An Overview of Business Ethics 54 RESOLVING ETHICAL BUSINESS CHALLENGES she spoke Demarco just graduated from Texas University and had been snatched up by Xeon Natural Resources Incorpo rated, one of the top natural resource extraction com- panies in the world. Because he was Brazilian, bilingual, and spoke several specific Brazilian dialects, his station- ing in Brazil was a no-brainer Xeon was deeply involved with a project within the Brazilian rain forests in mining an extremely valuable clement called niobium. Niobium is a rare earth element essential for micro alloying steel as well as other products such as jet engines, rocket ab assemblies, superconducting magneth, and super alloys. Brazil accounts for 92 percent of all mioblum mined, and Xeon Natural mines much of the element in Brazil Xeon discovered a large niobium deposit, and estimates the corporation could make an additional 85 bilion in prof its over the next two decades Demarco soon discovered he was one of several employees assigned to explain to the indigenous popu- lation that con wanted to extract the nobium from the lands given to the tribes by the Brazilian govern ment. The land was by decree, compensation for native minorities. Having spent several months with various tribes, Demarco learned they were communities that had not been altered by western culture. It was obvious to Demarco il Xeon began strip mining the area thousands outsiders would be brought in and would impact the cultural heritage of the Indios populations Demarco discussed this with his bow, Barbara. “Yes I understand all you are saying, and I agree this will change their lives as well as their children and grand- children’s lives. Butera said. “But think of it this way, their standard of living will be greatly enhanced Schools will be built hopital will be available, and there will be more employment opportunities Demarco responded. While the tribal leaders want a better life for the people. I feel they are being steam rolled into accepting something they doe’t understand I’ve talked to some of the tribal leaders, and I am positive they have no idea of the impact this will have on their culture. We have many stakeholders involved in this decision, including Xeon employees, the tries, the Bra milian government, and even communities beyond the key decision makers, and our business depends upon being able to mine niobium. We’ve got to continue this project.” Demarco returned to the camp. The other special ists questioned him about Barbara’s reaction some of the specialists became concerned about their jobs. A few admitted they heard the local and national media were raising awareness about the negative impact mining this mineral could have on the indigenous populations A few days later, Demarco heard that some of the tribal leaders had new concerns about the project and were organizing meetings to obtain feedback from members Demarco approached one of the mining specialists that studied the potential impact of strip mining the land. The specialist said that while he understood stakeholder inter- ests, he felt the extraction methods Xeon used were environ mentally friendly. While creating a temporary disruption in the ecosystem of the rainforest, Xeon’s strip mining meth ods provided an opportunity for restoration. In fact, strip mining that was done in the United States before there were any repulations provides a good example of how the forest can recover and grow back to its original condition Demarco knew despite the potential benefits, there would still likely be opposition from the tribal community Additionally, no method of strip mining is entirely environ mentally friendly. Demarco realized even with restoration the lives of the indigenous tribes would be forever altered Demarco was to meet with tribal elders the next der to discuss their concerns. He understood that whatever the decision, it would negatively impact some stakehold cs. On the one hand, the tribal members might come mise their traditional way of life and the environment would be harmed if the strip mining project begun On the other hand. Xeonis future and the future of employees depended upon being able to mine the bium. It could also benefit the tribes economically, was not sure what he should tell the tribal leaders QUESTIONS | EXERCISES meets with the tribal leaders! 1. How should Demarco approach this issue where 2. What should be the priorities in balancing the wa 3. Can the CEO and board of director of Xeon count operations and maintain a stakeholder orientatie “This check my blato per tribal land think we need to reevaluate the impact on all of these holders before proceeding.” Barbara wighed. I think you make some good points and concerned about these diferent stakicholders. But younderstand we already have buy-in from the us stakeholder interests?
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