CORPORATE SOCIAL RESPONSIBILITY [CSR] IMPACT ON OPERATIONS OF CHEVRON IN NIGERIA
I am incredibly grateful to the many people who have gone out of their way to help me prepare this dissertation. First of all, I want to say thanks to Dr. for giving an insight on how to conduct a research.
Thank you to the endless supportive . Your financial support throughout my stay at the university has been enormous. This support has helped me accomplish so many things in the college which I wouldn’t have been able without the funds.
Thanks as ever to my family, my mum, my brother and my sister, for the moral and emotional support throughout my study at the university.
These acknowledgements would not be complete of course without mentioning , my cousin and my friend who have been instrumental in ensuring that the funds from my sponsor reach me in due time.
Nigeria has been one of the African countries in which oil is one of the greatest export commodities. In relation to this, therefore, there have been quite a number of oil companies setting their operations inside the borders of this country so as to help exploit this precious commodity. In the course of operation of these companies in Nigeria, many of them have found themselves in conflicts with the resident communities of those oil-rich areas probably in their quest to fight for their fair share of this rare resource.
To many of them, these oil companies have concentrated too much on maximizing profits to the extent that they care less about enriching the lives of the residents of the communities within which they operate. It is due to this fear that a lot of resistance has been experienced by some of these oil companies especially from these communities. Due to this resistance, many of these oil companies have decided to set up strategies that are aimed at not only enticing the communities in which they operate, but also improving their lives altogether. This, ideally, is what Corporate Social Responsibility is all about. Many oil companies in Nigeria are, therefore, currently employing a lot of these Corporate Social Responsibility strategies as a way of giving back to these communities in which they operate (Okpara&Idowu, 2013).
It is a blatant fact that in the process of dealing in oil, several aspects of harm usually come up – the air pollution arising from the excessive smoke, the noise pollution, and to a greater extent, water pollution. Water pollution arises from the release of some oil wastes into large water bodies and hence making the water either unfit for human consumption or leading to the deaths of water creatures such as fish, crocodiles, whales, and turtles. Even though this kind of destruction cannot be compensated in totality, some of these oil companies put in efforts to ensure that they do something as a way of giving back to these communities(Okpara&Idowu, 2013). In Nigeria, one such oil company is Chevron which is one of the leading oil companies in Nigeria. It has recently stepped up its Corporate Social Responsibility strategies not only in Nigeria, but also in the various countries in which it has operations.
Table of Contents
- Figure 1:Research Approach
- Figure 2:Research Design
- Table 1:Chevron’s Corporate Social Responsibility Strategies
- Table 2:Budgetary Allocations of Chevron’s Corporate Social Responsibility
- Table 3:Is Chevron’s Corporate Social Responsibility Impactful?
Chevron is known as one of the market leaders in the sector of energy not only in Nigeria, but also in the global arena. Headquartered in California’s San Ramon, Chevron boasts of being one of the leaders in as far as employment opportunity creation is concerned with over 50,000 employees in its global operations which spans in just about 200 countries. Chevron’s main areas of operations include the production and processing of oil in its crude form as well as natural gas, petrochemical products, as well as green energy such as the biofuels and many other renewable energy sources.
What has stood out more, however, is the fact that this company has not taken any chances in matters Corporate Social Responsibility especially in the Niger Delta where it also has operations. It is known to have invested more in a variety of sectors of the Nigerian economy in which the communities within which it operates can benefit immensely. Some of the sectors that Chevron has invested in in its Corporate Social Responsibility include training of teachers, the health sector, and capacity building on HIV/AIDS containment as well as prevention, development of infrastructure, environmental protection strategies, among many other strategies. The company itself prides itself of channeling funds of up to 142 million dollars in activities that are geared towards implementing projects that are aimed at enhancing well-being of the societies in which they operate. In Nigeria, these efforts seem to have yielded positive results, even though there still are instances in which the company has not acted in manner that has gone down well with the local communities.
In relation to the brief overview of Chevron’s Corporate Social Responsibility discussed above, this dissertation seeks to carry out research as regards the Corporate Social Responsibility of Chevron especially in Nigeria. To be more precise, this paper is about the impacts of this Corporate Social Responsibility most importantly on the operations of the company in Nigeria. The research question, therefore, is, “What are the impacts of the Corporate Social Responsibility of Chevron on the operations of the company in Nigeria?”
This research question is intentionally and intelligently chosen to address the contemporary issues engulfing most oil and gas companies, not only in Nigeria, but allover the world. This rationale is, by large extent, founded on the rising cases of conflicts between the energy companies and the local communities who have always felt that despite the resource (gas and oil deposits) being in their localities, they are yet to benefit from the exploits of these resources. According to them, companies such as Chevron have a huge responsibility of ensuring that they give back to the societies within which they have their operations. Some of the issues that these companies decry of include the need to conserve the environment, creation of employment to the locals, providing scholarships to these locals, investing in the healthcare sector, among many other initiatives(Okpara&Idowu, 2013). All these issues are what influenced the choice of this topic by specifically settling on Chevron’s operations especially in Nigeria, a country that has experienced quite a number of oil conflicts in the recent past.
Based on this research question, this research seeks to achieve certain main objectives which revolve around the issue of Corporate Social Responsibility of Chevron in Nigeria. These are:
- To identify and discuss the various ways in which Chevron as a company carries out its Corporate Social Responsibility.
- To understand the business culture of Chevron as regards Corporate Social Responsibility in general.
- To find out the various issues that surround the effective implementation of Corporate Social Responsibility strategies by Chevron in the course of its operations in Nigeria.
- To compare the various Corporate Social Responsibility strategies employed by Chevron with those of other companies of similar stature both in Nigeria as well as in the entire globe.
- To provide a detailed understanding and discussion on the impacts that these Corporate Social Responsibility strategies as employed by Chevron have on the operations of Chevron specifically in Nigeria. In fact, this is the core of the entire research.
- To understand the pinch, if at all there is, that Chevron experiences as it channels its funds towards empowering the community in which it operates through its Corporate Social Responsibility.
