Applying Utilitarian Approach to Vale’s Business Strategy


Apply the utilitarian approach to evaluate Vale’s business strategy in general or specific aspects of company’s business strategy


Applying Utilitarian Approach to Vale’s Business Strategy

The utilitarian approach determines the effectiveness of a mechanism or action through the consequences it produces. Thus, actions with the best results are perceived to be more efficient (Barrow 2015, 21: Bowie 2017, 35). Vale’s business strategy is evident in its mission, vision, and values. The company’s mission focuses on the transformation of natural resources into prosperity and sustainable development. On the other hand, its vision is to the leading global natural resource setting in the establishment of long-term value via parameters such as excellence and passion towards persons and the entire planet.

Vale’s values centre on premises including the sacredness/indispensability of life, prizing of the earth (our planet), undertaking what is right, making it happen, improving together, and valuing stakeholders ( 2019). The aspects mentioned above indicate that Vale’s business strategy is utilitarian in nature. This premise is because the mission, vision, and values of the company work together to produce the best end that causes happiness to the entire society.

Vale’s business strategy is reinforced in its sustainability and institutional relations framework, which is aimed to oversee its sustainability over a long time (Jeong and Oh 2017 117). To compensate for the degraded land, Vale aims to recover 100, hectares of degraded land by 2030. Within this period, it seeks to cut down its new water collection by 10%. By 2013, the company is also committed to reducing greenhouse gaseous emissions by 16%.

The enhancement of sustainability in mining is further made possible by truckless and dry processing; this situation makes Vale a sustainability reference for other companies. Sustainable practices are also attained by engaging society continuously to achieve a desirable social legacy. Under the UN Global Compact Lead, Vale is the only Metals & Mining industry has been recognised as acknowledged for 7 straight years ( 2019). Evidently, sustainability and institutional relations reveal that Vale’s business strategy aims to produce a greater good for society.

The utilitarian nature of Vale’s business strategy offers another perspective of the company’s collapsed dam that took place in January 2019. Even though reports indicate that Vale was aware of potential collapse, its sustainability philosophy casts should convince one that the occurrence was unforeseen. Prior to the occurrence, Vale had implemented all the recommendations presented by an auditor who had been hired to assess the system. Because of its sound, utilitarian business strategy, Vale has gained much profit.

In the process of monetary gains, Vale has enhanced its stakeholder participation, which has helped it to forge cordial relations with the surrounding community. Community engagement ensures that all projects launched by Vale in a given location are sensitive towards the welfare of the society. In relation to Vale’s collapsed dam, it is possible that the surrounding community was comfortable with the status quo.

As a result, they (members of the neighbouring community) did not bother to raise concerns of possible liquefaction. If all stakeholders were happy with the state of the dam before its collapse, it is therefore unfair to solely blame Vale for the unfortunate happening.

The paper has presented the utilitarian approach to Vale’s business strategy. Because the utilitarian approach centres on consequences, Vale’s business strategy could be rendered ineffective due to the collapsed dam. No matter the efficiency of the process, a negative outcome faults the entire system. Before the collapse of Vale’s dam in 2019, the utilitarian approach evaluates its business strategy as positive because it is responsible for all the successes experienced by the company and its stakeholders.


  1. Barrow, R., 2015. Utilitarianism: A contemporary statement. Routledge.
  2. Bowie, N.E., 2017. Business ethics: A Kantian perspective. Cambridge University Press.
  3. Jeong, M. and Oh, H., 2017. Business-to-business social exchange relationship beyond trust and commitment. International Journal of Hospitality Management65, pp.115-124.
  4. 2019. [online] Available at: [Accessed 19 Feb. 2019].

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