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Write a research paper on a company that you are familiar with.

Write a research paper on a company that you are familiar with.

Write a research paper on a company that you are familiar with.

British Petroleum Ethical Dilemma’s

British Petroleum Oil Company (BP), has come a long way since its beginnings in Persia in 1901. BP is a company that is known as one of the world’s foremost gas and oil corporations that continues to lead the way in many different avenues. BP offers their consumers products such as fuel that is needed for energy and heat, along with transportation, and petrochemical products that are used in making paints, clothes, and certain types of packaging. “BP and Castrol are leading manufacturers of motor oil and lubricants”. (“,” 2015)

BP has two leading divisions currently, they include the downstream and upstream.

Upstream divisions are responsible for 41B dollars in revenues and are comprised of the installation of wells and pipelines, all of which attributes to higher long-term profits. (“,” 2015) When the oil prices are at their lowest, it is typically when there is a much higher upstream product produced, which in turn creates a more profitable downstream margin. The operation and projects of BP corporation aid in creating a vast array of employment opportunities to generate and enhance investments along with tax revenue. All of these are done in many different countries in the world along with many of our local communities.

BP Corporation has worked feverishly on developing self-assurance in conjunction with a significant aim of minimizing the emissions that are produced from Carbon Oxide. BP has also shown improvement with the diverse base of their energy, they have invested more time and energy into solar power and energy. (Kaye, 2015) In most recent years BP’s green image may have suffered irreparable damage, even though they continue to portray that they are doing what is necessary to sustain a green footprint. BP Corporation and its employees tend to struggle over moral and ethical activities in business.

The ethical dilemma within the BP Company

 The key moral dilemma that BP Corporation is facing would have to be associated with the huge oil spill known as the Deep Water Horizon oil spill (DWH). “British Petroleum (BP) spent hundreds of millions of dollars and more than a decade building a brand that the public perceived as the greenest of the oil giants”. (Bodkin, Amato, & Amato, 2015, p. 256) Companies such as gas and oil companies work hard to be able to provide goods and services to their consumers while appealing to the consumers as environmentally friendly. Deep Water Horizon oil spill was and still is the largest offshore oil spill in the history of the United States. The impact of the spill has shown dire consequences to the wildlife as well as the potential for consumers to continue their livelihood, for example, fishermen. BP was morally deceptive in its public relations when it tried to portray a green company.

BP and like companies do have an irrepressible incentive to depict a greener image amongst their consumers, whether or not that green image is being supported with positive actions for the environment. With the ever-increasing demands by consumers for companies like BP, the stakes have been raised for positive environmental issues that need to be addressed. CSR has played a very important part in financial institutions, assets continue to grow from 12B dollars in the mid 90’s to roughly 178B dollars in early 2000. (Bodkin et al., 2015, p. 257) The key factor that is being considered is socially responsible companies and their impact and use of eco-friendly moral and ethical behaviors.

BP has taken it upon itself to discount the warnings and requests made by experts to install a safeguard on the floor of the ocean to prevent and monitor oil spills. BP has said one thing and done another. For example, they said they are a green company and they believe in doing the morally correct thing when it comes to dealing with important issues with the company, and on the other hand they have tried to deceive the general public and cut corners.

This turned into a disastrous event for the environment and the employees that were killed during the Deep Water Horizon oil spill. When a company acts irresponsibly and unethically the results can be devastating, to say the least. Oil spills will have a large effect on the environment and the living creatures that call the environment home.

Currently, there are no particular law or regulation that takes the interest of the animals into consideration or even a law that defends them. Does that mean that their life is less important or that they do not matter? The answer is no, their habitat and the environment will greatly impact the human race as well as the animals. Prior to the oil pollution act (OPA), the federal statutes could not come to a unified agreement or approach as to how to deal with oil pollution or the release of oil into the environment. (Davis, 2011) The only thing that would save the environment would have been a patchwork of limited liability compensation packages for the individuals or environment that was affected.

“Key investors have asked whether there is a systemic problem at the company. U.S. congressmen have lambasted BP executives over safety standards”. (Faroohar, 2006, para. 2) Since more and more individuals and corporations are becoming more concerned with safety and the environment President Bush passed a law called the Oil Pollution Act of 1990. It was intended to address the liability that a company could face if the company spilled oil into the environment. It was emplaced to make companies take notice to ensure that they did nothing to intently neglect their moral responsibility of repairs and liability. This new law would hold BP responsible for the cleanup and any other loss due to their neglect and lack of moral beliefs.

The moral dilemma for BP is the significant response to the whole debacle of the profit against the amount of advantage that the executives would receive; versus the loss to the communities which were affected by the cleanup expenses or rather the amount of damage to the environment or the ecosystem. When working to resolve the ethical issues in the company for the executives it was important to also develop a strategy that was based on the premises that have been deployed in addressing the problems and solving the issues. The changes that were incurred would have been enormous for BP along with the environment.