This dissertation is subdivided into seven main chapters i.e. The Introduction, Literature Review, Methodology, Findings and Discussion, Conclusion, the Recommendations, and the Reflection.
Chapter One, as it is, is basic introductory chapter to the research that is to be carried out. It gives a brief overview of the issues and debates surrounding Corporate Social Responsibility especially in the Energy Sector. The chapter then introduces the case study which is about Chevron and its operations in Nigeria in conjunction with its Corporate Social Responsibility strategies in that country. Finally, it outlines the objectives of the research, the research question, and eventually, an overview of what is contained in each of the chapters in the dissertation.
Chapter Two provides a discussion of what previous researchers have already documented as regards the issue of Corporate Social Responsibility as a whole, and specifically in the Energy Sector. This chapter illustrates the works of both researchers as well as scholars in this issue in order to give meaning to the research question and the research objectives as well. It is also based on the contents of this chapter that the recommendations on what the way forward ought to be will be derived. The various theories, controversies, inconsistent findings, unanswered questions, and prior research methods and strategies on the area of Corporate Social Responsibility are also going to be widely discussed in this chapter.
The Third Chapter takes a look at the way this research will go in its attempt to answer its research questionand objectives. Here, the various methods used to collect data during the research such as questionnaires; interviews, online research, and offline research are clearly elaborated. Ethical issues as well as the various constraints that would inevitably be encountered during this research are also discussed herein.
Chapter Four, on its part, presents the findings as regards the research question in line with the originally set research objectives. These findings are then given some meaning by way of interpretation of the data collected which are then compared with the originally set research questions as well the research objectives.
Chapter Five sums up all major points in the entire paper as regards the impacts of Chevron’s Corporate Social Responsibility on the company’s operations in Nigeria.It provides a confirmation that the research question as set out in the very beginning was indeed answered. The meeting of the objectives set out at the very beginning is also done at this point.
Chapter Six provides an insight into the incorporations that should be made in future for such kind of a research. It is basically views of the researcher as to how best a similar research could be improved on in years to come.
The last chapter, Chapter Seven, is a reflection of the entire project, the researcher’s entire learning at the university notwithstanding. In this chapter, the researcher takes their time to demonstrate what they learnt, not only while undertaking this project, but also in their entire learning at the university.
Just like many other countries in the Middle East, Nigeria is probably one of the countries in Africa whose economy can be said to be solely reliant on oil and gas deposits. Most of these oil and gas deposits are common in the infamous Niger Delta which has a population estimated at just about 30 million people. Ideally, considering these oil deposits, it is naturally expected that Niger Delta residents should perhaps be some of the richest and developed in the country. Unfortunately, that is not the case. On the contrary, this exploration of oil in the Niger Delta seems to have caused the area more harm than good. Amongst the oil exploration companies in the Niger Delta, is Chevron Companywhose culture of Corporate Social Responsibility has been a subject of discussion, not only in Nigeria, but also in the entire world (Paetzold, 2009).
Many researchers have indicated that not all oil and gas companies in the Niger Delta have shown positive efforts of causing actual development on the region especially to the local communities. This is a total irony if compared to the expectations of the local residents in the Niger Delta. Most of these oil companies have attributed the various development projects in the Niger Delta to their efforts in Corporate Social Responsibility. This is where Chevron comes in.
Unlike the former times when there used to be extremely good relationship between these oil companies, the latter days have been characterized by extreme hostilities and unnecessary conflicts between these two factions. The local communities in the oil regions in the Niger Delta claim that despite the fact that many of these oil companies make exorbitant profits out of their oil exploration initiatives, and the environmental degradation that these companies cause on the land, it has been an uphill task for these companies to “give back.” Studies show that in the recent times, there have been hostilities arising from these locals with a view to forcing these oil companies into taking their positions as responsible corporates. These forms of violence have been manifested in various forms which include destruction of these companies’ pipelines and other oil and gas installations, conflicts between two communities as well as an internal conflict within one particular community in the Niger Delta.
According to Nkemjika&Matori (2000), oil exploration attempts in Nigeria have been in place for over a hundred years now. 106 years ago, a German Company called The Nigerian Bitumen Corporation carried out its very first exploration efforts. Just about six years later, this attempt was thwarted due to the infamous World War I. It was not until towards the end of this world war that the defunct Shell D’Archy followed the footprints of the pioneers – The Nigerian Bitumen Corporation until the time when the Second World War II broke out again (Nkemjika&Matori, 2000).
In the global arena, Nigeria’s role in the oil and gas industry cannot be underestimated (Frynas, 2000). Even though it has not gone to the extent of fitting onto the shoes of such oil giants as Saudi Arabia, but the fact remains that its role in this crucial industry of oil and gas is technically a force to reckon with especially in Africa (Frynas, 2000). About seven years ago, the production capacity of Nigeria’s oil deposits was approximated at over 36 billion barrels. According to oil statistics, there is no country in Africa that produces as much oil as Nigeria. In the global front, however, Nigeria stands out as the seventh best producer of oil and gas with a current daily production capacity of approximately three million barrels. Over 90 percent of this production capacity is primarily oil while the remaining percentage is made up of such products as natural gas and crude oil (Nkemjika&Matori, 2000).
As was mentioned earlier on in this dissertation, there have been a lot of hostilities between the oil producing companies and the local communities. These conflicts appear in many forms i.e. by vandalism of company pipelines, destruction of installations set up by these oil companies, and intra as well as inter community conflicts that are uncalled for (Frynas, 2000; Nkemjika&Matori 2000).
According to Frynas (2000), the Niger Delta is known to have few settlements and this has been attributed to the unfavorable drainage as well as poor relief. The inhabitants of this Delta are primarily farmers and fishermen – these are their major economic activities especially due to the geographical as well as climatic nature of the area. Some of these communities include the Akabuka community, the EleleAlumini community, the Igbokoda, the Ogoni, the Ubeta, the Ibeno, just to mention but a few (Frynas, 2000).
