The execution of Mr. Saro-Wiwa of the Ogoni tribe ignited worldwide condemnation of Shell's human rights record in the Niger Delta. In a context of a global governance vacuum and a weak Nigerian state, the event prompted the formulation of Shell's corporate sustainability agenda and an increasing engagement in the provision of global public goods and self-regulation. This move into the political sphere has offset the strict division of labor between private business and nation state governance on which the dominant economic paradigm and many conceptions of CSR are built. To date, Shell denies its politicized nature and there remains considerable ambiguity as to how this new role might be conceptualized and which implications it has on corporate legitimacy, responsibility and democratic control of MNCs in the public sphere. In line with Scherer and Palazzo's attempt to integrate this new political role of private business into a coherent perspective, this paper fleshes out what constitutes Shell's role under the conditions of globalization. Scherer and Palazzo's framework provides a useful tool in analyzing Shell's increasing engagement as an economic and political actor and for applying lessons from the case to our understanding of CSR and a potential extension of the framework.

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Hennchen, Esther

Political corporate responsibility in emerging markets: The case of Royal Dutch Shell

The execution of Mr. Saro-Wiwa of the Ogoni tribe ignited worldwide condemnation of Shell's human rights record in the Niger Delta. In a context of a global governance vacuum and a weak Nigerian state, the event prompted the formulation of Shell's corporate sustainability agenda and an increasing engagement in the provision of global public goods and self-regulation. This move into the political sphere has offset the strict division of labor between private business and nation state governance on which the dominant economic paradigm and many conceptions of CSR are built. To date, Shell denies its politicized nature and there remains considerable ambiguity as to how this new role might be conceptualized and which implications it has on corporate legitimacy, responsibility and democratic control of MNCs in the public sphere. In line with Scherer and Palazzo's attempt to integrate this new political role of private business into a coherent perspective, this paper fleshes out what constitutes Shell's role under the conditions of globalization. Scherer and Palazzo's framework provides a useful tool in analyzing Shell's increasing engagement as an economic and political actor and for applying lessons from the case to our understanding of CSR and a potential extension of the framework.
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Political corporate responsibility in emerging markets: The case of Royal Dutch Shell
Hennchen, Esther
EABIS 9th Annual Colloquium
European Academy of Business in Society (EABIS)
Nueva York (United States of America), 20/09/2010 - 22/09/2010

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