British Petroleum Ethical Dilemma
. Prepare this assignment according to the guidelines found in the APA Style Guide. An abstract is required. This attests that indeed the BP is one of the largest multinational corporations. However, it is not a stranger to some of the environmental hazards and over the past years, it has found itself in various unethical cases and decisions that have damaged its reputation (Warren, 2012). The goal of any organization is to maximize profits and its activities ought to be accepted by society. However, some firms focus on making profits without caring about the interest of society. hence, resulting in businesses making ethical dilemmas. British Petroleum has been involved in various scandals such as the 2005 explosion, which has had a major impact on the stakeholders and has raised important corporate social responsibility questions.
British Petroleum’s Ethical Dilemma
BP has various ethical obligations such as ensuring that they provide the consumers with the right products, conducting honest transactions with the suppliers, guaranteeing safety, and complying with the stipulated environmental laws among others (Mauer & Tinsley, 2010). However, following its unethical practices, it has failed to live up to its expectations. Therefore, it is imperative to deliberate on some of the scandals that it has been involved in and their impact.
Explosion at the Texas City refinery
BP has faced difficult decisions in the past that has damaged its reputation. The company had a social responsibility towards society but because of its unregulated safety measures, it failed. It is obvious that it took decisions and risks that were not socially reasonable and its culture of safety was compromised and focused more on maximizing profits rather than caring about the wellbeing of the people. It also came up with unreasonable measures to ensure safety such as cutting on the costs and failing to invest. hence, leading to grave safety issues (Richard Ivey School of Business, 2008). This was not the only time that the company had been involved in such scandals that led to public distrust and lack of credibility on its part. In relation to that, there was also a Gulf of Mexico spill that led to the bereavement of eleven employees, and seventeen of them were seriously injured. The spill was caused by the company’s unethical decision to install a drilling rig using an inexpensive design that was risky. Most of the stakeholders were affected, including those who worked in the tourism, supermarkets, restaurant, and the seafood industries. The pollution put the employees at risk since they ended up losing their jobs. The firm also lost its profits because of the increased penalties, compensations, and expenditures. The scandal damaged its finances and reputation. hence, losing the stakeholder’s and investors’ faith (Mauer & Tinsley, 2010. Warren, 2012). Another similar example was in 2006, whereby there was an oil spill that released around 267,000 gallons of crude oil in Prudhoe Bay. The spill was caused by corrosion of the pipeline and had immense effects on the gasoline consumers because of the cleaning costs that had been paid by the British Petroleum, which led to the increase in the price of the oil. It also damaged the image of the corporation, impacting the employees and the shareholders. The shares of the BP decreased by almost 2% and the employees started complaining about their health with symptoms such as chest pains and headaches as a result of the released chemicals. It is unfortunate that although BP is supposed to address and resolve issues that are associated with sustainable development, it was named as one of the worst companies in 2006 and has since been hit by fines, leading to pollution incidents (Warren, 2012).
The British Petroleum failed in its corporate responsibility and made unethical decisions that had a deep-rooted effect on the stakeholders. It failed to address ways in which an explosion of such a magnitude could be resolved. thus, damaging its reputation. The company needs to come up with sound measures to protect its image from more harm and maintain credibility from the stakeholders. It should also focus on helping those that were affected to recover their losses. This would show that it is indeed sincere in fulfilling its social corporate responsibility and guaranteeing satisfaction. Finally, the company should hire experts and researchers to gather on the best methods and ideas in which they can save the environment from the effects of the explosion and the spills. hence, ensuring economical, environmental, and social sustainability.
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