Ethics in the Workplace - Bp Oil Spill

Topics: Oil spill, Ethics, Business ethics Pages: 5 (1720 words) Published: July 29, 2012
Ethics in the Workplace Case Study: BP Oil Spill
On April 20, 2010 off the Gulf of Mexico, there was a blowout of the Macondo well which is owned by British Petroleum also known as BP. When the blowout took place it got immediate media attention because aspects of the event were known over the world. Within events transpiring it was discovered how limited the resources and reaction to the disaster was going to be. This paper will detail aspects of the event from symptoms of the problem, the root cause, important unresolved issues, roles of the organization’s key players and stakeholders, and explain the focus of specific ethical systems. Also discussed in this paper are relevant strategies and alternatives, the effect of globalization on the choice of preferred alternatives, the most valid alternative and resolution recommendations, and an example of a successful implementation of the solution. Symptoms of the Problem

Natural disasters or any disaster of any kind is hard to manage just for the purpose that these is no real planning for the situation and there is no real way to say who is in charge when a disaster happens. Concerning the oil spill with British Petroleum (BP) symptoms for the situation was that there was a delayed response, the impact on the environment and the citizens, federal regulations were lax, and the recovery efforts were not adequate. According to Griggs (2011), OPA 90 is a federal statute that holds all the responsible parties in containment, clean-up, and damages that result from the situation. With the symptoms that were presented their needed to be a clear understanding of what should to transpire in accordance with federal laws in the efforts to minimize the damage. The Root Cause of the Dilemma

April 20 explosion of BP's Deepwater Horizon oilrig created a negative situation for the company. Oil leaks from the rig caused the oil spill. There were reports stating that one of the workers informed supervisors of the issues with the oilrig. The supervisors would not listen resulting in the huge oil disaster. There was evidence found by researchers that the oilrig was leaking but BP denied the allegations. After the explosion, BP was forced to stop the oil leak but their attempts were unsuccessful. The government realized that BP did not have the proper procedures in place to handle an oil spill of this magnitude. BP did not have plans in place nor were they able to test their plans. The response plan requires testing with drills, exercises, adequate workers, and adequate technology every two years. The Important Unresolved Issues

It has been two years since the BP oil spill. There are still unresolved issues plaguing the Gulf and surrounding states. There are potential long-term effects on wildlife. Many animals that survived probably encountered oil-or may still, as significant amounts remain in the gulf. Both the oil and chemical dispersants used to break it up may affect the survival, reproduction, and behavior of myriad species in unknown ways. The wetlands and marsh are not recovering, fishing incomes have not recovered, and citizens are sick more often due to the oil spill. A business has a social responsibility to act ethically while conducting business. The reason is when a company conducts business they are involving other people and businesses other than their own. The company’s decisions have an effect on all parties associated with the company. According to Cheeseman (2010) “Business persons owe a duty to act ethically in the conduct of their affairs, and businesses owe a social responsibility not to harm society” (p. 19). The Roles of the Organization’s Key Players and Stakeholders Not only was BP responsible for the oil spill but Hall Halliburton, Transocean, and Minerals Management Service were also involved (Griggs, 2011). According to Griggs (2011) “The responsible party is, on the one hand, made liable for damages caused by the spill and is subject...

References: Cappiello, D., & Weber, H. R. (2011, September). BP ultimately responsible in gulf spill. Retrieved from
Cheeseman, H. R. (2010). The legal environment of business and online commerce: Business ethics, e-commerce, regulatory, and international issues. (6th ed.) Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Prentice Hall.
Griggs, J. (2011). BP GULF OF MEXICO OIL SPILL. Energy Law Journal, 32(1), 57-79.
Seidl, J. M. (2011, April). So where are those BP oil spill payments going. Retrieved from
Trevino, L. K., & Nelson, K. A. (2007). Managing business ethics; Straight talk about how to do it right (4th ed.). Hoboken, NJ: Wiley & Sons.
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