Resource extraction industries in developing countries

Journal of Business Ethics 39 (3):199 - 226 (2002)
Over the last one hundred and fifty years, the extraction and processing of non-renewable resources has provided the basis for the three industrial revolutions that have led to the modern economies of the developed world. In the process, the nature of resource extraction firms has also changed dramatically, from small-scale operations exploiting easily accessible deposits to large, vertically integrated, capital intensive transnational corporations characterized by oligopolistic competition. In the last ten to fifteen years, coinciding with processes of economic globalization, another major change has been occurring as resource extraction industries have been shifting their operations from developed to developing countries. This shift has greatly impacted the populations of these countries and raises a variety of ethical issues. This article investigates the nature of these changes and the ethical issues that arise, focusing in particular on the development impact of the activities of these industries and the potential adequacy of different policy approaches to regulating them.
Keywords business ethics  developing ethics  mining ethics
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