The irony behind the lives of these so-called oil communities is that they are some of the poorest communities in Nigeria. In fact, research shows that their level of poverty is far much higher than the average of the entire Nigeria (Nkemjika&Matori, 2000). It is this kind of economic sabotage that hostility has caused hostility to go up among these oil communities. Through these conflicts they are trying to send the message home as regards their marginalization, both by the governments of the day as well as by the oil drilling companies such as Chevron and Shell.
According to Okpara&Idowu (2013), Corporate Social Responsibility may be defined as the practice adopted by organizations in their quest to reach out to the local communities in which they operate. Corporate Social Responsibility, in more advanced terms, may be said to be a policy in which the companies operating in a particular area put in efforts in improving their areas of operation (local communities) with an aim of ensuring that they create better operational environment for their companies(Sun, 2010). Without this policy being implemented by any given company in its host community, there are likely to emerge a lot of resistance from these locals. As a result, therefore, the operations of the companies involved will be headed to a standstill and may, therefore, stall. If Corporate Social Responsibility is done diligently, effectively, and in good faith, the operations of the company in question are likely to be backed up by the local communities (Paetzold, 2009). It is through this kind of support that a company grows and, therefore, expanding its territories.
There has, however, been a misconception that Corporate Social Responsibility is only aimed at benefiting the local communities alone(Okpara&Idowu, 2013). This is only convincing if one looks at the issue from a shallow perspective. From a slightly deeper perspective, Corporate Social Responsibility is aimed at creating a mutual benefit between the host communities and the oil companies. Through this mutual benefit, the locals ensure that the conditions (economic, environmental, social, and intellectual) in which they live are, not only favorable, but also up to standards (Mullerat& Brennan, 2011). On the other hand also, the companies are expected to benefit. In fact, they are likely to benefit the most, at least in most cases (though this is unknown to many).
From the deepest perspective now, it is clear that it is the companies practicing Corporate Social Responsibility that tends to benefit the most from these activities (Sun, 2010). The kind of favorable business environment that these companies are likely to get in the event that they are fully accepted by the host communities is far much more than the amount of funds that they might have channeled towards the Corporate Social Responsibility (Mullerat& Brennan, 2011). As a matter of fact, a company’s favorable existence and profitability in a particular area, at least in the long-term, is largely dependent on the hospitality it is accorded by the host communities (Katamba, 2012). This, as is well known, is equally largely dependent on the extent of the company’s Corporate Social Responsibility efforts.In actual sense, these two parameters are directly proportional to one another.
Reliable research in the corporate world has shown that whereas 75 percent of the firms that lack the culture of Corporate Social Responsibility have been found to be profitable in the short run, just about 15 percent of such companies survive in the long run(Okpara&Idowu, 2013). In fact, many of them just collapse completely in the longrun. Why? Ignoring the welfare of the communities in which a company operates is nothing short of the company committing suicide (Mcelhaney, 2008). This is the case with the Niger Delta where the local communities are ever vandalizing the various infrastructural investments of the oil companies which they perceive as not being so supportive in its corporate responsibility initiatives.
According to Banerjee (2008), Corporate Social Responsibility may also be defined as a strategy that organizations use in order to ensure that the effects of their activities do not turn out to be negative especially to the surrounding society (Baxi& Prasad, 2005). This harm can present itself in various forms i.e. through environmental pollution (noise pollution, water pollution, air pollution, and soil pollution), destruction of the terrain of land (e.g. digging of deep and wide trenches, furrows, use of heavy machinery to break large rock boulders), and lack of enough land for other economic activities for the host communities (Mcehaney, 2008). Whereas the concept of Corporate Social Responsibility is widely believed to have benefits only to the companies involved and their host communities, the real beneficiaries go beyond these duo. The potential beneficiaries are the government, the companies’ employees, their clients, as well as business partners such as suppliers and shareholders(Okpara&Idowu, 2013).
Originally, the concept of Corporate Social Responsibility was considered to be all about ensuring that the company complies with the legislations of the day and operating within the defined ethical standards (Armstrong & Green, 2012). This still stands. However, the greatest point of concentration in the recent years has been on the improvement of the living standards of the local residents before anything else.
Corporate Social Responsibility is also defined as a means through which a business entity commits itself to behave in a manner that is not only ethical, but also one that contributes to the economic development of the area operation without compromising on its role of improving the living standards of the resident communities (Clark, 2014). In this definition, three parameters are essential in ensuring that effective Corporate Social Responsibility strategies are employed by a given firm i.e. ethical operations, economic development, and the betterment of the lives of the local residents. This, therefore, leads to the conclusion that if any of these three aspects is not taken care of, there a high likelihood of the smooth operations of the company to be interrupted (Armstrong & Green, 2012), specifically in the area in question.
According to Paetzold (2009), some business moguls have argued that the whole debate surrounding the importance of Corporate Social Responsibility is just but a mere fallacy. According to them, this is a strategy that is only employed to ensure that business entities that do not have the muscles in terms of finances are “kicked” out of the equation. Business is, first and foremost, existing with the main purpose of maximizing profits. Any other aspect, according to these business moguls, comes second. This, however, is not to mean that the social responsibility of the business is lost. It only means that once the business is able to maximize its profits, the issue of giving back to the society will naturally follow (Armstrong & Green, 2012).
According to Brainard (2004), the proponents of the concept of Corporate Social Responsibility, on the other hand, argue that any attempt to put a company’s social responsibility second will only cause that company more harm than good. As a matter of fact, these proponents suggest that without Corporate Social Responsibility, the profitability of the company is, in the first place, at stake (Brainard, 2006). These proponents come from the school of thought that believes that however small a business might be (at least financially), Corporate Social Responsibility is a must do if the long term viability of that business is of any significance.
One major question, however, has been, “Why should corporations invest in Corporate Social Responsibility?” There are typically four reasons for that.
First, and probably the most important benefit that comes with implementing Corporate Social Responsibility, according to Baxi& Prasad (2005), is the ability to win over the public. Corporate image is very important in promoting the publicity of a given company. Most of the Corporate Social Responsibility strategies are usually publicized in the mass media where virtually every member of the public is able access the information. Strictly speaking, therefore, Corporate Social Responsibility is only but a tool for a company to make itself known to the public through which it’s able to market itself effectively (Baxi& Prasad, 2005). This is, of course, unknown to many.
