British Petroleum (PLC) and John Browne: A Culture of Risk Beyond Petroleum (A)
(6 pages of text)
The year 2007 had to have been one of the worst in the history of British Petroleum plc (BP). In the span of four months, two separate independent reports (the first one commissioned by BP itself) had identified a deeply rooted culture of risk within BP where money and profits were valued above worker and environmental safety. These reports were in response to an explosion in 2005 at an oil refinery in Texas City, in the United States, which killed 15 people and injured more than 180, but the reports also referred to pipeline leaks in Alaska as well as other serious safety lapses throughout BP's global operations. The Texas City explosion was the worst but not the first major incident at a BP facility, and the revelations in the reports severely damaged the credibility the so-called super-major oil company had earned over the last decade. The job of restoring investor and stakeholder confidence as well as the firm's reputation fell to the BP board and its star group chief executive, Lord John Browne. The B case, product 9B08M003, examines the role played by the board with respect to the personal integrity of Lord Browne. The teaching objectives are to introduce students to examining the role of the board with respect to risk management as well as its social responsibilities to various stakeholders.
Mining, Quarrying, and Oil and Gas Extraction
United Kingdom, Large, 2007
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