Bp Spill

Topics: Ethics, Morality, Business ethics Pages: 10 (3148 words) Published: May 21, 2013
Ethical Problems in Bp


The company, BP is the third-largest energy company where produces approximately 3.8 million barrels of oil and gas per day and possesses 22,400 service stations over the world. However, the oil disaster called as BP oil spill or the deep water horizon oil spill was occurred on April 20th, 2010 in the Gulf of Mexico recording the greatest oil spill compared to other oil spill accidents in our history. The Deepwater Horizon oil rig explosion caused deaths of 11 workers, 17 workers injured as well as a tremendous oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico. In fact, this case has been described as a complex accident including a variety of issues ranging from environmental to economic, politics and even ethical issues. The goal of our research is to find any ethical issues since this disaster happened is closely related to ethics which is concerned with moral obligation, social responsibility and justice (Carolyn Wiley, 1997) either individual (‘bad apples’) or organizational (‘bad barrels), which should be evaluated to verify this case. Firstly, the ethical issues can largely be divided into three categories, namely (1) technical design which has had some testing flaws before the actual usage and insufficient guidelines against the negative pressure test, (2) human factors including misjudgment, errors and a failure in duty, (3) organizational system such as taking risk procedures to save time and money and refusing the advice of staff and contractors as well as slowness to react in the accident. Thus, the ethical issues in BP oil spill case relevant to the individuals or the organization will be classified in each factor mentioned above by distributing whether it belongs to the individual level or the organizational level based on our judgments along with ethical theory to support our conclusion.

2.The importance of ethics in business world

It is easy to see that the business which has been successful suffers from downfall and a sudden fall in terms of profits and popularity. One of major reasons behind these backgrounds is the lack of business ethics. The understanding of what is right or wrong and the ability to discern between them are ethics. In addition, the importance of ethics is no exception to running business as well as daily life. The successful business normally requires intensive ethical values in the course of business and the organizational culture based on the set ethical principles. The well-regulated ethics regarding “Going concern of business” would help to make long-term success of business unlike moneymakers who do not care of ethical values along with short-term lives of business. Thus, strong ethical values in the business can be regarded as one of intangible assets. Furthermore, the ethical issue is highly important due to the reason that it can affect stakeholders who have interests in an organization. If the organization possesses high value in terms of ethics, the impression on stakeholders would be achieved by building the trust relationship between them and sustaining stakeholders in long-term. Lastly, having professional practice which is characterized by code of ethics is essential to obtain a good reputation in society. (Murphy and Swenson 2003) Hence, the ethics in business is not ignorable providing great benefits to the business and definitely help to grow the business on long-term basis.

3.Ethical problems in BP: Individual level

Individual ethics

The individual is the essential component of organization in terms of running business; Hence, the ethics of individual need to be emphasized during the process of business. Individual factors such as personality and background can affect making behavioral choices of individuals either ethical or unethical at work and the typical infliction normally comes from individual behavior within an organizational context according to Darley, J.M. (2005).

3.1.Employees’ perspective

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