Indian Neem Oil Products and Grassroots Diplomacy

Part 1: 


The Facts 

  • Neem is indigenous to India and is considered sacred
  • neem used extensively over the past 2,000 years for medicinal purposes, food production, toiletries, fuel, and pesticides. 
  • Neem products used widely across India and the industry as a whole employs many poor people
  • Chetan operates a small business of neem tree products
  • Chetan’s family has owned this business for the last seven generations
  • The business employs 60 people in different functions
  • Despite being familiar with over 200 applications of the tree and its derivatives, Chetan does not know the exact name of the neem seed extract, Azadirachtin. 
  • Ten years ago, Tom Johnson (OOPS) discovered the neem seeds’ use as a potent pesticide. 
  • Tom received a patent for the pesticide formula and brought the product to market
  • They have the worldwide patent and financial capital to manufacture and sell the product on a large scale.
  • People are likely to prefer buying products from US companies over small Indian cottage, affecting chetans business


The stakeholders and Their Motivations

  • OOPS
    • Prof: Make a profit to benefit shareholders and employees
    • Personal: Make as much profit as possible
  • Chentan
    • Prof: Keep his employees employed and his family business running
    • Personal: Honor his family by running this business
  • Chentan’s employees 
    • Prof: Want to make a living
    • Pers: Want to support their families and have a job
  • Other indian growers of neem trees
    • Prof: money/job security (same as Chetan’s employees)
    • Personal: feeding families, social worth (same as Chetan’s employees)
  • Competing companies
    • Prof: Same as OOPS
    • Personal: Same as OOPS
  • Consumers in india
    • Prof: n/a
    • Personal: want an affordable neem product



  • Try and employ the people affected.
    • Pro: this will keep the employees and local economy sustained
    • Con: This solution will most likely destroy the family owned business and take away any cultural significance that the company had
  • Work with locals to create a new formula and have a shared patent
    • Pro: this would allow both companies to work together and thus preserve both businesses
    • Con: The likelihood of this solution working out as intented is low, as the larger company will most likely just absorb the smaller one as in solution 1. Also, the legal enforcement and logistics behind this solution make it much more difficult and ineffective.
    • Con: they may not be able to think of a new patent that works better
  • Try and persuade the government to not accept the subsidized goods
    • Pro: the Family owned business is protected
    • Con: this action by the Indian govt. Can cause economic tensions between the US and India, causing a trade war and the loss of even more jobs and livelihoods


Choose Best Solution:

The best and most efficient solution is solution 1, in which the US company tries to absorb and retain all of the employees in the existing company. For a corporation as large as OOPS, absorbing 60 employees with experience in that exact field should not be an issue, additionally, the other solutions have the possibility of having much more serious effects on both businesses and the livelihoods of their employees.

Exact Steps to Implement:

  1. Send an email to the company that the larger company wishes to merger with the family owned one.
  2. Begin the legal and financial processes of merging/absorbing the two companies together.
  3. Bring the employees over from the family owned business
  4. Make Chetan an executive of the manufacturing and processing processes in India.


Part 2:


  1. OOPS is crushing the indian market
  2. CHetans wrapper features his grandfather, a local legend
  3. OOPS wrapper features Tom
  4. Chetan will have to lay off many employees at current state
  5. Tom open to merging if it means more profit
  6. CHetan seen having meetings with Tom, employees beleive Chetan is a sell out


Stakeholders and Motivations

See part one


Alternative Solutions

  1. OOPS absorbs Chetan’s Business
    1. Pro: the employees and livelihoods of the employees may be preserved
    2. Con: the employees may not be treated as well as they were under Chetan
  2. Chetan Lays off employees and tries to remain in the market
    1. Pro: the remaining employees can enjoy their current way of life
    2. Con: the other half of employees now must find new work to support families
  3. Chetan sues OOPS in an attempt to regain footing in the market
    1. Pro: This solution may be able to separate the two businesses enough so that Chetan can remain in market and not have to lay off employees
    2. Con: there may not be grounds for Chetan to sue, as well as the cost of the lawsuit will be extremely expensive and may accelerate Chetan’s business’ demise


Choose Best Solution:

Option 1 is the best solution for both Chetan and his employees, because it will most likely ensure the preservation of the livelihoods of his employees, whereas the other solutions do not have newarly as bright of a future. Yes, there may be regrets and tensions for Chetan as his employees may consider him a sellout or quitter, however, there are not a host of positive options for him, and this solution will most likely benefit his employees the most.


