QuestionQuestion

CASE SELECTED: BP Plc. and the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill

1. Guidelines
Locally, nationally and internationally, there are many organisations whose success or failure has been determined at least in part by key organisational behaviour and people factors. Success may not necessarily mean financial performance – it may mean that the organisation has effectively managed a “turnaround” of some sort (for example, a major change to ‘go green’ following an environmental incident or to improve diversity following being labelled a biased or discriminatory employer). Failure may not mean financial disaster – it may mean a loss of trust with stakeholders, the presence of unethical behaviour or a damaging culture, or the loss of key talent (employees) to competitors. There have been many examples in the media over the last five years. For example, culture, leadership, and motivation and reward systems were antecedents to Enron’s failure, which had severe consequences for its stakeholders.

Tasks
1. Choose a real case of an organisation that successfully (or otherwise less than successfully) dealt with a particular problem or failure (must have occurred in the last 10 years) that has damaged the organisation in some way
2. Describe briefly what happened, the context, and the consequences for the organisation's stakeholders
3. Pick one relevant analytical framework (e.g., SWOT, PESTEL or stakeholder analysis) and provide a brief analysis of what happened
4. Building on the previous analysis, identify, analyse and discuss in more detail 2 to 3 organisational behaviour factors that contributed to the problem/failure. These may be individual, group or organisational level factors
5. After having conducted the problem analysis, (a) discuss what the organisation did to address the problem and/or prevent a reoccurrence of the problem, and (b) evaluate the effectiveness of the organisation’s response to the failure
6. After having evaluated the organisation’s response to the failure encountered, make recommendations for what could have been done better and/or moving forward in response to the OB issues identified. In making these recommendations, it is important to be pragmatic and specific (i.e. make recommendations that are viable and within the organisation’s capacity to implement).
7. Referencing:
a) Include a minimum of 10 journal articles
b) Referencing has to adhere the Academy of Management style
(see http://journals.aomonline.org/amj/style_guide.pdf)
8. Writing a Report:
a) The report has to be 2500 words (+/- 10%)
b) Appendices and references are not included in the word count. However, you
cannot assume that appendicised materials will be read in detail
c) Please include a word count on the front page of your assignment

When Conducting an Analysis, Making an Evaluation, and Providing Recommendations:
1. Apply relevant models, concepts, theories and literature in the field of organisational behaviour.
2. You are expected to incorporate relevant research and theory from the broader organisational behaviour literature (e.g., journal articles and/or books), not just the text and course materials
3. Conduct desk research to obtain information and/or data and examples to illustrate and support your analysis, evaluation and recommendations (e.g., media reports, interviews, independent investigation reports, organisational reports, etc.)

Optional Progress Report
The objective of the progress report is to ensure that you are on track and have identified a suitable case study for the assessment. The progress report is optional and NOT assessed. It should not be longer than one page and should include a brief description of the following:
 The organisation and the failure/problem you are analysing;
 Key OB factors at play; and
 A minimum of three company/media style sources and three relevant academic (i.e.
journal article) references that demonstrate you will be able to locate sufficient information for an informed problem analysis.

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These solutions may offer step-by-step problem-solving explanations or good writing examples that include modern styles of formatting and construction of bibliographies out of text citations and references. Students may use these solutions for personal skill-building and practice. Unethical use is strictly forbidden.

BP Plc. and the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill

I. Overview of the Organisational Failure/Problem

I. (a) What happened
The night of April 20, 2010 forever changed regulators approach to supervision of deepwater oil and gas drilling. It was also the night when years and years of ‘cutting corners’ finally caught up with BP marking the beginning of the worst environmental catastrophe in history for a company in the oil and gas industry (Osofsky, 2011). On that night, a 126-strong workforce drawn from three companies was working on a semi-submersible mobile drilling unit called ‘Deepwater Horizon’ which belonged to a Switzerland-based company called Transocean Ltd. Transocean is an offshore drilling company which offer offshore drilling services to companies in the oil and gas industry. The company along with Halliburton Company was a contractor for BP Plc. running the Macondo oil well off the Gulf of Mexico. An explosion aboard the Deepwater Horizon rig that night resulted in 11 deaths and 17 casualties and marked the beginning of an oil spill that lasted nearly three months

I. (b) The Context
11 employees dying while doing their jobs is disastrous for any company to deal with and BP was no exception as the company faced a lot of media backlash following the news that the explosion had resulted in employee deaths (Hamilton, Safford & Ulrich, 2012). However, it is the ensuing oil spill that damaged BP’s image the most because despite the company’s reassurance that the leakage would be contained within a short period it continued unabated for 87 consecutive days. In the end the oil spill destroyed marine ecosystems along the Gulf of Mexico negatively impacting industries such as fishing and tourism among others. A judicial probe and independent investigations by other organisations were unanimous that the disaster resulted from BP’s appetite for riskier and riskier offshore projects (Hamilton, Safford & Ulrich, 2012).

BP spent considerable resources not only to cap the well that was leaking, but also in the cleanup efforts that lasted nearly five years and cost the company approximately $14 billion. However, during the...

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