Secondly, through Corporate Social Responsibility, a positive working environment is created for the firm’s employees (Sun, 2010). This is basically because for a company for which employees feel is concerned about welfare, the employees are likely to give it their best while at work. As a result, therefore, they will improve the output of their employer company. A self-motivated employee will automatically put in more efforts in their work. The overall beneficiary in this kind of situation is of course the firm itself.
Finally, the government support is the backbone of the operations of any corporation of a bigger stature. Sometimes, especially for multinationals, government support from the host country of operation may lack completely. This usually happens when the government feels that the operations of the given company do not necessarily have a positive impact on the lives of its people (Clark, 2014). This is where Corporate Social Responsibility comes in. Through this strategy, such companies will manage to win the support from government (Clark, 2014).
This research study will be based on three broad philosophies namely; philosophy of axiology, interpretive philosophy and the realism philosophy.
The interpretive philosophy finds its appropriateness in a research study of this magnitude and caliber through a number of ways. The philosophy itself is founded on the fact that the social and corporate world complexity is far much to be formulated and interpreted in theories and laws as the case with the natural scientific world. This philosophy thus asserts that there exist a number of truths and individual meanings backed with relevant evidence and explanations and such opinions hold for every situation and for every research topic and question. The interpretive philosophy can as well be interpreted as a critical evaluation of the positivism philosophy which relies on optimism for true facts in the corporate world. With the above preamble, the interpretive philosophy is thus relevant in relation with the research question. For instance, the principle researcher at the time of data collection shall assume all the raw data as true facts until sufficient analysis proves otherwise the assumed authenticity.
The second guiding philosophy in this case will be the realism philosophy. This philosophy is often used when the topic or question being researched on touches on aspects of interdependency between human values, beliefs and cultural similarity. It majorly tries to expound on certain beliefs held by a certain society. In addition, this philosophy has it that there are external forces of objective reality which tend to influence social interpretation and behavior of a given group of people in a society. Hence human beings will react differently to various stimuli in their environment. The philosophy becomes significant in this research due to the fact that the whole issue of regional Corporate Social Responsibility greatly affects all aspects of humanity and human existence as implemented by the oil company under scrutiny – Chevron. The policy, makers and implementers hope to maintain a responsible corporate world introducing a certain stimuli in the society whose reaction is expected to favor humanity and create a secure environment. The society will thus be manipulated to belief that every considerate organization must engage in giving back to the society, failure to which a firm might not see its operations in the said territories run smoothly.
The final governing philosophy in this research study will be the philosophy of axiology. This philosophy will majorly be considered since the research involves surveys and statistical analysis in order to collect data for this project.
The research shall involve two major methods of data collection i.e. questionnaires and interviews. These will be jointly used to acquire the necessary raw data for analysis.
An interview assesses both the responses of the candidate being questioned and the validity of their answers by studying their facial expressions. With an interview, it is easier to get the finer details off the conversation and know where the bias lies for it is necessary to establish a respondent’s bias as early into a conversation as possible. However, since interviews are time consuming and often difficult to set up, it is critical that this method be used only for the vital and relevant sources in both sets of respondents. It is also vital that interviews be recorded in order to avoid misinterpretation and guarantee quality of the information. The challenge of this research will thus be how to choose the respondents.
Specifically for this research, therefore, interviews will be conducted especially to the local residents of the Niger Delta where Chevron has a bigger presence in Nigeria. These locals will be interviewed on their opinions about what Chevron has done and is still doing to ensure that these people also benefit from thesegreat resources– oil and gas. A few stakeholders inside the Chevron Company will also be interviewed in regards to their actual efforts in attaining good Corporate Social Responsibility so as to benefit the local populations. Even though, this may be an uphill task, but the researchers will do their best to make it happen.
Questionnaires are inherently quantitative. They focus on numbers and estimates based on the accuracy of responses or the similarity of the same. In this case, the issue is to ensure that a great percentage of acceptable questionnaire responses represent the majority opinion. It is however not off the mark to represent other unpopular perspectives to the matter. For this particular case, therefore, the questionnaire design will incorporate less personal questions few leading questions and majorly ones where the respondent simply has to tick where appropriate. This is because it is expected that not so many of the respondents will be quite conversant with good writing skills as is with the open-ended type of questionnaires. The questionnaires will be evaluated with the interviews to establish quality of the responses and the level of bias on the responses produced by both sets of methods.
Questionnaires are best suited for statistical analysis of the responses since the responses obtained are highly practical. Large amounts of information can be collected from a large number of people in a short period of time and in a relatively cost effective way. Another advantage of using questionnaires is that they can be analyzed more ‘scientifically’ and objectively than other forms of research. Finally the results obtained from questionnaires can be quickly and easily quantified by either a researcher or through the use of a software package and therefore it is also easy to compare and contrast quantified data hence ascertain changes in trends.
The last method for data collection that will be used for this particular project will be the review of online resources. With the digital age, a lot of information is contained in the internet. These internet sources are what the researchers will be consulting once in a while. Online sources are preferred by most researchers in the current world of research because of their being up to date. Most of these sources contain the very latest information unlike most of the written sources most of which were produced several decades ago.
Some of the specific sources that this research will be consulting in this research will be Chevron Company’s website, online discussions about Corporate Social Responsibility, and the websites of the various other companies of Chevron’s stature against which the Corporate Social Responsibility strategies of Chevron will be compared.
The figure bellow shows the framework of the research approach. In an onion diagram, activities within the inner layers of the onion are first executed while those on the outside layers are carried out last. For instance, in the figure bellow, data collection will be the initial activity. The general scope of the whole research undertaking expands as one move from the inner layers outwards till recommendations are finally made. This is illustrated in Figure 1 below:
Figure 1: Research Approach
The research design determines the perspective of the groups or individuals associated to the research question. It will involve the emerging questions, procedures whereas collect data through participants settings, data analysis induced from specific to general theories, while the research will be concluded by the interpretation of the data. The research will thus incorporate qualitative, quantitative and a mixture of the two approaches to collect both primary and secondary data for later analysis.
