Royal Dutch Shell Case Study

1. Does Shell bear some responsibility for the problems in the Ogoni region of Nigeria? I believe Shell is somewhat responsible for the problems. They seem to be taking advantage of a lower classed and less advanced country and its natural resources. If they had practiced better corporate responsibility then things would not have escalated as much.

2. What steps might Shell have taken to nip some of the protests against it in the butt, or even preempt them? Shell should have stepped into the happenings in the Ogoni Region and what the Nigerian government was doing. They should have used their large company business power to enact some type of regulation to make the Nigerian government to change how they were treating the Ogoni people.

3. Could the company have done more to gain clemency for Ken Saro-Wiwa? What? Should it have done more? Yes they could have done something for Saro-Wiwa. As I already stated, they should have stepped into what the Nigerian government was doing in the Ogoni region as well as the arrest and trial of Saro-Wiwa.

4. Was the response of Western governments to the execution of Ken Saro-Wiwa about right, too excessive, or too mild? What should have been the appropriate response? I believe their response was correct to an extent. They protested against Shell and trade embargoed Nigaria. However, they did not stop their want of their oil. Since oil is Nigeria’s main money maker, they should have embargoed and boycotted Shell as well as the exported oil of Nigeria.

5. In the wake of Saro-Wiwa’s execution, was Shell correct to push ahead with the liquefied natural gas project in Nigeria? No. Nigeria was partaking in horrible human rights actions and should have been avoided as well as punished for their actions, not somewhat rewarded by a huge deal.

6. Do you think it is possible for a company such as Shell to reform itself from within, or would it have been better for Shell to establish an external body to monitor its human rights and environmental policies? No. They should have established an outside party to establish policies and to hold them to them. They had already shown poor decisions morally when it comes to human rights.

7. A decade after Shell pulled its people out of the Ogoni region, they have yet to return despite the region’s rich oil reserves. Some have suggested that it serves the political interests of the Movement for the Survival of the Ogoni People to have Shell cast in the villain’s role. Do you think this is true? Is there anything Shell can do about this? Who suffers most from Shell’s continued absence in the Ogoni region? I think it is true that it plays out well for Shell to be in the villain role.

This only further establishes the Ogoni people’s claims and arguments against Shell. Shell could do something about it but it would require them to make some changes in their dealings in Nigeria as well as probably playing a large sum of amount to fix and reestablish things with the Ogoni. Obviously Shell suffers due to them not being able to get to the oil reserves, but it also hurts the Nigerian people. If Shell could use those oil reserves, then they could provide many jobs to the people and bring money to the country.

8. This case written in 2002; using research tools at your disposal, give an update on this case.

9. What types of responsibilities does a business have when operating in a foreign environment? How should conflicts of priority (ie, shareholder value vs. pollution control) be resolved? A large multinational company has a large duty to operate responsibly in foreign markets. As a company with lots of power, they need to do the right thing. Conflicts of priority need to be handled in a very sensitive way. Although, shareholder value is obviously very important, if a large company acts in a non responsible way, then it can pint the company in a very bad light with devalues the company and in turn the return shareholders get.