Steps to Implement:

The exact steps of implementing this plan are parallel to that in part 1, but from the perspective of Chetan and his business rather than Tom and OOPS.


Grassroots Diplomacy


Step 1: Determine the facts in the situation – obtain all of the unbiased facts possible. Clearly state the ethical issue.

  • 35% of the children in this East African region have stunted growth.
  • If children are breastfed for too long they have a higher chance of contracting HIV
  • Maize and banana gruel is the common food for babies starting around 2 months to 24 months and accompanies breastfeeding. The gruel isn’t that nutritious despite common opinion among the locals
  • People are skeptical of the pesticides and the adverse health effects these pesticides can give to the babies
  • You have a grant to establish a women’s cooperative to improve the nutritional status of the children and improve the livelihoods of rural households.
    • The funds will help the women’s group make a nutritious self stable porridge to help children wean off breastfeeding.
    • Approximately 500 women in the area are willing to join
  • WHO says to breastfeed exclusively until 6 months 
  • The longer someone with HIV breastfeeds the more likely they are to transmit their diseases to their child 


Step 2: Define the Stakeholders – those with a vested interest in the outcome

  1. Children at breastfeeding ages
  2. Lactating mothers
  3. Women joining the co-op 
  4. Women’s cooperative grant donor
  5. You as a researcher
  6. Local farmers
  7. Doctors / Health network 
  8. The actual co-op 


Step 3: Assess the motivations of the Stakeholders

  1. Children at breastfeeding ages
    1. Are not old enough to understand their stake in this situation, thus have no needs other than food
  2. Lactating mothers
    1. Want their babies to grow up healthy
    2. Want to prevent them from getting health complications from HIV, pesticides, malnutrition, etc
  3. Other Women
    1. They may be in the women’s cooperative making the porridge as part of the project
    2. Potential employment opportunity with the cooperative
    3. Will want their future children to be healthy 
  4. Women’s cooperative Grant Donor
    1. Want women to be healthier 
    2. Want their money to go towards a productive venture (worthy investment)
  5. You as a researcher
    1. Want to make everyone happy
    2. Professionally need to develop a successful co-operative  
  6. Local Farmers
    1. Your crops may be used to produce the porridge that will be created with the women’s cooperative. 
    2. You will make money 
  7. Doctors
    1. Want healthy communities 
    2. Be equipped in the case of new health problems arise because of pesticide use?
  8. The future co-op
    1. Motivated to stay open 
    2. Be useful – help women 
    3. Make money 


Step 4: Formulate (at least three) alternative solutions – based on information available, using

basic ethical core values as guide

Approaches [1/2/3: repeat for every action]


Solution 1:

  • Potential solution: Form a section on the cooperative and educate women on the different risks of the porridge and HIV and let them decide, also produce the porridge and sell it. 
  • Ethical Principle: virtue-based because a good person would educate the community about the problems so that you engage them in the decision-making process. 
  • Pros: Promotes healthy choices among the women and they 
  • Cons: the women could possibly make the wrong decision and put their child in danger


Solution 2

  • Potential solution : Form the porridge – privately test the new supplement for pesticides, based on the assumption that pesticides are better than HIV. Don’t tell women about the dangers of pesticides. Teach women that after 6 months they have to stop breastfeeding. 
  • Ethical Principle or code- consequence based thinking because if your goal is just to choose the healthier option, just take the fastest path by telling the women to make the porridge without educating them about anything.
  • Pros: You don’t risk damaging the reputation of the porridge and thus don’t give babies HIV
  • Cons: Is this moral? No 


Solution 3

  • Potential solution: Create the cooperative. Have a questionnaire about the symptoms of HIV, give the porridge to women who may have HIV and tell them not to keep breastfeeding after 6 months, make all mothers aware of the risk of breastfeeding/HIV and give them the option of porridge or not, but also letting them know about the risk of porridge as well. 
  • Ethical Principle or code: duty-based. It’s your duty to use the grant to get the best results and take the safest route. 
  • Pros: educating women of their risks and offer them the choice to take the porridge or not. 
  • Cons: not time-efficient. 


