The Rules and Code of Conduct in Business Ethics are Already Confirmed: Does Monsanto Company Obey the Criteria of Being Ethical? Analysis from Monsanto Business Project in Indonesia During 1996-2002

47 Pages Posted: 1 Dec 2011 Last revised: 5 Apr 2013

See all articles by Dimas Mukhlas Widiantoro

Dimas Mukhlas Widiantoro

Cracow University of Economics; Universitas Gadjah Mada; University of Agder; Academic Collaboration and Research Network

Date Written: December 1, 2011


The beginning of agriculture practices and the domestication of plants around 10000 years ago led the human into one of the most revolutionary changes in history, shaping the future development of our societies (Fontes et. all, 2010). According to aforementioned perception, agriculture is an important part of human civilization and a huge step into big industry nowadays. The reason why agriculture has become so important is due to its product. Agriculture (also called as farming or husbandry) is the cultivation of animals, plants, fungi and other life forms for food, fiber, and other products used to sustain life. The products of agriculture are mostly food. Moreover, Samuelson (2004) stated that the production of food is one of the industries which have high elasticity in demand. It means that some people do price regardless in terms of buying food. Based on statements before, the production of food industry can be categorized as the long lasting and promising business.

Adam Smith in Wealth of nation (1976) ever stated ‘It is not from the benevolence of the butcher the brewer, or the baker that we expect our dinner, but from their regard to their own interest’. If we attempt to associate Adam Smith statement and the development of agriculture industry, we can pull the connection that Food Industry can be developed due to profit interest behind it. Based on Brigham and Houston (2004), profit is the foundation of company in increasing their scale of business.

Monsanto, an American company that runs in biotechnology seed is a great example of Agriculture business player. Monsanto which was established in 1901 nowadays become the most significant player and control the biggest share of agriculture industry. Many farmers rely on the company in the availability and the continuity of the seeds. It cannot be argued that the existence of Monsanto has given big contribution in the development of the farmers in many countries. However, it is almost impossible for such a huge and great developed company like Monsanto to escape from having even minimum unethical facets, which unfortunately, may contribute to its imperfection. Some organizations which concern with natural sustainability frequently criticize the company activity.

The imperfection in the World Food Supply Chain can be shown in the Indonesian area during 1997 until 2022 where the empirical issue had unexpectedly increased. The code of conduct of the company backgrounds will lead us into the whole analysis. The expectation of this paper is the author and the reader can see and analysis the ethical problem objectively. Monsanto as a huge multinational company which consist of various stakeholder backgrounds for sure have advantages as well as drawbacks. Paper’s aim is to impaired the perception about the Monsanto Company.

Keywords: Monsanto, Hunt and Vitell, Culture, Ethics, Economics, Recent Research, Indonesia, United States

Suggested Citation

Widiantoro, Dimas Mukhlas, The Rules and Code of Conduct in Business Ethics are Already Confirmed: Does Monsanto Company Obey the Criteria of Being Ethical? Analysis from Monsanto Business Project in Indonesia During 1996-2002 (December 1, 2011). Available at SSRN: or

Dimas Mukhlas Widiantoro (Contact Author)

Cracow University of Economics ( email )

ul. Rakowicka 27
Krakow, 31-510

Universitas Gadjah Mada ( email )

Bulaksumur, Yogyakarta
Yogyakarta, Special Province of Yogyakarta

University of Agder ( email )

Serviceboks 422
N-4604 Kristiansand, VEST AGDER 4604

Academic Collaboration and Research Network ( email )

Dr. Karl Rennerstr. 18
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