The whole research design can thus be summarized by Figure 2 below:
Figure 2: Research Design
Qualitative methods will be used to collect information on the perceptions, perspectives and opinions of the various stake holders such as individuals and groups on the issue of efforts that are being made to promote Corporate Social Responsibility within Chevron in the wake of a growing number of oil and gas companies in Nigeria as well as in other parts of the world. It will involve the emerging questions; procedures intended to collect data through participants’ settings, data analysis induced from specific to general theories. The research will thus evaluate its objectives and hypotheses by analyzing and interpreting such collected responses and data as collected from the various stakeholders as collected.
Quantitative research methods are often employed during data analysis and processing in order to derive conclusions from a research undertaking. In most cases, the effectiveness and accuracy of quantitative research techniques goes hand in hand with the qualitative method adopted. Quantitative approach in most cases involves extensive review and careful analysis of already existing secondary data on a given topic being researched on. In this research study for instance, quantitative research methods will be used alongside statistical procedures and techniques to test the existing theory visa vi the research variables. Quantitative research methods will thus help establish the actual statistical relationship between of the statistics provided in the sustainability report of the banks and an actual survey on the effectiveness of the policy.
While qualitative research approach collects primary data from stake holders, quantitative research approach aims at analyzing pre-recorded secondary data in relation to the research topic. In order to gain an inner insight of the whole research topic from different points of view, a mixture of both research approaches is often encouraged, hence the mixed approach research design. The conclusions to be made from this research study will thus take an account of both quantitative and qualitative approaches and the subsequent data collected from the two independent approaches. A design will therefore be designed and established from the conclusions as made from a blend of the two research methods. This design will be made in a way as to include philosophical as well as theoretical framework.
For this research, non-probability sampling design was preferred since, unlike the probability sampling design, this sampling design is relatively cost-effective. Additionally, non-probability sampling design is arguably the most preferred due to its ability to provide deeper understanding in qualitative research – part of which this research delved into.
The specific non-probability sampling techniques used in this research werethe Judgmental Sampling and the use of Case Study. In the former, the researcher was the one who settled on the respondents that he was to solicit information from e.g. specific company officials and local respondents. The latter, on the other hand, is the Chevron’s case study itself.
In the course of the research, some critical information was only considered credible if it came from some of the Chevron’s officials in the highest of ranks. Accessing such individuals was not an easy task. Luckily enough, it was discovered that many of them delegated duties and it was from those that were assigned tasks that the researchers sought some information from.
The other blatant truth about accessibility is the distance factor. The case was in Nigeria, and this meant that researcher was to travel by air. This would, however, mean a lot of financial strain on the part of the researcher. In order to avoid these avoidable cost implications, the researcher simply made telephone interviews with many stakeholders e.g. company representatives, randomly-selected local respondents in Nigeria, among many other stakeholders.
The research was conducted in a society comprising of various and diverse personalities. For the whole research to be successful, certain ethical issues and considerations needed to be addressed in the course of the undertaking. The study put into consideration a number of such components. Most of these ethical issues were dealt with in the structuring and designing of the research questionnaires. The responses by the various participants therefore provided the required data on the same ethical considerations.
The initial such ethical concern was the chances of the research study revealing to the public some information which was otherwise regarded as confidential by the management of Chevron, Nigeria Chapter. In research, a lot of hidden information is usually unearthed and due to competition sustainability, some companies would rather not divulge such information or make it public for fear of exposing their competitive advantage.
Objectivity and independence are other two ethical concerns which won’t be left out by this research study. On this point, the research study sought to establish whether reflective practices at Chevron do have anything to do with conflict of interest as exercised by some leaders. While certain leadership attributes and skills may be sad to be natural or in-born, others are environmentally modified depending on one’s environment of operation. Therefore, the research study tried hard to establish any trace of relationship or potential link between objectivity, independence and leadership.
In order to maintain confidentiality of the information obtained, the research study was so much confined to the scope of the study, often gathering information that could only help make useful inferences as far as Corporate Social Responsibility at Chevron in Nigeria was concerned. For the sake of market competition, the various company reports do not contain any information regarded as confidential by Chevron. Such information was excluded during the analysis of the findings for the obvious reasons of privacy and confidentiality. In the same manner, the research report also sticks on the core objectives of the research and does not contain any information outside the scope of Corporate Social Responsibility.
The researcher also acted in the most official outlook, often seeking to establish significant rapport before finally soliciting for the required information. By remaining formal and within the scope of the research, there were higher chances of getting credible responses. Respondents also tend to show concern especially for systematic and organized data collection strategies. In the same connection, the researcher maintained a systematic approach to every aspect of information research and collection.
The collected numerical data shall be processes, analyzed and later subjected to comparisons and contrasts in order to establish the views of other scholars, security experts and columnists on the research topic.
The responses from quantitative survey questionnaires earlier on administered to business owners will also be analyzed and scrutinized using the 7-point Likert Scale. Since the research involves a case study – Chevron’s Corporate Social Responsibility, it will be easy to identify credible responses for subsequent documentation. In order to increase on effectiveness and accuracy of collected data, the questionnaires will be designed in a way as to seek suggestions from the respondents on the possible approaches to improve general security within UAE.
There existed a number of limitations to the process of collecting relevant information for this research. For instance, Corporate Social Responsibility, as earlier on mentioned, is considered among the emerging trends in organizational management. As a result, most of the secondary materials available do not give exhaustive information on the same concept. Most of the earlier released academic writings are in the review and subsequent editions stages so as to cater for as much information on Corporate Social Responsibility as possible. It was, therefore, slightly challenging to get significantly exhaustive information to provide relevant answers to the research question.
Finally, the last limitation of information gathering was the identification of credible sources of data and information. Pre-recorded information is usually presented as individual opinion and views which might be inclined towards a given direction or based in some kind. The actual process of information thus becomes more demanding in cases where one has to single out outstanding credible sources from a pool of sources.