Step 5: Seek additional assistance, as appropriate – engineering codes of ethics, previous cases,

peers, reliance on personal experience, inner reflection

Additional assistance was sought. 


Step 6: Select the best course of action – that which satisfies the highest core ethical values.

Explain reasoning and justify. Discuss your stance vis-a-vis other approaches discussed in the class.

 Go with SOLUTION 3. Most ethical while also staying cost-efficient because it does more than the other 2 options to make sure HIV+ women are not continuing to breastfeed their children, but also educates the community.


Step 7: (If applicable) What are the implications of your solution on the venture. Explain the

impact of your proposed solution on the venture’s technology, economic, social and environmental aspects.

Sending out the questionnaire is not time-efficient, especially if your time is limited and the grant donor wants to see results as soon as possible. 



Step 1: Determine the facts in the situation – obtain all of the unbiased facts possible. Clearly state the ethical issue.

  • The women in the cooperative are making alright money off of the venture (about $3 USD)
  • Cooperative also gives the women the option to sell their own family’s crops to the cooperative, gives them a little more money
  • Children of cooperative women aren’t getting fed
  • Money is being wasted by the men


Step 2: Define the Stakeholders – those with a vested interest in the outcome

  1. Cooperative women
  2. 7 women on committee
  3. You as the entrepreneur
  4. Children
  5. Husbands, brothers, fathers 
  6. Grant donor


Step 3: Assess the personal and professional motivations of the Stakeholders

  1. Cooperative women 
    1. Personal: they want the money to be used for their children. If they speak up, they might be subjected to domestic abuse. 
    2. Professional: they want their hard-earned money to be put into good use. 
  2. 7 women on committee
    1. Personal: they want their fellow women to have control over their paycheck because “girls stick together”
    2. Professional: same thing but as committee members, they want to do what’s best for the cooperative
  3. You as the entrepreneur
    1. Personal: the morally good person in you just wants equality
    2. Professional: you want the grant that went into creating the cooperative to be used wisely
  4. Children: 
    1. Personal and professional: they want and need healthy food to grow up healthy
  5. Husbands, brothers, fathers
    1. Personal and professional: they want that extra pocket money to spend on useless shit that will give them a good reputation among their men friends and have that cultural capital for socializing.
  6. Grant donors
    1. Personal: they want to empower women
    2. Professional: they want their money to be used well.  


Step 4: Formulate (at least three) alternative solutions – based on the information available, using

basic ethical core values as guide


  • Potential Solution: Convince the board to: economically incentivise families to spend money responsibly by showing receipts spent on food, water, etc. If they are spending the money responsibly they get an X% raise so long as they continue spending responsibly
  • How does it solve the problem?
    • Pros: incentivises the families to spend money better, gets 
    • Cons: more cost to the coop- HOWEVER this incentive may be as expensive as other solns
      • Also, this solution creates a need for much more bureaucracy which may be difficult to implement and enforce
  • How does it save face of those involved?
    • It doesnt give the men a choice not to spend the money on food and necessities, so the women aren’t “taking” money from them
  • Implications on relationships
    • Short-term: Gives women more power 
    • Long-term: might make the men upset once they catch on 
  • Implications on the venture
    • Short-term: should solve the problem for the women 
    • Long-term: might not work at all, might lose money 



  • Potential Solution: Convince the board to:  Barter instead of money for the goods because then the women will have no money to give to their husbands 
  • How does it solve the problem?
    • Pros: Takes away the ability for the men of the households to take the money and use it for their personal use
      • The women will still be rewarded for their work but will be given things that will benefit them and their whole family (not alc and shit)
    • Cons: Men might get heated, cooperative would probably have to create some sort of store that the women can go to and exchange their points for goods, goods offered to barter for might not be what the women need for themselves and fam
  • How does it save face of those involved?
    • Women feel better knowing that there isn’t money being wasted and their kids can still get fed if some of the exchanges include the porridge itself. 
  • Implications on relationships
    • Short-term: Women are bringing something home to their families that will 
    • Long-term: the men may want actual money and realize that the Co-op is trying to work around them
  • Implications on the venture
    • Short-term: how do you get the goods to trade for- will give more responsibility to the co-op 
    • Long-term: the cost and logistics of finding goods may prove too expensive



