Union Carbide Plant in Bhopal essay

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The following seeks to show the need for a multinational engineering corporation in Indonesia and India and justify the corporation’s methods, in relation to those used by the Union Carbide plant in Bhopal.


This memo will, therefore, give information on the knowledge gap that exists as to why the model being used in the Union Carbide plant was unsustainable for an engineering model. In doing so, there will be as well an analysis of the paradigm shift that the chemical industry company went through in between the years 1986- 2000. In relation to the analysis given on the Union Carbide, the memo will also give recommendations that the corporation needs to consider for it to be able to flourish in going multinational and expanding into either India or Indonesia.


In relation to the background of multinational engineering corporations, and the various damages that some have caused in the societies they ventured in, this corporation seeks to factor in ethical issues that pertain to the environment in question, being lessons learned from those that preceded the organization. This will mainly help the corporation to attain their objective without causing any damage to the host country.


The memo will first analyze the reasons why the models, which were used by the Union Carbide, were not going to succeed, and this will mainly be done by relating this to the information given by Thomas Donaldson on cultural variables on risk analysis and limits on imposing risks.

Internal section

In the studying of the issues surrounding the catastrophic incident, it may not be hard to notice that among the issues that made it impossible for the model, being used by the Union Carbide, to work was the fact that the culture of the people did not sensitize them to the trade-off between risk and productivity. The investigations that were done brought out quite a number of issues that would back this up.

It was realized that the management did very little if not nothing on repairing their facilities; this cost them because in the long run the facilities that were being used were deteriorating in their performance and hence making them less effective in their working. This was all in the quest to save on costs (T. Donaldson, 1986). There was also the issue of untrained personnel in the organization. The organization made a minimal effort to train their personnel regularly. This was seen as an extra cost, and they opted to do away with them rather than train them. They incurred a loss since they did not realize that if the personnel is untrained they will become inefficient. This was observed when most of the personnel just walked past the cracks that were forming in the tank that later allowed water into the tank that contained methyl Isocyanate (MIC) and caused an enormous, deadly gas explosion.

The manuals were also found to be in English even though most of the workers were not familiar with the language. Donaldson (1986) argues that it was extremely unfair to distribute risks among Indian and the U.S. citizens without corresponding benefits to those at a greater risk. The Union Carbide barely put this into consideration. The exploitation of the less developed countries in this manner will defiantly cause them to be poorer because of the long run expenses of handling the damages. However, from this period, the chemical industry has undergone some changes. These changes are mainly aimed at ensuring the safety of the people.

An organization known as Responsible Care was born in Canada in the year 1987; this mainly concerned itself with all the chemical industries in the world. It is organized in a way that ensures the safe handling of products from the time of inception to the laboratories, through the manufacturing process and distribution up to the reuse, recycle and disposal (Andrew N. Liveris, 2008). Therefore, in order for the organization to successfully become a multinational company, it has to put into consideration the factors that caused the demise of the Union Carbide. The company will have to ensure to be in line with the Responsible Care programme. In doing so, there will no possibility for the company to cause damage to the environment and people. They will defiantly ensure to follow the engineering code of ethics (J. R. Herkert, 2000).

The second strategy is to ensure that the organization, upholds the culture of the people in the host country. This will defiantly give people a way of relating with the organization and will, therefore, be motivated to give the best of their skills.


The success of the company will, therefore, depend on the company’s willingness to learn from the past mistakes and ensure to perfect the areas that the others had failed. With the main objective being to go multinational, the mentioned studies will highly likely work, since these are the areas that had been neglected by the Union Carbide.

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