Economic Environment Essay

787 Words Nov 14th, 2012 4 Pages

The world's biggest miner BHP Billiton (BHP) is cutting jobs at its coal mines after closing a loss-making mine thoroughly in Queensland early this year (Stewart 2012). BHP's job cuts is accompanied by other global mining companies such as Rio Tinto to confront a retrogressive market with falling industrial commodity prices and increasing costs. The future of Australia's mining boom which is largely dependent on Chinese demand for commodities driven by its economic growth is of particular concern (Stewart 2012).

Application of Concepts

Both economic environment and the concept of corporate social responsibility (CSR) can be demonstrated in this article. In particular, the nature of BHP's mining business, which is regarded
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BHP has an obligation to society to protect employment rates and take into account the social impact (Carroll and Shabana 2010).

However, it could be argued that the employment increase in mining which rose from 1 per cent of total employment in 2000 to 1.7 percent by the end of 2010 (Stevens 2012) is hard to keep up with given the current economic environment. Furthermore, it is inevitable to certain extent of structural unemployment as the industry pursues a higher level of labour productivity (Melanie et al 2002).

Nevertheless, the prospect of sustained growth of China (Holloway, Roberts and Rush 2010) as its GDP being projected to be equal to United States in Purchasing Power Parity terms for the next decade (Stevens 2012) and the rising considerable scope for demand from India as it experiences the phase of steel-intensive growth (Caglrarini and Baker 2010) all indicate a favorable market in the future and put BHP in a negative spotlight in regards of retaining the talented workforce. Moreover, the severe impact on reputation reinforcing public criticism over its motive of tax benefit resulted from social and environmental disclosures in reporting (Tilt and Symes 2002) is detrimental since it is regarded as an intangible resource leading to sustainable competitive advantage (Barney 1991). Hence BHP should take extra care about its action on CSR in response of the

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