Shell's Code of Ethics: Ensuring Ethical Practices - Research Paper

Paper Type:  Research paper
Pages:  3
Wordcount:  654 Words
Date:  2023-05-05


Royal Dutch Shell just like other corporates has a code of ethics that every person directly or indirectly associated with the company has to adhere to. In many corporates, the code of ethics serves the purpose of helping the entire organization enhance its core values, beliefs, gives a vision and mission to the company as well as in the creation of a good reputation in the market. However, many companies have been accused of not following their codes of ethics leading to the violation of their reputation and thus costing them heavily. Royal Dutch Shell has not been an exception since the company has also been accused on some occasions of going against its code of ethics thus resulting in the violation of laws and regulations by its employees.

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Among the instances that Royal Dutch Shell company has gone against its code of ethics was back in the year 2012 when an article by John Donovan reported that the business ethics at Shell were a Sham (Donovan, 2012). This came in the light when Shell had been accused of deliberately and repeatedly violated Federal Business ethics guidelines. Besides, for decades Shell has been on the limelight for involving itself in corporate espionage and other dirty dealings that are not condoned by its code of ethics. This breach of their code of ethics when they got involved in global spying operations by owning its own in-house spooks as well as the utilization of external spy firm resources to facilitate forgery, undercover missions, betrayal, deception, infiltration among other illegalities. To address the issue, investigation investigations were launched and a case filed in court. Despite the full course of the law having been followed to address the issue, the company's reputation suffered a major blow since a majority of customers and employees felt that their information was not safe within the company and thus reducing the company's ratings. Further, the breach of the company went further to cost the company in terms of legal fees thus affecting its overall income for the financial years affected.

Another instance when Royal Dutch Shell has been involved in breaching its code of ethics came to light in the year 2017 when the company was accused of facilitating murder and torture in Nigeria back in the 1990s (Summers, 2018). According to human rights groups such as Amnesty International who were in the front to ask for the criminal inquiry of Shell, published full evidence review that included statements alleging that Royal Dutch Shell managed the undercover police unit in the 1990s after the completion of its operations in Ogoniland. Through the public outcry by the human rights groups, the oil giant was to be charged with a criminal case as well as led to the altering of their operations in the region. Consequently, from the breach of the company's code of conduct, Shell as a company suffered greatly as they lost their control of Ogoniland and thus losing much of the revenues. On the side, a majority of the employees lost their jobs since the company could not sustain them after expulsion from Ogoniland.


In conclusion, from the two instances when Royal Dutch Shell acted against their published code of conduct, not only did the company face legal action but also suffered from a reduction of revenue as a result of disruption of business as well as in legal fines the company had to incur. Thus, it is evident that a company's action against its code of ethics comes at a high cost and hence the need for every organization to ensure that all its operations adhere to the set code of ethics.


Donovan, J. (2012, October 26). Spies and Co. Royal Dutch Shell Plc .com. Retrieved March 27, 2020, from

Summers, H. (2018, February 14). Amnesty calls for criminal investigation into Shell over alleged complicity in murder and torture in Nigeria. the Guardian. Retrieved March 27, 2020, from

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Shell's Code of Ethics: Ensuring Ethical Practices - Research Paper. (2023, May 05). Retrieved from

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