  • Potential Solution:  Cooperative keeps the money and keeps track of what each woman has earned, this is like a “share” within the co-op: money reinvested results in better wages eventually. The co-op makes rules about what you can withdraw money for and there is a cool down period before you get the money. 
  • How does it solve the problem? 
    • Pros: money isn’t being wasted
    • Cons: discrimination. 
      • A lot of members would have to leave the coop
  • Implications on relationships
    • Short-term: The men may want to have liquid income from the co-op rather than illiquid
    • Long-term: the income is still theirs, so it will still benefit the family
  • Implications on the venture
    • Short-term: some people may leave the organization in the short term
    • Long-term: over a longer period of time, this system will cost the co-op the least and act immediately


Step 5: Seek additional assistance, as appropriate – engineering codes of ethics, previous cases,

peers, reliance on personal experience, inner reflection

Additional assistance was sought


Step 6: Select the best course of action – that solves the problem, saves face and has the best short term and long-term implications for your relationship and venture. Explain reasoning and discuss your solution vis-a-vis other approaches discussed in class.


Best course of action: Option 3 is the best option because even though there will most likely be a drop off in the amount of members initially, over time it will solve the issue of the income money going to the wrong expenses in the household. Additionally, the other two options will prove to be much more expensive over time and thus make the organization less efficient.


Step 7: List the sequence of actions you will take to implement your solution


-announce that there will be a change in the way members of the co-op earn income over the next few months.

-hold a co-op wide meeting to show full transparency to the women in the organization about how the payment changes form but will ultimately not affect the women negatively

-clearly explain how the women can withdraw funds from the new system and how to most effectively make use of the new system. 


Jack and the Black Hats: Grassroots Diplomacy

Jack and the Black Hats

Step 1: Determine Facts

  1. Jack in an American in Kenya working in a social venture
  2. He also works at a youth center in Kenya and will be working there for the entire duration of his stay
  3. International Donor Org sent gifts that jack must distribute to the children
  4. There were not enough gifts for every child, and the children who were left were given black hats unceremoniously
  5. Jack is blamed by the kids as the reason they did not get gifts.
  6. Staff does not care that some of the kids did not get a gift.
  7. Staff calls jack a Childrens rights activist because they were annoyed that jack brought up the kids and how he felt awkward.

Step 2 + 3: Stakeholders and their motivations

  1. Jack
    1. Personal: He does not want to be the awkward and ignorant american that causes issues and stress for the locals.
    2. Professional: He wants to keep a good relationship with the staff at the childrens center.
    3. Both: He wants to be liked by the kids and save face in front of them
  2. Kids that did not get the ceremonious gift and only got a hat
    1. Personal: They want to have the same dignity as the kids that received them ceremoniously
    2. Personal: Think that jack does not care about them
  3. Kids that got the gifts
    1. Personal: Like jack for giving them gifts
  4. Youth Center Staff
    1. Professional: They don’t want their work to be seen as unfair
    2. Prof: Do not think that the issue with the kids not getting enough gifts is worth pursuing
    3. Personal: They want to be seen as people who are doing well and taking good care of the kids.
  5. International Donor Organization
    1. Both: they want to look good, and need to uphold a reputation that they are doing good, therefore they sent the gifts to the children at this center. They want to be able to help as many children as possible
    2. Prof: They want to successfully present a nice gesture.
  6. The University that sent Jack abroad.
    1. Personal: they want to look good, their reputation rests on the actions of Jack
    2. Professional: They want the social venture that jack is working on to prosper

