Bp Deepwater Horizon Case Analysis Essay

1398 Words May 16th, 2012 6 Pages
Rafique Sheikh. MGMT 518: Legal & Ethical Env. of Business

BP’s ethical conduct concerning the Deep Horizon blowout


The Deepwater Horizon oil spill or the BP oil spill refers to the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico which flowed for three months in 2010. The spill was a result of the explosion of Deepwater Horizon, which drilled on the BP-operated Macondo Prospect. The explosion killed 11 men working on the platform and injured 17 others (Summarized from Wikipedia article on: “Deepwater Horizon oil spill” http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Deepwater_Horizon_oil_spill )

In the following text we will analyze the Deep Water Horizon Oil Spill from some of the well-known ethical perspectives.

From the Perspective of the
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From the Virtue Ethics Perspective:

Virtue ethics, on the other hand, directs our attention to what human beings are capable of being, on how they can cultivate the habits of good character that will naturally lead them to their fullest potential (Halbert, Law & Ethics in the Business Environment. pg. 21).

We come away from the analysis of the culture of BP with a sense that the “Beyond Petroleum” campaign and the company’s official statements valuing safety and the protecting the environment amount to little more than empty rhetoric. In terms of virtue ethics, then, BP has much to do to close the gap between its aspirations and its ways of doing business. And given these mixed messages, we can imagine how difficult it has been for BP employees to develop the kind of virtuous habits they would need—courage, for example, even heroism—to confront a culture that repeatedly rewards speed and risk-taking over other values.

From the Ethic of Care Perspective:

If we start with the assumption that people are deeply connected to one another in webs of relationships, and the ethical decisions cannot be made outside the context of those relationships then Ethics becomes a matter of nurturing and reinforcing the ties we have with one another. This alternative view has become known as the “ethic of care,” as it is based on caring for others (Halbert, Law & Ethics in the

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