Shell, Nigeria and the Ogoni. A study in unsustainable development: II. Corporate social responsibility and 'stakeholder management' versus a rights-based approach to sustainable development

Richard Boele*, Heike Fabig, David Wheeler

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

62 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

In the first paper in this trilogy (Boele et al., 2001) we described the history of the Royal Dutch/Shell Group from its inception in 1890 through to the year 2000, discussed briefly the importance of corporate reputation to the group and described the significant impacts on Shell of the events of 1995 in Nigeria. We traced the relationship of the Shell Petroleum Development Corporation in Nigeria to impacts on the natural and social environments of the Niger Delta and more specifically on the Ogoni. Finally we discussed the emergence of political resistance and significant conflict between Shell and the Movement for the Survival of the Ogoni People (MOSOP) and concluded that, despite significant apparent changes in attitude at the group level, distrust and antipathy towards Shell remained entrenched in Ogoni. In this second paper, we explore in more detail issues raised by economic globalization for the practice of corporate social responsibility and stakeholder management, and contrast these concepts with an alternative 'rights-based' approach to sustainable development. We relate our observations to Shell's current approach and conclude that the Shell group and specifically the Shell Petroleum Development Corporation in Nigeria may require an alternative approach to sustainable development if they wish to merit the full confidence of communities in areas of the world as complex and distressed as Ogoni.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)121-135
Number of pages15
JournalSustainable Development
Volume9
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2001

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