There has been a drastic change in the corporate environment over the years, and owing to the increasing technological development, people across the globe are not only more connected to one another but also have become aware of the negative consequences of irresponsible corporate governance on the part of giant multinational organizations. As a result, firms today are increasingly under pressure to perform not only financially, but also ethically as well. The managers and leaders are of organizations are now increasingly expected to address a range of social and environmental causes and problems including climate change, poverty, and even HIV/ AIDS. It is due to this changing facet of corporate governance and the increasing popularity of concepts such as Corporate Social Responsibility, Business Ethics and Ethical leadership, that the organizations are now required to be increasingly responsible and transparent in their approach in order to maintain their credibility, brand image and public trust in the industry, or risk facing wide scale public backlash and pay millions of dollars in fines and compensations.
Business ethics refers to "the study of business situations, activities, and decisions where issues of right and wrong are addressed" (Crane & Matten, 2010, p. 5). This definition is used in this study to discuss the ethical stance of the Royal Dutch Shell Plc., and the various key issues surrounding the company. With regard to organizations, the concept of ethics refers to the transparency in its corporate activities, accurate reporting of accounting and financial statements, and honest disclosure of its health and safety policies as well as the likely impact of its activities on the community and the environment at large. Business ethics and ethical reporting of business activities by companies has assumed increased significance over the years. Hence it has become imperative for organizations involved in business such as Oil &