Step 4: Formulate (3) potential solutions

  1. Jack makes gifts to ceremoniously give to the black hat children in front of the group
    1. Solution Pros:
      1. The kids that did not get gifts would receive the pomp and circumstance that they want.
    2. Con:
      1. The other kids may get jealous
      2. The staff at the center may see this action as going against their word, may make them look bad.
    3. ST Relationship Impact:
      1. The staff may be annoyed with him
    4. LT Relationship Impact
      1. The staff may feel Jack is an activist and may cause more problems for him
    5. Venture Impact St
      1. There might be some impact on the way people look at jack and the venture based on the actions and the fact that he has to redo the event.
    6. Venture LT
      1. People will remember this event and it might help people forget about the problem
  2. Jack Wears a black hat every day (or frequently) to make the hat kids feel special too
    1. Pro: The kids will feel more included and respected by jack, the solution is simple fast and easy, so the staff will probably not mind this action
    2. Con: This may cause jealousy and issues among the children
    3. Relationship ST: Saves face with the kids who didnt get gifts before and excites them
    4. Relationship LT: Extreme tensions among kids who do and dotn have hats
    5. Venture ST: Tension from the staff thinking jack initially overreacted may last but hopefully fade
    6. Venture LT: mends the relationships with all the children and quietly solves the issue with the staff as long as no one holds a grudge
  3. Jack does nothing and moves on
    1. Pro: The staff will like that he is taking their advice
    2. Con: the children will be sad
    3. Rel. ST: the kids who did not get gifts will resent him
    4. Rel. LT: The kids will definitely forget the problem and go back to respecting him
    5. Ven. ST: The staff will like and respect him more for taking their advice, soothes tensions
    6. Ven. LT: The staff will be closer to Jack

Step 5: Seek addtional assistance as necessary

  1. Kenyan gift culture: Kenyan Gift Culture
    1. Guests invited to someone’s home may bring a small gift of appreciation.
    2. Common gifts to give are flowers and tea leaves.
    3. In rural areas of Kenya, coffee, sugar, flour, and maize are usually given. These gifts are presented in a woven bag (‘kiondo’ in Kikuyu). The host will return the bag at the end of the visit after placing gifts for their visitor inside.
    4. It is impolite to return a kiondo empty.
  2. American Gift Culture:  American Culture
    1. If you are invited to a wedding, baby showers, bar mitzvah, or other celebration, it is expected that you will bring a gift. Unless you know the host very well, the gift should be modest in value, about $20.
    2. For a wedding, the bride will have “registered” at one or two local department stores, indicating the items and styling she prefers. You can buy the couple a gift that isn’t listed, but most people buy something listed on the registry. If you buy an item listed on the registry, be sure to tell the store that you are doing this, so that the couple doesn’t receive duplicate gifts. For a baby shower, bring a gift appropriate for a newborn baby. For a bar mitzvah, bring a gift appropriate for a 13-year-old boy. Bar Mitzvah gifts tend to be more formal in nature. For example, a gold-plated Cross pen is quite common. Personalizing the pen by engraving the recipient’s full name will be appreciated.
    3. If you wish to give a gift when you leave to return to your home country, the best gift is something that is unique to your country. It does not need to be especially valuable or rare, just reminiscent of your home. Possibilities include a book about your country, an inexpensive handicraft or piece of art, or something else that reflects your culture. If the children collect coins and stamps, they would be very pleased with a set of your country’s coins or a selection of mint stamps from your country. Items that are common in your country but difficult to find in the USA are also good.
    4. If you owe a debt of deep gratitude to an American host family, a common way of repaying it is to take the family to a form of entertainment, such as a baseball, basketball, or hockey game, the ballet, or to a good restaurant.
    5. When giving gifts to a business acquaintance, do not give anything of a personal nature, especially to a woman. Do not give cosmetics. A scarf is ok, but other types of clothing are not. Something appropriate for the office is the best. But gift-giving is not as important in America as it is in other countries, so there is nothing wrong with not giving a gift.
    6. If you need help selecting a gift, talk to a salesperson at a department store. Tell them about the person who will be receiving the gift and the reason for the gift, and they will help you find something appropriate and within your budget.

Step 6: Best course of action

The best course of action is to do nothing and move on from the situation. The staff will know what the best course of action in this situation is because they have much more experience with this area than Jack does. It may come across as disrespectful if he goes against their word and tries to create a new solution and potentially appear as a children’s rights activist to the staff at the center. 