Ethical Frameworks to evaluate the Dilemma

 Ethics entails some type of standards of conduct, which can reveal how individuals should act when faced with difficult circumstances in which they can find themselves as parents, friends, business associates, etc. There are two individual significant challenges when recognizing moral standards in individuals must pursue. There is an important response to these particular questions.

  • In what ways does our company base moral standards of performance?
  • How do the values that are used in particular circumstances perform when the company encounters meet difficult situations?

The Utilitarian Framework

 The functional theory discusses that moral action should produce the most pleasure and freedom from pain, which is what most individuals desire. (Arnold, Beauchamp, & Bowie, 2013, p. 17) The practical framework that is associated with consequences or the outcome, is done by increasing comfort and minimizing the damage that can be caused. The mutual moral action, therefore, is one that generates the maximum amount of happiness and causes the least amount of harm for those that will be substantially affected by the situation. The individuals that are affected may be the employees, consumers, the general public, and even the environment.

Therefore in the case of BP, to ensure that there is a joint advantage for everyone involved in the oil spill. The oil that was leaked should be synchronized so as to guarantee the protection of the aquatic wildlife along with stabilizing the moral conflict that was taking place. The pleasure of profits and the well-being of the executives in the company was the only thing that was taken into consideration, the annihilation of the wildlife and the environment was not taken into consideration.

Utilitarianism theory is ethically correct and accurate if it leads to maximum pleasure to the greatest number of individuals. For that reason, it is suggested that the company ought to implement some riskier approaches which may lead to a higher return to the economy, slash some safety costs along with make the most of the smaller groups. The end result may in fact offer up a profit to a larger number of people in a certain period of time. If a person looks at utilitarianism’s viewpoint, the employees of BP may be perceived as acting immorally as the instant outcomes of the decision of inducing pain as well as the detrimental impact that may happen to the surrounding areas of BP.

The Rights Framework

 Some ethicists and thinkers put forth that moral action is the only one that best protects and will respect the moral rights of the people that will be affected. This particular technique begins with the idea that human beings have a distinction that is based on their own human nature or their own capability to make their own decisions or beliefs with their own lives personally. With this decorum,” that persons should be treated as ends and never purely as means to the ends of others”. (Arnold et al., 2013, p. 22) Shareholders that work for BP have a right to keep and avoid shame to hold up their self-esteem. Hence, when the rights of one side are dishonored or disregarded it is very important to work to instill some type of pleasure by working to do what is necessary to reduce the consequences that may be negative in nature.

It is also suggested that rights entail duties, particularly the duties to value the beliefs and rights of everyone involved. The framework of rights may be applied in the BP case with the company’s ethical and moral dilemma to resolve the present oil spill crisis by ensuring that all the shareholders are entitled or free in reference to their rights while ensuring that there is not a violation of these particular rights.

Evaluation of the Ethical Dilemma

 Creating excellent moral decisions greatly involves having a coherent understanding of what kind of moral problems are as well as some of the practice techniques that are used to investigate ethical components. This can be done with a decision of weighing out the measures that could affect an individual’s choice regarding the source of the situation or action.

When a corporation has a technique for the moral decision-making process it will benefit the long-term success of a business. When employees are being trained frequently and consistently, that process will become a well-known factor that individuals may tend to work towards it more voluntarily without having to discuss the process more precisely. Therefore, to adequately resolve moral issues within BP, there is an inherent need to make corporate decisions with each of the shareholders that may be involved. In doing this it will resolve existing problems that will benefit all the parties involved.

With tricky and new moral choices that individuals may face, the deeper they may have to rely on and deliberately converse with everyone concerning the oil spill problems. “                      Merely by cautious examination of the oil spill supported with the imminent and diverse viewpoints of those involved, individuals will then be able to make more ethically and morally sound decisions in a time of turmoil. BP’s ethical problem should have been resolved during the initial stage, for the simple fact that they would have avoided all the negative ethical and more consequences.

Whistleblowers that were involved in a part exposing BP’s ethical choices

 The moral issues of BP resulted in many different individuals finding themselves developing a conscience for exposing the company’s shortcomings. For example, reporters, media, as well as newspaper articles played a large role in exposing awareness of the impact on the communities. The shareholders of BP and the annihilation of the environment as well as the particular makers of company policy were also exposed. After the oil spill, there were various experts, political figures, and reporters condemned BP for their lack of morals and ethics along with their irresponsibility to repair defective equipment to avoid disasters. “BP has appointed an ex-judge to review claims of whistle-blowers, some of whom allege a cover-up, which the company flatly denies”. (Faroohar, 2006, para. 2) Either way someone looks at the BP case their actions were all around unethical and morally inept.

