Griffiths Energy International: The Board's Dilemma (A)
(5 pages of text)
In 2012, Griffiths Energy International Inc. had secured the land leases needed to begin drilling for oil in Chad and was preparing for an IPO. During the due diligence, the company’s lawyers found consulting contracts that appeared to be payments to a public official to gain a business advantage. While bribing officials was not uncommon in Chad, it was a criminal offence in Canada. The company’s senior executive team was new, and the founder and former chairman, who might have been able to explain the contracts, had died in a boating accident. The directors needed to decide what to do: continue with the IPO and deal with disclosure if the matter did surface at some point later or report the findings to the authorities now and bear the consequences.
This case is intended for use in undergraduate or graduate courses or modules on leadership, business ethics, corporate governance, or international resource development. The case provides sufficient detail to also support a discussion on foreign anti-corruption policies. Students should be familiar with the basics of corporate governance and the role of a board of directors in a public company before discussing the case. Working through the case and assignment questions, students will have the opportunity to
- consider the role of personal values in making business decisions;
- strategically evaluate options in a morally complex situation;
- articulate an ethical decision to influence others; and
- develop strategies for delivering controversial or bad news.
Canada; Chad, Medium, 2011
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