it has always been a dream to work in a multinational company such as an oil and gas companies after my M.sc program in other to apply my skills learnt to the sector regarding business unethical practices and negligence of corporate social responsibility(CSR) by this companies in this sector. firstly it would be necessary to define CSR which is a situation where a company provides social benefit to the public which are required by law(Mc William and siegel 2001); while business ethics can be defined as” the study of business situation activities, decisions where issues of right and wrong are addressed ” (Crane and Matten 2004;8) CSR is highly required all organizations to fill in the short coming of government and provide needs of a community. The aim and objective of this write up is to point out the unethical practices, negligence and ineffective deliverance of CSR by the MNCs focusing on oil companies in Africa to their host communities.
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Despite some positive influence of oil companies through CSR like increase in developmental funding in 2001 by $500m(Frynas 2005) previous studies has shown that there are still cases where CSR has not had effect on the required beneficiaries through ineffectiveness , negligence and unethical practices by the companies. This can be proven through various situations in Africa has discussed it the course of this report , it can be seen that most CSR embarked upon by the MNCs are due to public and global pressure such case is that of shell and Ogoni , when visited by observers it was seen that the lack social amenities like Roads and electricity e.t.c.( World Business Council for Sustainable development 2008) despite this protest oil producing regions have not yet benefited from the wealth and are still left in poverty. In a statement by president of movement of survival of Ogoni people (mitte 1995) he says that the communities where not getting enough required social and infrastructures development, he also pointed out that the companies are taking from the communities and not putting back into it and left in total neglect. this shows a great cases of negligence of CSR to their host environment which they are benefiting from financially, there also citing of abandoned projects which are meant to serve as CSR to the community example is an hospital abandoned by shell in Okoroba village Bayelsa for many years bust was completed due to pressure(Fryans 2005) this suggest that they don’t have good management or department to ensure that project that have been embarked upon by them are not left alone, some previous events indicates that CSR was adopted not for the benefit of the communities but for that of the companies so has to have competitive advantages and get favors from government representatives, In a report ChevronTexaco made a partnership deal of $50million with Us Agency For International Development (USAID) and United Nations Development Program (UNDP) in Angola to coincide with negotiations for it block O (Fryans 2005) another example is in Ughoton Nigeria (SPDC) built roads and also provided funds for schools and youth empowerment in the village but as soon as it well stop producing oil they also stopped their various projects (okunmadewa et al 2002,p 63) . it shows that it was not meant to benefit to society but the company because it made them look like a company that support development and if the negotiation did not fall through they might have withdrawn their partnership another case is of shell who grant development fund to it managers to put up projects in regions which it has activities so has to maintain peace between them and the communities once this activities are complete it development account is closed and the project are left alone which ever stage it has gotten too. evidence of non functioning project like that of shell which one-third of it project in Nigeria not running or are in operation(Nigeria and shell 2001) duo they are trying to help there is no sign if development due to the lack of smooth operations of this projects. lack of trained managers in CSR has made it difficult for most developmental plans see the light of day Frayans(2005) also confirmed this saying ” major contract managers are not development specialist” and even if trained might be wrongly trained for instance British petroleum sent it managers to acquire skills on development in a business school instead of a development school Fraynas(2005) which would put them through all the stages of development , failure to have specialist and conduct investigation relating to what is required could make the aim of CSR not to be achieved e.g. in Angola BP donated condoms during a campaign for AIDS but without adequate investigation and consultation the aim of CSR was not met because the condoms where too small for African men (Fraynas 2005). There has also been cases relating to un ethical practices by the oil companies causing harm and increase level of poverty in the regions which they operate such as Niger Delta according to Eyina and Ukpo(2006) they state that ” it will be correct to indicate that the greatest environmental problem with petroleum industry in Nigeria result from spillages”; In the early part of 2008 alone Nigeria recorded 418 spills(Vanguard Oct.29,2008) which affects the ecosystem and increases poverty due to the fact that most people in that region are farmers and fishermen. Further evidence of unethical practices can be seen in the technological method of production adopted by them which releases poisoned gas like CO2 and CO into the atmosphere(Aigbedion et al 2007) also Eyinla and Ukpo(2006) supported this by saying that the ”soil ,rivers and creeks are now acidic”. which had influence the people indirectly because there drinking water and fishing occupation have been destroyed impact of oil exploitations has caused the soil not be good for planting and the water is contaminated with oil (Adepelum et al 2006).A report by Niger Delta Environmental Survey indicates that drilling activities in Niger delta has negative impact both ” socio-economically and ecologically” (Nigeria Sunday Times 1998), Aigebedion(2005) also confirmed this that oil spillages has caused ”ecological disturbance” .
Effect of Negligence of CSR and Ethical Practices
Multinational oil companies (MNOCs) where welcomed into the oil producing regions but due to their negligence regarding effective deliverance of CSR combined with unethical practices has had a negative effect on them, making them to loss their credibility and trust by host community in turn affecting their business and security of staffs and facilities due to aggressive nature of host community. protest such has that of the Ogogni people laid by Ken Saro-Wiwa in 1993 against Shell which eventually laid o the closure of oil operations in that region Ukpong (1998) another scenario was the shutdown of shell’s kolo creeks oil station Onuorah and Oliomogbe (1999) which affected the production rate and profit of shell is an example of negative effect CSR and ethical practices can have on a company, it also brings about insecurity in case of kidnapping and seizure of staffs and oil platforms such as regions like Niger Delta in a protest by the Federal Niger Delta Communities(FNDIC) which laid too violent confrontation, seizures of facilities and treat to staffs, which made them vacate the region(Okafor 1998) all this at the end generally has had negative effect on the public image of the (MNOCs).