Step 7: Sequences of action to implement solution

  1. Jack should approach the members of the staff and apologize for potentially overreacting about the gift situation
  2. Reiterate to them that he wishes to be able to help the children as much as possible, but that he also respects the experience of the staff members and will follow their counsel.
  3. Try to find other ways to engage the children that will build his reputation with them in a way that does not cause tension with the center.

Ethical Methodology Case Study: Lesotho Water Source Research

Step 1: determine the facts in the situation

  1. Pathogens in the water cause diseases to the people who drink from it.
  2. People may not know about the pathogen, it needs to be studied further.
  3. In Lesotho, South Africa – will be there ONLY two weeks, 10 academic researchers
  4. Research requires assistance from community for finding the water sources we want to  test.
  5. Pathogen only found in this location
  6. Publications are expected to come from this research.
  7. A profile can help develop chemical additives to make the drinking water safe


Step 2 & 3: define the stakeholders

  1. Academic researchers
    1. Want to get papers published to build personal and professional credibility, want to create impact through the study.
  2. The academic institution (funders)
    1. Want to promote academic integrity 
    2. Are liable for the safety of the researchers
    3. Want the publicity for conducting the study 
    4. Want to minimize cost of the research where necessary
  3. Community members
    1. Want a better livelihood, do not want to continually get sick from the pathogens in the water.
    2. Do not want to be kept in the dark about the study, do not want foreign researchers tampering with their water supply without knowing what their objectives are.
    3. Want some form of compensation for showing the researchers where the water sources are. 
  4. Chief/government
    1. Wants to uphold the image of the community, may not want it to be publicly known that their water source is home to a dangerous pathogen 
    2. Wants to ensure the safety of the community members (make sure the researchers don’t take advantage of the community). Chemical additives testing may endanger the community members.
  5. Publicists
    1. Want to publish quality research 
    2. Want to contribute to human knowledge using this study 
    3. Marketability (to publish/ publicity)
  6. Chemists that can make the stuff
    1. Want quality research to drive the chemical additive testing 
    2. Want to market well 
    3. Want to make a profit from the chemical additives


Step 4 & 5: Possible solutions & seeking additional guidance where appropriate

*Start with informing, display importance of research, how it can help in future

  1. Do the study and pay the community members for transport
    1. Ethical Principle:  beneficence 
    2. Pros:  Keeps community happy and compensated for their contribution 
    3. “Simple”- does not require additional effort to create a solution
    4. Cons: more money, university may not go for it
  2. Give them cleaner water, food, dinner
    1. Ethical Principle:  beneficence
    2. Pros:  Keeps them healthier short term vs doing nothing 
    3. Cons:  Extremely expensive, not sustainable over a long period of time
  3. Don’t pay them, thank them 
    1. Ethical principle:  Virtue-based
    2. Pros:  not added cost or work, the community or government may not even accept a compensation depending on culture values
    3. Cons:  could make community mad, worsen relations, network difficulties, look bad on institution
  4. Recognize them in the publications (credit)
    1. Ethical Principle:  beneficence
    2. Pros:  morally fit, helps the village and those specific people, prioritized in future things (chemical additives), the researchers could provide a copy to the people who helped
    3. Cons:  long term, not guaranteed, people won’t care will never see it won’t understand that being beneficial, won’t want flock of people → wanna be under the radar, unwanted attention


Step 6: Best Course of Action

After consideration, I feel that the best course of action is to originally offer to name the community members and local government in the study publication. The offer can be posed at a community town hall meeting to make sure that the majority of the community is on board. The reason for this is it academically credits those who helped the study as a form of compensation for their efforts, and it allows the community a chance to refuse the offer if they do not want the added attention from international chemical companies and researchers. Additionally, at this town hall meeting, locals can ask the researchers any questions they might have about the study they are conducting so that they fully buy in to the research that is taking place.

The benefit of this solution is that it not only costs the researchers and institution nothing financially, but it also loops the community into the process of the research, which will promote a better relationship and bond between the researchers and community members.