Part A. You must answer question 1, 2 OR 3 (choose one out of three)
1) Compare and contrast 2 different ethical theories, explaining how one action may be deemed
ethical according to one but unethical according to another. Discuss with examples.
2) Manufacturing in the developing world receives many criticisms from developed world
activists regarding child labour, working conditions, and low pay. Are these criticisms
justified? How would you convince the top executives of a large company of the benefits of
undertaking initiatives for the enactment of code of ethics and industry compliance ?
Discuss with at least one example from beyond the course readings.
3) Consider Milton Friedman’s shareholder approach to CSR and Edward Freeman’s
stakeholder approach to CSR. In a global business environment, where cultural, political and
economic environments can be starkly different, which do you find to be the better
framework? Support your answer with reference to course theoretical material and with
examples from beyond the course readings.
Part B. You must answer question 4 (do one out of one)
4) Discuss, using different theories or approaches to ethics, what should be the considerations
of corporations like Rio Tinto focusing on their supply chain of coal and minerals such as
bauxite. In your response, consider the notion of a global code of ethics, such as the UN
Global Compact. Explain how and in what ways such a code could be a useful management
tool to initiate business ethics management that builds a culture of compliance
It is suggested that resource mining can bring much needed foreign currency into developing
economies and provide employment. However, the economic benefit to the communities involved
may be limited. In addition, environmental damage can affect other sectors of the economy such as
agriculture and fishing, and destroy the livelihood of communities who live traditional, subsistence
based lifestyles foraging off the natural ecosystems.
In India, areas in the states of Rajasthan, Andhra Pradesh, Orissa and Jharkhand have large
populations dependent on agriculture as well as large tribal populations living in the forests,
harvesting natural foods and medicines as they have been doing traditionally for centuries. Large
scale operations mining coal, bauxite and other minerals have been launched in these areas,
particularly since large private mining companies entered India in the 1990s. The Land Acquisition
Act enables the state to acquire access to people’s lands for any reason considered to be in the
‘public interest’, such as economic development (including mining). Due to the removal of their
lands by the state and their degradation by environmental damage caused by mining it is estimated
that 10 million people have been displaced. 75% of displaced people still have not been
rehabilitated or compensated for the damage to their lands or communities, and seek wage labour in
menial work in the informal sector (including the informal mining sector) as few are literate or have
developed skills. Many fall into bonded (debt) labour – a modern form of slavery. Amongst these
populations, women are the most disadvantaged, with literacy rates of 3.46%, 6.88%, 8.29% and
11.75% in Rajasthan, Andhra Pradesh, Orissa and Jharkhand respectively. Women face widespread
gender-based discrimination in India including unequal wages, dowry deaths and other sexual
violence. Women have no rights over land or natural resources, and when compensation is paid for
land appropriation or environmental damage, it is paid exclusively to men. Where employment has
been provided by the mining sector, it has transitioned from a workforce where 30-40% were
women to one where only 12% are. This increases women’s financial dependence on men, with the
resulting increase in domestic violence, made worse by the increasing alcoholism and prostitution
characteristic of the mining towns with their influx of migrant, generally male labourers. The
involvement of corrupt political officials at the local level and the organised crime that thrives in
these poorly regulated environments – the ‘coal mafia’ – see that violence and harassment and poor
working conditions are not redressed. Once mines have been exhausted, the companies and
government move on, with those communities who have chosen to stay behind left in degraded
areas unsuitable for any other purpose but mining but where mining employment is now absent.
Many women seek insecure employment large distances away, meaning long and dangerous daily
As developing countries compete for investment from mining MNCs, these companies have
considerable influence. For example, in one area of the state of Orissa, named Keonjhar, where all
private mining, is illegal, the Australian mining company Rio Tinto successfully obtained a lease for
an iron-ore mining project. This suggests that mining companies are able to influence the laws, or
perhaps even write their own.