Essays on BHP Billiton Ethical Stand Assignment

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The paper "BHP Billiton Ethical Stand " is a good example of a management assignment. The recent global era has been considered an age of economic growth. This has been attributed to globalization which has enabled business from different countries to trade openly with few restrictions (Enderwick, 2009). Although globalization has led to many diverse benefits, it has been reported that developing countries have suffered due to this phenomenon. In addition, to this recognized disadvantage of globalization, there is a darker side linked to globalization. Although globalization has resulted in huge businesses opportunities it has opened door to transnational crimes (Enderwick, 2009).

Multinational corporations are considered to having a diverse impact on the environment and society and in turn, it has impacted the operation of business entities through their rise in unethical business practices. International criminal activities such as bribery and corruption are nothing new and have been brought about due to globalization (As-Saber and Cairns, 2015). Corruption can be described as the abuse of power for private gain. Multinational companies have been linked to the growing cases of foreign corruption in Australia.

It is considered unethical and illegal to influence government officials through persona payments to receive personal favours (Christensen, 2011). This paper is based on the case study of BHP Billiton. The paper will evaluate BHP’ s ethical stand and evaluate whether Australia will lose its reputation as a result of corruption activities among MNCs. In addition, the report will highlight whether overhauling of anti-corruption law will ensure ethical operations among Australia Multinational Corporations.   Evaluate  BHP’ s ethical stand from a sustainable international business perspective Many companies have been faced with corruption scandals that have threatened to destruct the image of the companies; one of these companies being BHP Billiton.

Ethics and corporate social sustainability in the part of companies involve doing business that respects human rights, strengthens stability and peace in a country and uphold the laws and regulations put forward (Toporowski, 2009). Unethical behaviours witnessed in companies include corrupt practices like bribery and piracy, human trafficking, illegal trading, and intellectual property theft among others. Many companies pay a bribe or corrupt government officials in exchange for favours regarding business affairs (Enderwick, 2009). This is regarded as an unethical practice and punishable under law.

One company that has fall victim of corruption is Billiton. BHP Billiton is considered the world largest miner. However, it has been faced with corruption allegations recently. The company was fined about $25 million by the United States regulators for hosting government officials during the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing (Ryan, 2015). However, the company did not admit to the allegations but decided to pay the settlement charges instituted by the anti-bribery and corruption laws. According to the United States Securities and Exchange Commission, BHP Billiton was charged for violating the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (Ryan, 2015).

This came about when it offered hospitality for government officials who were in a position to influence the company’ s regulatory affairs. BHP did not admit or deny their wrongdoing and they ended up settling the corruption charges without taking full action and accountability. The company apparently invited 176 government officials to the Beijing 2008 Olympics. 60 of them were from Asia and Africa who enjoyed packages including sightseeing tours, hotel reservations and event tickets (Ryan, 2015).

Every official invited were directly involved with the company’ s business affairs. The company realised that inviting these people was creating a risk of violating anti-corruption laws. What it was required to do was to institute internal control (Ryan, 2015). Yet, it failed to observe and control the invitation process or train its workforce in order to prevent their operation from being untainted by bribery. BHP was considered unethical as did not comply with the ethical laws of Australia. The company offered packages to government officials in order to gain favours from them (Ryan, 2015).


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Cairns, G 2005, Perspectives on a personal critique of international business, Critical Perspectives on International Business, vol. 1, no. 1, pp. 43‐55.

Christensen, J. (2011, The looting continues: tax havens and corruption, Critical Perspectives on International Business, vol. 7, no. 2, pp. 177‐196.

Enderwick, P 2009, "Applying the eclectic framework", Critical perspectives on international business, Vol. 5 Iss. 3, pp. 170 – 186.

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Knight, E 2016, Major concerns over Australian corporate corruption, but convictions few, The Sydney Morning Herald, Retrieved 26th Sept. 2016 from

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Toporowski, J 2009, International business and the crisis. Critical Perspectives on International Business, 5(1/2), pp. 162‐164.

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