Cardiff University | Prifysgol Caerdydd ORCA
Online Research @ Cardiff 
WelshClear Cookie - decide language by browser settings

Bhopal: the disaster continues

Wells, Peter Erskine 2005. Bhopal: the disaster continues. [Working Paper]. Cardiff: Cardiff Centre for Ethics, Law & Society. Available at:

[thumbnail of pwells.pdf]
PDF - Accepted Post-Print Version
Download (12kB) | Preview


The original Bhopal incident in December 1984 was, by any standards, an awful disaster for the community within which the Union Carbide factory was located. Even now, some twenty years later, the initial reaction is sheer anger at the loss of life and appalling injuries suffered by thousands upon thousands of innocent victims. At the heart of the issue is the question of the purpose of corporations in society. The tradition from which Union Carbide arose is that of capitalist minimalism: the Stanford maxim of ‘the purpose of business is business.’ This is the Anglo-American business model that places shareholder sovereignty above all else. The rationality of profit maximization is apparently immune to dissent, and is so deeply ingrained in our collective psyche, that we are unable to question this logic. Yet it is equally valid to argue that business cannot relentlessly pursue profit at the expense of all other considerations, indeed it is irrational so to do. More fundamentally, business is a social institution and, if it fails to serve social needs then it loses legitimacy.

Item Type: Monograph (Working Paper)
Date Type: Publication
Status: Published
Schools: Business (Including Economics)
Centre for Advanced Manufacturing Systems At Cardiff (CAMSAC)
Subjects: B Philosophy. Psychology. Religion > BJ Ethics
H Social Sciences > HE Transportation and Communications
Publisher: Cardiff Centre for Ethics, Law & Society
Date of First Compliant Deposit: 30 March 2016
Last Modified: 04 Jun 2017 04:30

Actions (repository staff only)

Edit Item Edit Item


Downloads per month over past year

View more statistics