Various findings were made at the end of this research. These findings were, in one way or another, intertwined with the originally set objectives and the research question.
In relation to the first objective outlined in the previous chapters of this research document, this research found out that Chevron Nigeria Limited employs seven main Corporate Social Responsibility strategies in its quest to give back to the Niger Delta society in which it has its operations. These strategies are the development of infrastructure in learning institutions and health facilities, the development of road safety infrastructure, donation of medicine to health facilities in the Niger Delta,sponsorships in education as well as bursaries, electricity supply, provision of financial aid to the needy in the host communities, and distribution of water that is mobile. The extent to which Chevron Company aids in these initiatives is better illustrated using theTable 1shown below:
|CSR Strategy||Financial Aid||Distribution of Mobile Water||Student Sponsorships||Road Safety Efforts||Infrastructure in Learning Institutions and Healthcare||Supply of Medicine||Electricity|
|Extent of Involvement by Chevron||1.2%||3.5%||29.5%||14.3%||39.4%||12%||0.1%|
Table 1: Chevron’s Corporate Social Responsibility strategies
From these findings, it is clear that in its quest to employ Corporate Social Responsibility, Chevron has laid more emphasis on matters education. This is in line with what Nkemjika&Matori (2000) documented. Looking at the table, the percentages taken of Sponsorships and infrastructure in learning institutions takes over 50% of the total funds that the company has allocated for its Corporate Social Responsibility initiatives. The irony of it all comes when it becomes clear that despite Chevron being a company that operates in the Energy Sector, it did virtually nothing about improving electricity connections in the Niger Delta. In fact, one interviewee, a local resident of Niger Delta, when interviewed on phone, said blatantly, “The Company cares less about our energy needs as a community. Electricity seems to be at the very bottom of this company’s agenda. We are not happy about it….”The company also seems to have put a little bit of its emphasis on development of road safety strategies as well as the health sector in general.
In order to understand the business culture of Chevron as regards Corporate Social Responsibility, this research learnt (through the few telephone interviews that were made with Chevron’s representatives) that the company has a consistent culture of factoring in the aspect of Corporate Social Responsibility in virtually all of its annual budgets. Table 2 below illustrates the allocations that the company (expressed as a percentage of the total annual budget) has allocated towards Corporate Social Responsibility for the last five years as were estimated by the company’s Chief Financial Officer via a phone call. Results almost similar to these were also retrieved from the company’s literature that was available online.
|Financial Year||Budgetary Allocation|
Table 2: Budgetary Allocations of Chevron’s Corporate Social Responsibility
These results show that there has been a seemingly rising trend in the percentage of budgetary allocations that were set aside for purposes of Corporate Social Responsibility initiatives with the peak being 2014. The trend indeed validates the fact that Chevron’s appreciation of Corporate Social Responsibility keeps improving day by day. This is the company’s business culture.
This research also came to a conclusion that the impact created by Chevron’s Corporate Social Responsibility initiatives is enormous. Whereas some of the respondents that the researchers in this research interviewed indicated that the company’s CSR initiatives did not have any significant impact in the way they have seen its operations in the Niger Delta, the contrary seems to bear some weight. Out of the 92 research participants that this research interacted with (through the questionnaires and interviews), 77 agreed to this closed-ended question which was included both in the questionnaires (accessed online) as well as in the telephone interviews. It stated: Does Chevron’s Corporate Social Responsibility have a positive impact in the company’s operations in Nigeria?This translates to 83.7 percent of the total number of respondents. These results are tabulated in Table 3 below:
|Response||Number of Respondents||Percentage|
|Yes, it does||77||83.7%|
|No, it doesn’t||11||11.9%|
Table 3: Is Chevron’s Corporate Social Responsibility impactful?
The findings of the research attest to the fact that indeed Corporate Social Responsibility initiatives have significant impacts in the operations of Chevron in Nigeria. Through the three data collection methods i.e. interview, questionnaires, and online research, it became clear that several impacts were created by Chevron’s Corporate Social Responsibility in Nigeria. Of key significance, however, seemed to be the ones briefly discussed below:
- Development of satisfactory host community engagement system – This has been achieved especially from the various agreements that have been made between the company and the stakeholders in the conglomerate of communities living around the Niger Delta. Through this, Chevron engages with the community from time to time in case it would like to implement a few of its projects in the region.
- Development of the host communities – Even though most of the communities living around the Niger Delta still have to fight poverty (Frynas, 2000), some improvements in the living standards of these people have been seen especially by Chevron as an individual company. This research has shown that Chevron has invested more in the education sector in the Niger Delta by constructing schools as well as awarding scholarships for performing but poor students stemming from the host communities in the Niger Delta. Education is the key driver of community development in any society.
- Promotion of unity amongst some communities around the Niger Delta – It is a fact that most of these development projects and achievements cannot be accomplished by one company in particular. Not much may have been done along this line, but on its part, however, Chevron prides itself in enhancing ethnic tolerance between warring communities in the Niger Delta.
- Extreme Poverty among Niger Delta communities–It is a fact that Chevron Nigeria Limited put in a lot of efforts to give back (whether with bad intentions or not) by signing a number of agreements with these host communities. The biggest problem, however, was that such agreements had to be signed by those who are perceived to be the leaders of these particular communities against the company’s officials (Nkemjika&Matori, 2000). In this process, therefore, much of the benefits that were supposed to accrue from these agreements ended up into the pockets of a few people – the host community leaders, to be precise. This essentially is what has caused a lot of poverty amongst the local communities due to the wide economic disparities between the rich and the poor.
- Promotion of Intercommunity Feuds as well as Intra-community Conflicts –Most of the agreements made as regards Chevron’s Corporate Social Responsibility initiatives caused some mistrust to exist between the members of a particular community and their community leaders. This is what fueled intra-community feuds within particular communities in which the families of the community leaders who represented the particular community were targeted in serial attacks by the community members (Brainard, 2006). On the other hand, some of these agreements caused intercommunity conflicts especially in instances when one community felt the other community benefited more from the deals signed with Chevron Nigeria Limited. As a result, therefore, these communities started fighting each other.
