Sample Essay on Ethical Dilemma

It is the responsibility of any organization to ensure that business ethics and social responsibility issues are well understood and properly managed in the course of carrying out its business. Organizations are bound to act in a manner that portrays proper business ethics and be responsible to the wider society. Nevertheless, there are times when the right course of action to be taken or decision to be made is not obviously clear. Sometimes, the organizations activities, their objectives as well as their responsibilities to the society come into play when the time comes for one to make certain decisions. When organization or individuals in those organization are made to evaluate when the decision or action they are about to take is right or wrong the situation can be referred to as ethical dilemma. This essay will examine ethical dilemma that happened in Xeon Natural Resources Incorporated, one of the best companies carrying out the extraction of natural resources in the world. Here, an ethical dilemma is being faced by Demarco an employee in the company due to the corporation’s mining process in a Brazilian rain forest. The available options are highlighted together with the consequences and recommendations for applicable stakeholders.

Ethical Issues

The mining project by Xeon involves a very valuable component known as niobium, a rare element for which Brazil contributes roughly 92 percent of all the niobium mined. It is also estimated the company could make an extra five billion dollars more in profits in the following two decades. However, the land property on which extraction of the mineral was to take place had been given to the native minorities by the government through a ruling. Demarco’s responsibility was to convince the native tribes of Xeon intention to extract the niobium mineral. However he learnt that, in the process of mining activities the native people cultural heritage would be eroded because people from outside would bring to them their own cultures. The change in cultural heritage would not only affect them but also all their future generations. His boss, Barbara could understand his concerns but also highlighted to him that the natives’ standards of living would be improved by the introduction of various amenities and availability of jobs. He had also examined that even as the leaders of those tribes were seeking the best for their people they were not made to understand properly what negative effects the mining activities would have on their heritage. As he was seeking more information before having a sitting with elders who had started to raise concerns, he sought to find out how extracting methods would impact the environment. The contracted specialist who was looking into probable impacts of the methods used for extraction gave him an assurance that the methods were not harmful to the environment. Despite this fact, he knew there must be some degree of negative effects on the environment from the extraction methods.


After finding out how Xeon mining of niobium would have the negative impact and some benefits to the indigenous tribes not forgetting the benefits the corporation would get, Demarco was in a predicament.  Whichever route he would choose to take when making his decision, either to support the corporation or the indigenous tribe, it would be unethical decision. To try and find a way to handle the ethical dilemma, there are options which he could decide to follow. Demarco could opt to do nothing about the concerns he had developed on the impact of the mining activates on the native’s culture and the environment and carry out his duties to help the corporation achieve its aim of mining niobium. By doing so, he would be forgetting about the corporate social responsibility the corporation has towards the society and moving forward with its mining activity which will enable it to attain its targeted profits. This will elevate the corporation economic status and those of the employees in the corporation, but the environment and indigenous tribes will suffer.

The second option would be to resign from his job and leave the indigenous tribe, the corporation and all other stakeholders to find a solution on the problems they are facing. This would be unethical decision on his part. The other option is to mobilize all the stakeholders involved including; government, tribal leaders, corporation employees, specialists and the media. After bringing them together he can introduce an agenda which would push all stakeholders to evaluate the negative impacts at their own level and then come up with a lasting solution. This way the corporation will continue achieving their corporate social responsibilities goals as well as economic goals. Alternatively he would have do his own research and find feasible solutions to this problem. He would then present his solution and ideas to all the stakeholders for approval of their implementation.

Consequences and Recommendations

The decisions made in this ethical dilemma have both positive impacts and negative impacts. On the negative side, the natives’ cultural heritage would be eroded due to the introduction of western culture by the outsiders affecting their present and future generations. The environment will be affected where there will be temporal disruption of the ecosystem and other negative eff9, ects due to extraction methods used. The positive consequences of mining niobium by Xeon Corporation include ensuring its employees lives are improved due to their earnings. It would also be possible to achieve the future targeted profits hence continued growth of this corporation. The demand of niobium would also be met in Brazil and in other parts of the world. The natives would also get some benefits like schools hospitals, creation of job opportunities. The best way to deal with the negative ethical issues is involvement of all stakeholders to finding a solution. For instance, the natives can be moved to a different land during the period when the mining activities are taking place. Alternatively, to ensure their cultural heritage is not eroded, the tribal leaders can help in sensitizing their people the importance of maintaining their cultural heritage. The government together with the company can also try to discover other areas for the extraction of the mineral niobium.


In this case of Demarco ethical dilemma, he evaluated that no matter what decision would be made; there would be a loss that would be experienced by some stakeholders. Many aspects should be taken in to consideration when deciding the best route to take since there are both negative and positive impacts to the natives while Xeon Corporation and its employees will receive high benefits.  To resolve an ethical dilemma, it is ultimately the persons facing the responsibility to decide how to go about it.