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Social Responsibility of Oil Multinational Companies in Developing Countries: Shell Company in Nigeria

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The disparities in implementation, this paper shall seek to answer whether or not oil multinational companies in developing countries are socially responsible. This paper will consider its discussion along the lines of the elements of the environmental and social impact of the oil industry on developing countries. It shall concentrate its analysis on the Shell Company in the Niger Delta region of Nigeria – seeking to assess the company’ s practices in the region in relation to the environment and the society in general. This paper is being undertaken in the hope of establishing a comprehensive analysis and understanding of oil companies and their general corporate social responsibility practices.

Corporate social responsibility (CSR) is one of the crucial demands for doing business in the current industrialized economy. It is a concept which mainly speaks of “ a commitment to improve community well-being through discretionary business practices and contributions of corporate resources” 1. It is about tempering the impact of corporate business practices on the society and on the environment – from where businesses often draw out their resources. Corporate social responsibility is a tall order for most corporations because it is often difficult and costly for corporations to comply with.

And yet, it is often the standard by which the government, interest groups, and the general public determine their patronage of corporate products and services. There are different elements by which corporate social responsibility is measured. A discussion from one of the University of Miami papers set forth elements which are seen in most discussions and analysis of corporate social responsibility. These elements include: social and environmental auditing, stakeholder theory, business ethics, environmental sustainability, strategic philanthropy, and corporate governance2.

Social and environmental auditing is the audit or assessment done by the corporation in order to measure its impact on the society and on the environment3.   

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