The other finding that this research made was about the actual Corporate Social Responsibility initiatives that Chevron Nigeria Limited implemented in the Niger Delta. According to many people in the host communities, many of the infrastructural projects that this company implemented in the Niger Delta were perceived to be beneficial to the company itself. In fact, many of these host communities believed that despite the projects being widely termed as “community projects”, they remained under the ownership of Chevron Nigeria Limited. It was widely expected that ownership and management of such projects would be transferred into the hands of the community themselves. This was the spirit. To this effect, many people felt that the projects were not beneficial to them as a community (Banerjee, 2008).
In a telephone interview, one respondent from the host communities separately indicated her total dissatisfaction with Chevron’s projects in the area. She retorted, “….I do not care whether these projects exist or not…. The clinic built by Chevron a few years ago nearest my homestead seems to be pumping back its proceeds to the very company despite them saying it was a community project….. In fact, the clinic can only be termed by our people as being a cash cow! We still have to pay for our people to be treated in that clinic yet we were told the clinic was brought to help us.”This alone indicates how dissatisfied these people are in as far as some of the Corporate Social Responsibility initiatives carried out by Chevron are concerned.
When this kind of lack of ownership of the CSR projects by the host community exists, that is when the hostilities arise, especially directed towards the company’s infrastructure as well as other installations. One respondent said blatantly, “………….I do not regret having been part of the five people that recently vandalized Chevron’s pipeline that passes in the nearby school. I mean, how could they come into our land to humiliate us and deprive us of our rights as Nigerians in our own land?………”It has now become apparent that the several cases of vandalism of infrastructure built by many of these oil companies, Chevron’s in this case, is mainly as a result of the feeling of dissatisfaction among the host communities. As a matter of fact, this kind of scenario is what catapulted the 2003 quagmire in which the local communities living around the Niger Delta went on a vandalism spree destroying virtually every company’s pipelines and other installations.
One of the positive impacts created through Chevron Nigeria Limited’s Corporate Social Responsibility initiatives is the creation of employment to the local communities (Banerjee, 2008). Unlike in the former days when a good number of the company’s employees were predominantly foreigners, Chevron seems to have changed tact. Currently, it has set itself into giving preference to the local communities in case of an employment opportunity in the company. A lot of contracts and subcontracts are currently being awarded to the local residents who have the capacity to do so, unless there lacks completely such a contractor in the Niger Delta. This move can be attributed to the improved literacy levels resulting from the company’s extensive investment in the education sector as was signified by the findings on Chevron’s Corporate Social Responsibility initiatives in Table 1 above.
One community member from the local community who was interviewed during this research pointed out that despite the fact there were still quite a number of issues to be ironed out as regards Chevron’s operations in the Niger Delta, the education levels in the area have skyrocketed courtesy of Chevron Nigeria Limited. He went ahead to say how his twin daughters are beneficiaries of Chevron’s sponsorship and bursary schemes. Without these scholarships, he says, his two daughters (now in their final years in one local university) would not have gone this far. In actual sense, according to him, they would have been married off by now. This shows the level of satisfaction by some members of these host communities as regards Chevron’s Corporate Social Responsibility initiatives.
From a different perspective, however, these scholarships are the ones that have led to unending feuds within these host communities (Frynas, 2000). Some sections of the community members have a belief that these scholarships are not being awarded in a transparent manner. According to them, contrary to their expectations that these scholarships should have been awarded to the most deserving individuals in the community, they have always ended up in the “wrong hands.” They say that many of these scholarships often go to those families that are perceived to be “lenient” on Chevron’s operations in the Niger Delta. In other circumstances, quite a number of these beneficiaries come from families whose members are employees of the company. Ideally, such kinds of families are perceived to be well off, and do not, therefore, require financial aid for their children to acquire education. Even though this impact is unintended by Chevron, it has, in one way or the other, impacted negatively on the company’s image to the public especially in terms of its Corporate Social Responsibility (Jonker& Witte, 2006).
In view of the few cases of grievances from the host communities in the Niger Delta, a lot of Chevron Nigeria Limited’s operations have been halted every once in a while. In most cases, many of the company’s assets have been destroyed and its pipelines vandalized altogether. Stealing of Chevron’s installations as well as extortion has become very common in the Niger Delta stemming from the apparently “untamed” conflicts that would otherwise have been contained (Nkemjika&Matori, 2000). The Niger Delta has also been characterized by demonstrations where women and children from the host communities have been common in agitating for food, employment, together with sub contracts from the company. Many of such demonstrations have often halted operations at Chevron Nigeria Limited as the protesters are dispersed.
In the recent years, especially after the infamous 2003 ethnic tension between two main communities in the Niger Delta i.e. the Ijaw and the Itsekitri, it was now time for Chevron Nigeria Limited to embark on the journey of repackaging its Corporate Social Responsibility strategies so as to ensure that conflicts of similar nature do not recur in years to come. Much as it was conflict between the two communities, businesswise, it was Chevron that had to suffer many losses. In fact, records show that the company lost just about one billion dollars within this period. Not so lucky was the company’s infrastructure.
It was in the wake of this crisis that the Chevron Nigeria Limited settled on a formal agreement, the infamous General Memoranda of Understanding (GMOU) (Frynas, 2000). This agreement has been very instrumental in bringing some form of contentment among the host communities about Chevron Nigeria Limited’s operations in Nigeria.
In conclusion, therefore, it is obvious that whereas Corporate Social Responsibility of a company is vital in ensuring smooth operations of that company, if not properly implemented, it may lead to the worst of consequences (Ihlen, Bartlett & May, 2011). It is essential that for any give company that would like to employ Corporate Social Responsibility strategy, such move should be vetted as keenly as possible. Several parameters must be considered:
- There must be good will from both the company as well as the host communities (Grunewalder, 2005).
