Corporate Ethics / Responsibility Over essay

Download this essay in word format (.doc)

Note: Sample below may appear distorted but all corresponding word document files contain proper formatting

Excerpt from essay:

This is highlighting the overall culture of unethical behavior inside BP. ("The Explosion at Texas City," 2006)

As the company, would engage in policy of denying their involvement of: responsibility and attribute the incident to employee error. This would tie up the proceedings for many years, allowing for them to maximize their profits (while being able to avoid the ethical challenges they were wrestling with). ("The Explosion at Texas City," 2006) as a result, these unethical views would have a dramatic impact upon the culture inside the organization itself. Where, mangers would often encourage employees to overlook safety and environmental regulations (in order to remain in line with the company's financial objectives). This meant that the odds increased dramatically, that the company would have an accident with: dire safety, economic and environmental consequences.

As a result, the Deepwater Horizon incident was the pinnacle of: the lack of investment and disregard surrounding the safety practices of their employees. At first, this well was considered to be an accomplishment of modern day engineering, with it reaching depths of 18 thousand feet (approximately 3 miles). However, during the process of drilling the well, the engineers from Transocean (the company responsible for the procedure) were placed under tremendous amounts of pressure from BP. What happened was, BP executives wanted to have the well operational as quickly as possible. This meant that they would encourage engineers to: push the safety limits and standards to the brink. At which point, inevitable delays would occur, as this caused the drilling bit to become jammed in the rock (forcing them to re drill the shaft of the well). This lead to: a delay and outrage at BP; as they felt that Transocean was not working productively. Once they were able to reach the oil reservoir is when BP continued with their focus on: making the well operational at any cost. This is problematic, because it meant that obvious safety devices and their underlying condition were overlooked. A good example of this can be seen with the blowout preventer. Simply put, the blowout preventer is designed to seal the well, in the event that methane gas is able to penetrate the drill pipe (leading to the surface). In the case of Deepwater Horizon, the blowout preventer was installed. Yet, during the test of the preventer, an employee flooded the shaft of pipe, causing the rubber seal (the annular) to be ruptured. Once this was discovered by the engineers of Transocean, BP executives would overlook this matter, as they felt that it was not a safety issue. Commenting about the situation the lead BP engineer on the project (Mike Williams) would say, "We discovered chunks of rubber in the drilling fluid. We thought it was important enough to gather this double handful of chunks of rubber and bring them into the driller shack. I recall asking the supervisor if this was out of the ordinary. And he says, 'Oh, it's no big deal. And I thought; how can it be not a big deal? There's chunks of our seal is now missing." ("Blowout," 2010) This is significant, because it shows how from the very beginning of this project, BP would seek to reduce their underlying costs as much as possible. Where, they would limit the total investment and time that is focused on adding to the expenses (such as: making sure that the blowout preventer functions properly). This culture of overlooking various ethical and moral issues would set the stage for a series of events that contributed to the accident. ("Blowout," 2010)

Once the well was operational, the lack of focus on safety would lead directly to the events on April 20th. As methane gas was quickly moving up the drill shaft to the platform. This had an impact upon the structure, as the volatile gas would build up and explode. At the same time, the lack of investment in back up communications, meant that engineers had trouble communicating with the blowout prevent and corporate executives. Commenting about the underlying causes of the accident Williams said, "The blowout preventer (BOP) that was supposed to protect us and keep us from the blowout obviously had failed. And now, the emergency disconnect to get us away from this fuel source has failed. We have no communications to the BOP." ("Blowout," 2010) This is significant, because it shows how the lack of ethics at BP, would mean that staff had no way of preventing the situation from becoming worse. Where, they could not control the blowout preventer and communicate with executives effectively. ("Blowout," 2010)

To make matters worse a number of the managers on the Deepwater Horizon were embracing the lack of ethics and morals inside the company itself. A good example of this can be seen with the calls to abandon the well from the captain. Where, he would place the lifeboats in the water and did not inform the rest of the crew about the order. Commenting about this situation Williams would say, "I saw one of the lifeboats in the water, and it's motoring away from the vessel. I looked at the captain and asked him. 'What's going on?' He said, 'I've given the order to abandon ship. They have left, without the captain and without knowing that they had everyone who survived all this onboard. I've been left now by two lifeboats. And I look at the captain and I said, 'What do we do now? By this time, the fire is not only on the derrick, it's starting to spread to the deck. At that point, there were several more, large, intense explosions." ("Blowout," 2010) This is troubling, because every Sunday the crew would practice procedures for abandoning the well (as required under the law). The fact that the captain and other managers were willing to leave people there is: an indication of the culture inside the organization itself. As a result, Williams was forced to jump 100 feet into the ocean (during the middle of the night). This is important, because it confirms how executives at BP, were only concerned about increasing their overall bottom line. ("Blowout," 2010)

When you step back and analyze these different events, it is clear that the lack of morals and ethics at BP had negative impact upon a host of incidents. At first, these events were often overlooked, as company executives would blame various accidents on: employee error and then drag their feet. Part of the reason for this, is because acknowledging any kind of blame or wrong doing could: open the company up to law suits and it would cost more money to make the required safety / environmental modifications. This forced executives to embrace a culture lacking in: ethics and moral responsibility (as they were only interested in increasing their bottom line at all costs). As result, this atmosphere would lead directly the incidents that occurred at the Deepwater Horizon on April 20th. At which point, the company could no longer ignore their ethical and moral responsibilities. This is because, the overall scope of the accident became so large, that there was no way that executives could engage in the tactics of the past (blaming others and delaying investigations).

