The impact of CSR on the stakeholders of oil miltinational corporation in Niger Delta, Nigeria

Edu, Faizu Adeayo

Business
January 2018

Thesis or dissertation


Rights
© 2018 Faizu Adeayo Edu. All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced without the written permission of the copyright holder.
Abstract

This study examines the corporate social responsibility (CSR) of oil companies in developing countries, focusing on the conflict surrounding Shell Oil Company in the Niger Delta. Western literature presents CSR as a philanthropic or moral but largely voluntary activity, intended to satisfy various stakeholders, whose needs can be negotiated through dialogue. However, it is often descriptive and theoretical, and neglects local communities as stakeholders. This study explores the applicability of these Western notions in the Nigerian context, with particular reference to the perceptions within the oil company, and those of the local communities as neglected stakeholders.

An ethnographic approach was employed to elicit fresh insights from Shell employees and local groups in the Niger Delta, drawing on formal interviews, informal interactions and documentary evidence regarding understandings of CSR perceptions and expectations of Shell’s behaviour, and impacts on life, livelihood and culture in the local area. A complex picture emerges of CSR as an elusive, contested and context-dependent concept that has different meanings for different people. Western notions of philanthropy, voluntarism and stakeholder engagement are shown to be highly problematic in the Niger Delta, where the difficulty of reconciling conflicting expectations is exacerbated by the colonial legacy of mistrust between multinationals and the local people, as well as weak government. As a consequence of exclusion from decision-making, the local community denies the legitimacy of any CSR initiatives by Shell, and indeed, evidence supports that Shell’s behaviour in Niger Delta differs from its actions in other contexts. Whilst joining academic calls to refocus CSR of oil companies to one that is community-oriented and negotiated rather than dictated, it recognises the challenges facing these concepts in communities like the Niger Delta.

Publisher
Business School, The University of Hull
Supervisor
Harness, David R.
Qualification level
Doctoral
Qualification name
PhD
Language
English
Extent
3 MB
Identifier
hull:16573
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