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Case Analysis: Social Responsibility and Business Ethics

Autor:   •  March 30, 2011  •  Case Study  •  2,817 Words (12 Pages)  •  2,761 Views

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BHP Billiton

Background

BHP Billiton is one of the largest mining companies in the world. It was formed by a merger between the Broken Hill Proprietary Company (now BHP Billiton Limited) and the Anglo-Dutch Billiton plc (BHP Billiton Plc) in 2001. Until 30 June, 2009, BHP Billiton has 40,900 employees in over 100 operations in 25 countries. In the financial year of 2009, BHP Billiton has reached revenue of 50.2 billion US dollars, which results profits of 10.7 billion US dollars.

BHP Billiton provide a diverse range of product with high quality including primary aluminum, base metals, iron ore, diamonds and specialty products, energy coal, manganese, metallurgical coal and petroleum. In order to support their unique breadth of products to the global markets, BHP Billiton has created two main marketing hubs in Singapore and The Hague.

BHP Billiton and BHP Billiton Limited's headquarters are located in Melbourne, Australia, and BHP Billiton Plc's headquarters is located in London, UK. The two companies exist separately, but are operated under one board of directors and managed by one management team. Currently, Marius Kloppers who has more than 17 years experiences in the mining and resources industry appointed to be the CEO of BHP Billiton in October 2007.

Shareholders of either BHP Billiton Limited or BHP Billiton Plc have equal rights in BHP Billiton (BHP Billiton, 2010).

Introduction

The reasons for an organization formed could be: fitting economic purpose, which means to obtain maximum profit; fitting social purpose, such as some charity organizations; and personal purpose, which means to fit personal interests. Therefore, as the leading global resource company, the final objective of BHP Billiton is to maximum their profits and fit the interests of shareholders. However, in the last few decades, more and more companies have realized the importance of being social responsible and perform ethically. The view that the purpose of a company's existence is to make money has been reviewed and changed. Managers in the business are required to play multiple roles, and can be capable of diverse functions, and operate efficiently and effectively. In addition, in order to be competent in a competing environment, managers should update their skills continuously.

From the empirical results, there are many management theories: classical management theories focused on the efficiency of the workforce with little regard for the human element. Human relations management theories began in early 1920s, and focus on human needs and rights. The most prominent theories include: Maslow's hierarchy of needs and Herzberg's motivation theory. In mid 1920s, Behavioral science approach gained popularity which draws from economics, psychology, sociology, anthropology, and other

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