Organisational and Stakeholder Ethical Considerations
Ethical Organisational Culture Approach One of the approaches to analyse the case is through ethical organisation culture. Alvesson (2002, pp. 4) states that organisational culture refers to those shared rules that guide cognitive and behavioural aspects of membership to an organisation and the avenues through which they are developed and expressed hence a system of shared symbols and meanings. Ferrell, Fraedrich and Ferrell (2010, pp. 17) state that the concept of ethical culture in an organisation means the values and norms that an organisation puts forward as appropriate conduct to guide its employees in decision making process in determining whether their response to ethical issues is right or wrong. In this approach, the formal and informal efforts developed by an organisation to guide its operations with respect to being ethical are analysed. The organisation under study here is Xstrata which we can establish that it has in the first place failed to tame its mining process emissions that have the potential of causing lead-poisoning to the surrounding community. “Homes, gardens and waterways have been contaminated, and a recent study found that more than one-tenth of young children have high levels of lead in their blood” (Marks 2009).Xstrata has also failed to keep the surrounding community informed on the potential harms of lead poisoning as indicated by Brenda, a resident who claims that had she been aware of the risks she would not have raised her child in Mt. Isa. The firm also appears to use its financial might and high tax remission to get its way round enjoying independent testing of its emission systems and lack of censure by the government. Body, another resident, indicates that the firm has also failed to take responsibility for the poisoning claiming that the natural environment is the source. As Trevino and Nelson (2010, pp. 157) indicate it is the responsibility of the top management to guide organisations in the direction of ethical culture, something that is largely missing in Xstrata. Instead, the management strives to shun ethics hence the rest of the firm follows suit (158). The leadership at Xstrata can be regarded as unethical since their cover-up actions and lack of responsibility indicate weakness in morality (161).This analysis indicates that the top management at Xstrata has failed to pursue ethical leadership. in one situation, an employee whose views on the source of lead pollution is contradictory to theirs, they let the interviewer know that the employee is presenting his personal views rather than what the firm stands for. Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and stakeholder theories Approach Examining the CSR issues in Xstrata’s case is another way of analysing the case. Bueble (2009, pp. 5) is of the view that CSR refers to the strategy through which organisations achieve their commercial objectives in a manner that takes into consideration ethical values and respects individuals, communities and the environment.