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Conflict Minerals in the Democratic Republic of Congo

Part of the Pentalemma Series on Managing Global Dilemmas

Dylan Scudder

Against the backdrop of an increasingly globalized business environment, this book provides readers with a pragmatic approach to international management of complex issues that arise from the tension between fiduciary and ethical priorities. If the challenge of management is making decisions in situations of uncertainty, Conflict Minerals in the Democratic Republic of Congo is the ultimate test of finding business solutions in extremely volatile situations. Based on firsthand experience and years of rigorous research, this book leverages a real-world case of a global tech company grappling with the dilemma of whether to continue sourcing a vital mineral in the conflict-affected region of the Democratic Republic of Congo at the risk of ruining its reputation or to suffer the immediate financial consequences of pulling out. Putting readers in the role of consultants to a client operating in the area lets them experience defining moments of managing with limited information, time pressure and a dwindling budget. Almost as if „parachuting“ into an escalating conflict scenario, readers form critical relationships with characters that introduce them to management tools and techniques they need to arrive at a successful conclusion. The excitement and intensity of Conflict Minerals in the Democratic Republic of Congo equips business leaders of today and tomorrow with valuable know-how they can apply to the uncertainties of everyday business in an international context.

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Highlights of Chapter One

Some of the more important themes that the Chapter One scenario was designed to highlight are considered below, in the context of the options which were available. It is hoped that this will serve both as future reference and also as a further explanation of the linkage between the dilemmas and outcomes enshrined in Pentalemma.

A critical concept in this scenario, particularly given the instability of the region, is that of cooperation. This extends not only to the local community and governing authorities, but also to competing businesses that nonetheless have shared risks and interests. You will have found that the three options (C, D and E) produce the best results for SD. Of these, it is Option E which explicitly uses the notion of comprehensive local engagement with all parties as a starting point; and indeed, this selection, which envisages establishing a secure basis for future business, generates rewards in areas such as risk management and company reputation. Option C takes up the worthy ambition of information gathering and assessment, but perhaps implies delays ←83 | 84→which are difficult to justify given the urgency of the situation, and Option D secures more modest progress in important areas.

Regarding morality and profit, few would dispute that the exploitation of children in the manner that has been commonplace in South Kivu should be eradicated. Furthermore, the Dodd-Frank Act makes it clear that any company with shares traded on the...

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