Ethical Dilemmas within Procurement – Starbucks Child Labour Allegations Case Study

Length:    1,700 words (+/- 10% deviation, excluding references)

Objective: To assess students’ ability to identify and evaluate critical issues in relation to ethics, sustainability and corporate social responsibility and formulate recommendations based on this ethical understanding.


  1. Choose in the news a case study related to a consumer company facing ethical challenges in procurement. For example:  a. Electric vehicles facing claims of child labor in lithium mines  b. Mobile phones companies been scrutinized the media for the use conflict minerals from the Democratic Republic of Congo c. Chocolate companies facing charges of child labor in third party cocoa farms d. Etc etc etc 

I have chosen recent child labour allegations of Starbucks’ coffee farms in guatamala

  • Describe the facts,  identifying ethical, CSR and sustainability issues, from procurement and supply management perspective. Explain why those practises can be considered unethical based on ethics and CSR theoretical literature, as well as new global policies and regulations.  (Ps. These are not unethical practices only because you and the media are saying so. Scholars, governments and stakeholders have also considered these unethical practises and have written articles about it. Find these articles to support your point. Focus on high-quality literature, such as journals, or peer-reviewed articles)
  •  Propose recommendations to these ethical dilemmas based on actions taken in the industry. Do not just repeat what companies are doing! Critique, improve or adapt actions that have been implemented in the industry and justify why your new combination of ideas may be the best one. For example:  a. Intel has been using Blockchain to trace 3TG sources, ensuring these have mined in non-conflict zones. According to your perspective: has this been working?  It is enough? What are the limitations of this solution and what can be done to mitigate these challenges?

Recommended format:

  1. Introduction – suggested 300 words 2. Ethical dilemmas in procurement – suggested 700 words o Description and analysis case  ▪ Describe the case and identify ethical, CSR and sustainability issues, from the procurement and supply management perspective  
  2. Analyze ethical, CSR and sustainability issues against theoretical concepts and frameworks using, preferably, high quality literature sources
  3. Recommendations – suggested 700 words  Make recommendations to these ethical dilemmas within social and sustainability domains.  

Across all sections: remember to support your findings, arguments and recommendations with academic, peer reviewed sources.