Decisions in Paradise: Establishing Chevron's Presence

Herman Melville, author of Moby Dick, wrote “We cannot live only for ourselves. A thousand fibers connect us with our fellow men” (Quote Garden, n.d.). We must help our fellow man to become truly successful. Businesses are not separate from this belief. Companies have taken part in corporate responsibility to help communities overcome tragedy.

Their assistance can lead to a better economy, safer communities, and help rebuild after natural disasters. In this paper I will be role-playing as Nik who was recently hired by Chevron and sent to Kava, an island in the South Pacific. My first assignment in Kava is to find a way the company can establish a greater presence on the island. This assignment is faced with many issues because of disaster threats on the island. I will be defining and discussing the issues facing Kava, difficulties in building a greater presence in Kava, and the problem formulation tools and techniques used.

The first step in solving a problem is to define the problem and ask questions to pinpoint the problem (Kirby & Goodpaster, 2007, p. 288). “Formulating the problem precisely and carefully is worth the time it takes; it is rewarded by a more rapid solution and might even yield an obvious solution” (Kirby & Goodpaster, 2007, p. 289). Kava is a small island in the South Pacific, ethnically mixed from indigenous tribes, Asian, African, French, Spanish, and Americans, over half the population is under the age of 15, and the residents speak a variety of languages that include the many indigenous tongues, English, French, and Spanish.

The goods and industries that bring in money for the country is petroleum, coffee, cocoa, spices, bananas, sugar, tourism, fishing, natural gas, and inexpensive quality labor. This island faces many natural disasters that include tsunamis, earthquakes, hurricanes, tornadoes, floods, volcanic eruptions, and fires. They also face HIV/AIDS, avian flu, terrorism, and petroleum spills. On the surface, it seems like a waste to build a presence in a country that faces a large amount of tragedy. However, the forces that affect Kava affect the United States. Kava exports bananas to the United States. If a tornado or hurricane wipes out the bananas than they will be less abundant in the United States and the cost will rise.

Kava has many desired exports but faces many disasters, which cripples their ability to profit. Kava also faces language barriers with different languages spoken. Over half of the population is under the age of 15, which means half the population are children. Kava has inexpensive, quality labor and I question how many workers are children. There are many options that could help Kava, its people, and my company. Chevron is looking to establish themselves in Kava to collect petroleum from the small island.

They are established in Indonesia and have had a presence there since 1924 (Chevron, 2011b). Steve Green, managing director of Chevron’s IndoAsia operations, stated “In addition to providing opportunities to businesses that supply our operations, we help support a diversity of ventures, such as agriculture, fisheries, and homebased businesses” (Chevron, 2011b). Chevron’s presence in Indonesia has developed jobs and helped small businesses (Chevron, 2011b). Another step in problem-solving is to create possible solutions by gathering information and creative thinking (Kirby & Goodpaster, 2007, p. 288).

There are many forms of thinking and tools and techniques used to create possible solutions. I believe the best form of thinking to use in this assignment is scientific thinking. Using the scientific thinking model will allow me to observe the current conditions in Kava, gather data from what has happened, and see the cause and effect relationship of the disasters that hit Kava and the effect on the economy. There is an extensive list of tools and techniques that people can use to help them create solutions for the problems they are facing. For my first work assignment of establishing a stronger presence in Kava, I will use requirements analysis, Venn diagram, and cause-and-effect diagrams.

These tools will help me determine the needs of Kava and the people. Using the Venn diagram, I will evaluate the goals of Chevron, establishing a presence and corporate responsibility, and the needs of Kava to narrow down the best solution. Stakeholders have an impact on what the best solution is to implement. Stakeholders want what is best for the company. When making decisions, we must consider the wants of the stakeholders. In this instance they wish to establish a strong presence in Kava to collect petroleum and wish to maintain their corporate responsibility.

Chief Executive Officer of Chevron, John S. Watson, states that Chevron is committed in investing their assistance to three areas: health, education, and economic development (Chevron, 2011a). In the past Chevron has invested in training, testing, and treatment of HIV/AIDS, education focusing of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics, and the Niger Delta Partnership Initiative that advanced economic development (Chevron, 2011a). Kava’s petroleum will bring in the profits that the stakeholders want to see, but disasters can hurt the profit as well.

Chevron is committed to safety and would cover all their bases with the natural disasters that hit the island and eliminate petroleum spills. Kava would benefit from schools that would educate over half the population and standardize one language to eliminate language barriers. Hospitals would also be very beneficial because of the risk of avian flu and the HIV/AIDS epidemic. Schools or hospitals would also benefit the economy.

Decision-making is an important skill in the business world; it is used daily from big to small decisions, many factors must be considered, and the interest of the stakeholders play a key in determining the best solution. Chevron is looking to establish a strong presence on the island of Kava and collect the petroleum.

My company is committed to safety or corporate responsibility. I am weighing in what is best for the stakeholders and what form of assistance would be the most beneficial to Kava using tools such as Venn diagram, requirements analysis, and cause-and-effect diagram. I will use the scientific thought process to observe, collect, and gather information to determine the best route of establishing Chevron’s presence.

Works Cited Chevron. (2011a). A Message From Our CEO. Retrieved from http://www.chevron.com /globalissues/corporateresponsibility/2010/ceomessage/Chevron. (2011b).

Working Together in Indonesia. Retrieved from http://www.chevron.com /globalissues/corporateresponsibility/2010/workingtogetherinindonesia/. Kirby, G. R. & Goodpaster, J. R. (2007). Thinking: An interdisciplinary approach to critical and creative thought (4th ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall. Quote Garden. (n.d.). Retrieved from http://www.quotegarden.com/community.html.