Subsequent to a critical analysis in my opinion Multinational Oil Companies lack two major things which CRS and ethical practices. it is noticed that oil companies where taking from this oil producing regions and where not putting back and even if they were making contributions it was not mainly for the benefit of the society by for that of the company relating to competitive advantages, also they were not well trained in CSR and lack feasibility studies on what was required by the societies in which the operate instead they assume, negligence on ethical practices to the ways things are meant to be done was another point of call in system of oil companies in African region with low-level on monitoring bodies to watch their ethical practices which had adverse effect on both them and the community . With skill learnt and acquired in course of this module it would be necessary to equip all staffs especially managers with development skills, ensure that a development plan is set up likewise rule and regulation relating to ethical practices is set up and also a monitoring department to curb excessive practices.
This report examined the negative impact of CSR and unethical practices by MNOCs, in Africa especially Nigeria the report shows that they do don’t have high regards for CSR to their host community and even if the carry out some it mostly for the benefit of the company than that of the community it also indicates low developmental skills posed by it staffs. Unethical practices relating to what is right and wrong is another point of call noted by this repot which caused negative impact on the environment causing harm and poverty through destruction of farmland and rivers which is a major source of livelihood.
skills can be divided into to two sides which are technical which are skills acquired in a particular discipline while non-technical skills are skills which are relevant and needed across various jobs and occupations (Sherer and Eadie, 1987,p.16). Considering the line of discipline i would like to go into after my B.sc has a business manager i would love to analyze three of this nontechnical skills but important which are employability skills , managing conflict skills and building trust ,relationship and communication in an organization, which are necessary skills any business manager should be equipped with.
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Firstly it would be need to point out the meaning of employability skills which is the ability to get employed, maintain it and also get new employment (Hillage and pollard 1998); it can also be defined as an attribute that an individual possess such as self discipline, team work, problem resolution, communication and ability to work with minimal supervision (Cotton 2001). this listed skills are basic skills an individual should have in other to meet up to the standards that employees wants and to compete in the employment market after evaluating by self personally it has seen that i lacked some of this basic employability skills and in other to address this skills gaps and set a standard i adopted an ”employability skills profile” Mc lauglin(1992) (shown in Appendix 1) to address this shortcomings. I noticed in my personal evaluation of myself that i lacked four employability skills which are team work, self esteem, leadership, adaptability team work and this was noticed during my interim ship as an undergraduate it was also noticed by my team leader that i found it difficult working with people, sharing ideas and accepting views of other in people which had a negative effect on the goal of the whole team and this further affected me in the early part of my M.sc program due to high level of group activities carried out in the course my program out but after series of team work assignment and activity i was able to address this issue and found out that sharing ideas and accepting other people view was actually not a difficult thing to do at the end. Another area of call that created problem for me since childhood and business meeting was my low self esteem and difficulty in expressing myself that made me avoid meetings which resulted in embarrassment this prompted me to join a local community awareness group which made me have more contact with people and reduce my tension expressing myself in less than two months i noticed that this method was a key tonic in resolving the problem and i was able to speak at big conferences, Assuming duty of leadership was another area of weakness in my employability skill which resulted in me allocating duties to my subordinate and rendered me over dependent on people but due to the responsibility tasked on me as a group leader in my marketing module i was able to use it as an experiment to get back my responsibility skills through taking of decisions that would affect the group positively and it was noticed by my group members and module leader that i handled the position of responsibility diligently . Lastly due to the change in environment and cultural differences in various part of the world i found it at first adapting to the environment and accepting the entirely different and diverse culture but through the employability skills profile which i set for myself to overcome this skills gap and frequent interaction with various people i was able to understand their cultures, respect their views and diversity. with the adoption of the employability skill profile i was able to build my standard to what employers want .
Management of conflict
Has individuals have different and diverse views of life and issues this tends to bring about conflict in our place of work due to that fact that there different views my affect what is ethically right or wrong from another person, in some cases people with same ethical background might also have conflict has a formal human resources manager before coming for my M.sc program i was tasked by the management with the duties of controlling and management of conflict within the organization system. in other to have an effective management system i had to develop my conflict management skills by developing a pyramid to address the conflict issues (show in Appendix 2)which comprises of four stages which are identifying conflict, Solution to conflict, preventing conflict, transformation of conflict and in going through the first two stages of this pyramid i also adopted the method proposed by S.Fisher (2000) shown in (Appendix 3) in his method he drew a tree with problems to help the participant point out the causes, core problem and effect of conflict and distributed cards for them to pin to this areas and also method to resolve them in adopting his method i drew a similar tree relating to areas of conflict in my organization, after distribution of cards to the staffs to pin point causes of the conflict on tree which helped in identifying the conflict areas within the organization, on completion of the first stage on the pyramid i moved on to the next stage which is finding solution through grouping the affected members into various group to help them address their differences and effect of the conflict of the team goal after series of interaction and ideas sharing most of the group members were able integrate views and ideas of it different members and came to a agreement that consulted all of their perspective this made the groups come together and say that differences can be addressed if it discussed effectively. which the completion of the two first stages with the help of the conflict tree i moved on to the transformation stage which is the conversion of the negative energy caused by conflict into something positive, with resolving of differences it was now able for group members to convert the negative energy into something positive ad in other where able to find solutions to problems and achieve organizations goals and objectives. lastly it very key to maintain this positive spirit and energy and prevent lapses in management of conflict this was by done through group interactive sections and seminars in other to help them understand each other better and also and ethical manual was developed to caution to power and ethical practices of staffs
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