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Monsanto Attempts to Balance Stakeholder Interests

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Case #1Monsanto Attempts to Balance Stakeholder Interests


1. Does Monsanto maintain an ethical culture that can effectively respond to various stakeholders?

a. On the outside, Monsanto seems to be following ethical corporate responsibility. They are giving back to the community, and making sure they do not pollute the environment. The company used the concept of Social Responsibility and Business Ethics to create a reputation of value to various stakeholders.

b. Good

i. They gave 15 million to Donald Danforth Plant Science Center to do crop research in Africa.

ii. Fund also helps Brazilian children maintain good health and hygiene.

c. Bad

i. Monsanto's regulation had become a financial burden to many farmers.

ii. Farmers who buy from Monsanto could not save seeds for future growth.

What they are lacking is an easy way to contact someone if an ethical situation arises. Their company seems to be very centralized and only the top executive has the authority to make any kind of decisions.

As stated in their company leadership website:

"If you are faced with a difficult ethical decision or whenever you have doubts as to the right course of action in a particular situation, you should talk to the General Counsel or Director of Business Conduct. Violations of this Code, including failures to report potential violations by others, will be viewed as a severe disciplinary matter that may result in personnel action, including termination of employment. If you believe that a violation of this Code has occurred, please contact the General Counsel or Director of Business Conduct. Reports may be made by phone or in person, or submitted in writing via email or intercompany mail."


This statement is great for employees, but what about the stakeholders who do not work for the company? Yes, they do have a committee that maintains an ethical culture, and yes they can respond to the various stakeholders, but I do not think they can effectively respond on a timely manner.

2. Compare the benefits of growing GMO (genetically modified organism) seeds for crops with the potential negative consequences of using them.

a. Benefits of growing GMO seeds for crops:

i. Able to implant seeds with genes that make the plants themselves kill bugs.

ii. Seeds contain herbicide Roundup Ready that kills weeds but spares crops.

iii. Farmers who purchase GM seeds can now grow more crops on less land with less left to chance

iv. Saved farmers



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