Case Study Analysis: Union Carbide Corporation and Bhopal

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  • Topic: Bhopal disaster, Case study, Leak
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BUS 784

The Political, Social, and Legal Environment of Business

Case Study Analysis: Union Carbide Corporation and Bhopal

Date: 11-16-99

Name: Sheng-Chi Chen

Student Id.: 997541112

A single slip in action may cause lasting sorrow. A slight mistake in operation at a Union Carbide pesticide plant in Bhopal of India causes a lot of deaths and injuries. What a tragedy it is. Undoubtedly, there must be something wrong with the management of the plant.

In addition to the plant, the governments related in India that issued permits and provided incentives for the plant, Bhopal community officials who permitted slum dwellers to move near the plant in illegal settlements, Indian environmental and safety inspectors should also be responsible for this. The governments related in India issued permits because people need jobs, or people would starve to death. This was one reason in my opinion. Soft money from Union Carbide plant may be another reason for issuing permits. It was clearly that the governments in America would not issue a permit to Union Carbide plant under such circumstances, which lacked of severe environmental standards and permitted slum dwellers to live near the plant and so on. Such actions were the fuses leading to more deaths. Before the major gas leakage from the MCI unit on December 3, 1984, some people were killed because of phosgene gas leakage. However, no one took it seriously in spite of the report by media. One of the reasons that people ignore this was because people didn¡¦t know the potential danger of the chemical plant. The other reason was that there are not enough environmental inspectors to cover so many plants in India. Besides, those inspectors had a record of loose enforcement. Consequently, danger emerged just as the saying goes ¡§Nothing comes of nothing.¡¨

As for the management of Union Carbide¡¦s Bhopal plant, some steps indeed needed to be improved. Let us take a look...
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