Date of Conferral

1-1-2011

Degree

Doctor of Business Administration (D.B.A.)

School

Management

Advisor

Charlotte Carlstrom

Abstract

Environmental degradation and socioeconomic dilemma continue to stigmatize oil production in the Niger Delta of Nigeria. Sustainability programs of oil companies often determine the improvement of living conditions in the region. This explanatory qualitative case study, guided by systems thinking theory and sustainable value framework, explored practitioners' perceptions of sustainability programs to identify its impact on business and the host communities. The research question was designed to address how sustainability efforts of a single oil company in the Niger Delta contributed to the business performance and the livelihood of the local people. Research data were gathered from a sample of 20 experienced sustainability practitioners of the oil company, partnering nonprofit organizations, and community leaders through face-to-face semistructured interviews. Data were segmented and categorized. The data analysis process revealed several themes regarding the challenges and shortfalls of sustainability programs in the region. The oil company's understanding of sustainability as programs and projects focused on preserving resources for future generations was not evident in practice. Findings from the study suggested the need for improved inclusiveness of people in driving sustainability projects. Inclusive sustainability should enhance the oil company's contemplation mechanism to ensure eco-saving thinking and processes, which could result in improved quality of life and business performance in the region. The research findings underscore the need for oil multinational corporations (MNCs) to use a business lens in viewing sustainability to achieve sustainable value.