. The Supervisory is made up of 6 shareholders and 6 employee members; the board also has two female members five of the members have international experience. They have a transparency policy in terms of reporting and remaining transparent, in terms of their annual and quarterly reports and functions throughout the company. – This according to the company’s FY2010 annual report.  Adi Dassler’s idea was carried out, but as the years have come and competition. The company has shifted in a more paternalistic style of leading as opposed to the participative outlook that Dassler had.

.Treating complaints and adhering code of conduct are all values that the Adidas group likes to think highly of themselves for doing so. “Employee empowerment and participation play an important role in managing employee relations within the AdidasGroup” at the Adidas group they encourage employees to join organizations that represent them that are consistent with laws.Adidas group established a supervisory board for employees and the members of this board (Works Councils) the members are selected by members of the workforce. They are in charge of dismissing members of the Executive Board and appointing individuals in the Executive board as well. This separation of power gives the employee a sense of importance within the company, the type of sense that keeps an employee happy and content with their place of employment.

The works council group is a important aspect of the social environmental outlook for the Group. When asked about the importance of a social environmental responsibility program, Sabine Bauer, Chairwoman of Central works and Councils Works of the work council group responded with the following “I would say it is essential to have this program. Employees are more and more aware about these issues all the time – they want to know what kind of social and environmental engagement the company has. They don’t want to work for a company where something fishy is going on” This I find to be an important aspect of how an employee views their employer’s standpoint of environmental issues. As employees become more and more aware of environmental issues, the more important it will be come in their lives and having an employer who takes these concerns into consideration is a value most employees look for.

In addition to Environmental issues the chairwoman was asked about Green Teams and what her standpoint on green teams was she responded “In my opinion, it is a good start. I think if people can focus on what matters to them then they have an emotional attachment to that issues, and they can be authentic ambassadors for tackling that issue and motivation others to take action “I find this statement to be true for example Adidas involvement with the victims of the Tsunami in Miramar or Earthquake victims in Peru there is a sense of responsibility as a corporation and as an employee.


As stated before giving the employees in the company a sense of involvement with their community and a sense of involvement with the aspects of the company. Adidas group is involved with the community to a diverse quantity of programs that include brand programs. These programs are built on what they call brand “pillars” and there are three of them they are as follows: Community Involvement, Employee Involvement and Corporate Giving.  These are determined by community based involvement and needs based on the employees.

The Adi Dassler Fund is an organization that involves children with sports and teaches them life skills and encourages them to involve themselves with sports. The organization is used to instill “self-confidence, respect and teamwork that will change people’s lives, this program” this program involves children from communities in and around the Adidas headquarters.

Involvement of the Reebok sense of CSR is also part of the Adidas group corporate responsibility vow. Being that CSR was an important part of the Reebok brand. They established a program called ‘Access to Fitness’ and ‘Taylor-Made Adidas Gold to create awareness and knock down barriers through coalitions with organizations that represent Adidas group.

Along with community involvement Adidas group has proven to be proactive in the involvement of assisting with help in the events of natural disasters, affecting the natural disasters that have occurred worldwide. Humanitarian acts in response to these natural disasters have been a way for Adidas to react in a responsible and visible way in response to the Tsunami in Myanmer,Tsunami is Bangladesh and Flooding in Pakistan.


The Adidas group’s website cites their concern for the Environment, Adidas has released a five year Environmental Strategy for the year of 2015. This also takes into consideration in regards to the Green Targets for the Company:

Environmental Policy regards the Groups day-to-day activities, and their management of environmental issues, having set a high goal to attain in regards to becoming a green company and achieving a specific goal that involves “brands, functions, and global supply-chain” by having an environmental policy to take care of issues that regard the Groups operations and supply command in regards to environmental issues concerning their products and the brand as a whole. In regards to Products innovating new product guidelines to be environmentally safe and doing this without tarnishing the products performance and upmost functionality. Using recycled materials to make products by working with local waste management corporations is a way to drive down cost and be environmentally safe and seeking upmost quality and performance. Reducing energy in the company’s Own Operations is also a goal that was set by the Adidas group and the goal to lower energy consumption by 20%, by using “green energy” and cutting carbon “emissions” they have outlined this in three steps “Lower Energy Consumption and Intensity, Energy Sources with lower carbon emissions, Consideration of offsetting mechanisms”. Lastly improving their Supply Chain is also a part of the goal to environmental responsibility targets for 2015 because it is here that according to the group most of the environmental impacts occur. The supply chain involves Risk Management, Building High, and increasing leverage through partnerships.


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