The Lack of Ethics and Responsibility

The three different cases that were examined highlight how the majority of corporations, have a lack of ethics when it comes to: their image, safety and the environment. This is because these different factors can have an adverse impact upon their overall bottom line. In the case of McDonalds, the possible negative publicity that they were receiving from Greenpeace, would hurt their image as a safe, family orientated restaurant. At which point, executives would engage in tactics to: protect this image and their overall bottom line (even though they were true). This avenue was pursued, because the company felt that they could use the legal system to achieve this objective (despite the fact that the defendants were not being allowed due process of the law). What this shows, is how inside the company itself, managers were willing to protect their own interests no matter what, highlighting the lack of ethics and morals about the actions of their organization.

The case of Nestle Hydration shows similar issues as the McDonalds situation. Where, the company would use a lack of ethics, when trying to build water bottling plants in small towns. This is problematic, because it underscores how executives are trying to increase their overall bottom line, while ignoring the demands of the community (by not giving them a chance to debate the issue). Then, they were seeking out the personal financial records of those individuals opposed to the project. This is highlighting, how the lack of ethics at Nestle was taken to another level, by violating privacy laws, to obtain personal information about their opponents. As a result, this lack of ethics would force the company to abandon plans, to build the plant in the community.


Cite This Essay:

"Corporate Ethics Responsibility Over" (2011, January 29) Retrieved October 24, 2016, from

"Corporate Ethics Responsibility Over" 29 January 2011. Web.24 October. 2016. <>

"Corporate Ethics Responsibility Over", 29 January 2011, Accessed.24 October. 2016,

Other Documents Pertaining To This Topic

  • Corporate Social Responsibility Over the

    D.) Contribution The authors are making a major contribution by focusing on areas that have received limited amounts of study. This is helping to create new ideas about how a more diversified and active board of directors can help to improve social governance. As a result, there is discussion in how these ideas can be utilized in future studies (to help understand the challenges facing firms). ("Abstract Article Three," n.d.) Article Four: The

  • Corporate Social Responsibility Literature Review a Topic Corporate...

    Corporate Social Responsibility Literature Review a topic-Corporate Social Responsibility The term 'corporate social responsibility' is a social word that has often taken the world by a storm at its mention. Noya and Clarence (2007) in their book "The social economy: building inclusive economies" offers a succinct description and understanding of what normally takes place and get exemplified at the mention of this term in the business world. Many writers of business journals

  • Corporate Social Responsibility and Transnational Companies in

    Corporate Social Responsibility and Transnational Companies In this essay, I have discussed how essential Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) is for the success of Transnational Corporations. UN Global Compact is also being discussed. I have also included case studies to support of Nike, Primark and Microsoft. Moreover, I have included positives and negatives about CSR and the factors that exist in CSR which may lead to the success of transnational corporations. Finally,

  • Corporate Social Responsibility in Indian Pharmaceutical Industry

    Corporate Social Responsibility in Indian Pharmaceutical Industry An Exploratory Study Outlook of CSR in India History of CSR in India Philanthropy in Indian Society Modern Form of CSR in Indian Society Profile of Indian Pharmaceutical Industry Rationale for Selection CSR Activities by Indian Pharmaceutical Companies Major Influences Over CSR Activities Scope of CSR Activities Comparison of Indian & Western Pharmaceutical Companies This research paper is concerned with the recent practices of Indian pharmaceutical companies in the field of corporate social responsibility. For

  • Corporate Social Responsibility CSR Is

    " Apple went on to insist that it demands "compliance" with its code of ethics through a "…rigorous monitoring programme, including factory audits, corrective action plans and verification measures" (Chamberlain, 2011). A recent article published by the media company Al Jazeera (in Qatar) reports that Apple admitted "…some of its suppliers continue to overwork and underpay employees." Apple received heavy criticism for its factory work done by Foxconn so it opened

  • Corporate Social Responsibility Business

    Corporate Social Responsibility Business Corporate social responsibility Corporate social responsibility involves a set of principles promoting the idea that business in general should be directed at assisting social progress through putting across ethical attitudes. Ethics has come to play an important role in the business environment in recent years and this influenced many to get actively engaged in considering this concept whenever doing business. Corporate social responsibility is meant to influence individuals

  • Corporate Social Responsibility in Saudi

    As he believes, that when firms are collaborating with government officials, they are creating win -- win situations for everyone involved. This is significant, because it is showing how the government wants to see these kinds of programs implemented to improve the business environment and the standard of living in various regions of the country. Once this occurs, it means that Saudi Arabia will be the focus of increased

Read Full Essay
Copyright 2016 . All Rights Reserved