- The CSR must be mutually beneficial to both parties so that none of these two parties will end up feeling cheated in a way (Grunewalder, 2005).
- Adequate measures should be put in place to ensure accountability especially by the actual grounds men who are the real implementers of such Corporate Social Responsibility (Groza, Pronschinske& Walker, 2003). By so doing, the host communities will remain confident that Chevron’s initiatives are indeed aimed at alleviating economic disparities among the communities living in the Niger Delta.
In view of unfavorable impacts that Chevron Nigeria Limited may have experienced as discussed in this research, several recommendations may be put forward in order to ensure that Corporate Social Responsibility is implemented in the best way possible. These recommendations will go a long way in bringing some sanity into the newly – coined concept of Corporate Social Responsibility with specific case of Chevron Nigeria Limited. Truth be said, the culture of Corporate Social Responsibility in Chevron has demonstrated more negativities than it has positivity. This remains so even after it is crystal clear that the amount of funds it has so far channeled towards its Corporate Social Responsibility initiatives in the Niger Delta is one of the highest in the entire industry in Nigeria. In order, therefore, to ensure that these funds not only benefit the host communities, but also benefits the company as well, the following recommendations should be considered:
- Whereas it is undeniably true that Chevron Nigeria Limited has implemented quite a lot in so far as Corporate Social Responsibility is concerned, it is recommended that the company eliminates middlemen especially in rolling out these initiatives to the residents of Niger Delta. This will help reduce the many cases of misappropriation of funds meant for these social projects (Frynas, 2000).
- It is recommended that Chevron Nigeria Limited does a thorough follow-up of its CSR initiatives so as to ensure that there is accountability by the actual grounds men who implement the initiatives on the ground (Coombs & Holladay, 2012). By so doing, the company will ensure that these projects actually benefit the intended potential beneficiaries. Without this kind of audit, the implementers of these projects will tend to pull these resources towards their own side and for their own selfish interests.
- It is also recommended that Chevron Nigeria Limited actualizes its Corporate Social Responsibility initiatives and then relinquishes them to the host communities to manage (Albareda, Lozano &Ysa, 2007). Apparently, this issue is what led to frequent vandalism of the company’s assets and other installations by the local residents. In so doing, the host communities will have a feeling that they are the real owners of these projects. As a result, therefore, they are likely to rethink their stance on destruction and vandalism of Chevron’s installations and infrastructure.
- In the researcher’s view, not so much has been done by Chevron Nigeria Limited to environmental degradation as well as pollution especially in the Niger Delta. It is understood that for such a company as Chevron Nigeria Limited, environment pollution cannot be evaded. In order, therefore, to counteract the effect of the company’s environmental destruction, Chevron should engage itself in such environmental conservation strategies as planting of trees, and financing of projects aimed at conserving the environment in general.
- Finally, not a single of Chevron’s CSR initiatives has been channeled towards enhancing good social relations among communities living around the Niger Delta e.g. the Itsekitri and the Ijaw. This research, therefore to this extent, recommends that the company innovates various ways of it introducing co-curricular activities between any two communities living in the area. This could be achieved by sponsoring games and sports of all kinds that the local communities have interest in. Through such initiatives, these communities would intermingle effectively and learn how to coexist. Eventually, ethnic tolerance will be an issue of the past. The ultimate beneficiary if peace exists within the Niger Delta is the oil industry, of which Chevron Nigeria Limited is a player.
Based on the limitations of this research as stipulated under the Methodology Chapter, future research of this stature should meet certain financial thresholds. It is noted that this research required the researcher to obtain information from respondents as was indicated in the Data Collection Section. Unfortunately for this research, due to financial inadequacy, such data collection as interviews and questionnaires was achieved only by making telephone calls and going online respectively. The results obtained herein would have been more credible if the researcher would have travelled to the physical location of the area. Adequate financial help in future for this kind of research would be prudent if improvements on the current findings are anything to go by.
My time at the university has been characterized by quite a number of experiences and learning points as well. Education, they say, is one way of expanding one’s thinking into a broad-based internalization of facts. Moreover, education helps one acquire skills that they can use to interpret almost all kinds of situations both locally as well as in the global arena. My case, therefore, is no different. As I come to the end of my university studies in this course, I have come to appreciate several learning points in my academic life while in this university. This, therefore, is a reflection of what I have been able to learn in the course of my entire studies in this university, for this course in particular.
I am particularly happy with the kind of behavioral transformation that I have undergone for this period that I have been at the university. It would not be exactly accurate enough to say that I lacked good mannerisms when I was joining this university, but it would be right to mention that my mannerisms have since improved a great deal. This reminds me of the Behaviorist Theory at some point in the course of my studies. According to this theory, anybody going through the learning process starts off as an “empty vessel” before being transformed either into a meaningful or useless person in the society. In my case, I can proudly say that I am far much better off than I joined the university.
Far much beyond the lessons from my final project for this course, this course in particular has been instrumental in my journey towards enlightenment. Most importantly, through this course, I have come to appreciate the fact that enterprises have the mandate to, not only maximize their profits, but also transform the lives of the people living within its areas of operation.Whereas this may not seem so significant a learning point, at least to some people, to me, it proves a strong lesson. When I was joining the university to pursue my course, all I know was that a business has the sole objective, above any other aim, of maximizing its profits.
I can now pride myself, courtesy of my final dissertation for this course, as being more enlightened in matters business operations especially on the Corporate Social platform.
One of our lecturers usually reminded us that being in school is not just about the classwork, it goes beyond just that. According to him, education should leave a student an all rounded person. His words still ring in my mind as if it was just yesterday. All along, I have tried to make sure that is words apply in my academic life. To this end, I am happy to confirm that they actually did. I may not be the best person to evaluate myself, but I have a strong belief that a lot has changed in me, not just academically. I actually confirmed this when I was doing my research on the final dissertation for this course when I had to make telephone calls to Chevron Nigeria Limited’s executives to interview them on some issues. This is one thing that I would not have attempted to do way before joining campus.
I am now convinced I am ready to handle issues in a more professional manner with a global perspective, thanks to my encounter at the university.
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