Conservationists had presented their concern with marine life and the ecosystem after the DHW oil spill. When BP made the moral decision to disregard the communication alerts from the conservationists it depicted to the public that BP was inept and a company that could not be trusted. It showed BP’s lack of moral beliefs and concerns and was inevitability the consequences that they deserved for their actions. “BP paying between $15 and $23 billion in cleanup costs plus $14 billion of claims. This would absorb 3 years of BP’s free cash flow after dividends.” (Haq, 2010, para. 3) When the amount of damage and costs were revealed to the public many people became angry with the lack of morals of BP and many lost confidence in BP’s services and products.

Employment at will affects BP’s employees and the company

 Businesses ought to act logically and ethically, to aid individuals to make coherent decisions, valuing individuals, along with making decisions that can be based on benevolence. BP Corporation failed to follow, rationality, respect, and friendly values. BP did not appreciate the consumers, or employees since they chose to disregard the safety concerns of the oil rigs.

It showed the level of concern on BP was only to save money and time needed to make needed safety repairs than the health and welfare of their employees. BP’s lied to its consumers when it tried to reassure them that it had safety measures in place to safeguard against any type of oil spill catastrophe. The statement illustrates the level of sincerity was exceptionally low in return the level of confidence also was lowered. This move dejected BP’s will to serve the corporation due to lowering the values of the company as well as their moral obligations.

Besides the working conditions with BP, the company does not assure the safety of their employees. So the majority of the employees developed a level of fear and uncertainty in the value of their lives because BP was more concerned with profits than safety. It is not uncommon for employees especially lower-level employees to feel as though their jobs were in jeopardy at BP long term.

BP’s use of marketing, and public relations when they tried to repair damage in their lapse in morals and ethics in aftermath of the oil spill

BP Corporation failed immensely when it chose not to employ public relations that were needed to repair the inherent harm and damage that the oil spill had caused. There was a communication breakdown that was evident when BP addressed the moral issues. “BP’s crisis communication related to the Deepwater Horizon disaster. Specifically, how an organization whose priorities are misaligned with the ethic has a severely limited capacity for delivering a crisis message that resonates with the general public, and especially those most affected by the disaster”. (Veil, S. R., Sellnow, T. L., & Wickline, M. C., 2013, p. 365) Roughly eighty percent of the issues that BP faced were linked to a lack of communication and problems with certainty.

Throughout a cataclysm such as DWH, shareholders, and consumers should be properly informed which would provide everyone with a sense of safety and concern. It also depicts that BP understands the magnitude of the effects of the oil spill and the deaths of their employees. Problem communication can be seen as a functional role instead of it being a reactive problem solution. Therefore, BP did not deal well when using public relations to solve the moral dilemmas which should have been performed to enhance the overall health of the company.

Advertising and promotion also did not aid the company when they tried to strengthen the success that consumers felt. BP also failed to reassure consumers is proving that they were not reckless when they should have portrayed a responsible company.

In some instances where moral dilemmas may be questioned, it is essential for a company to employ active communication to resolve potential issues or ensure the information is precise in repairing such a catastrophe. Hence, engaging shareholders to resolve issues instead of making them feel as if they are omitted from solving the current issues. Moral concerns are responsive as they need some alternatives to ensure there are more acts of fairness as well as a level of equality when making decisions that can occasionally occur when shareholders are egocentric.

To properly obtain a resolution for moral problems, there are two distinctive frameworks that should be employed when developing accurate decisions. Therefore, BP Corporation’s dilemma or crisis might be unraveled using a technique with will ensure equality when handling all shareholders that are concerned with issues. In spite of the muddied name of BP, there can still be some optimism if they push themselves out of their current moral crisis. The company may still have an elevated likelihood of existing and thriving in a contemporary market, and it may be able to sell its products and services to a larger more understanding marketplace.


Arnold, D. G., Beauchamp, T. L., & Bowie, N. E. (2013). Ethical Theory and Business (9th Ed.). 978-0-205-16908-5

BP Products and Services. (2015). Retrieved 21 December 2016, from

Bodkin, C. D., Amato, L. H., & Amato, C. H. (2015). The influence of green advertising during a corporate disaster. Corporate Communications, 20(3), 256-275. Retrieved from

Davis, A. B. (2011). Pure economic loss claims under the oil pollution act: Combining policy and congressional intent. Columbia Journal of Law and Social Problems, 45(1), 1-44.

Retrieved from accountid=8289

Faroohar, R. (2006, 09 Oct). Big oil’s big problem; despite billions in profits, the majors are full of gloom, warning of steadily rising costs and lower prices. Newsweek. Retrieved from

Haq, H. (2010, 03 May). BP oil spill 2010; how much will it cost? The Christian Science Monitor. Retrieved from

Kaye, L. (2015). Five Years After Deepwater Horizon, Can BP Repair Its Reputation? Retrieved from ears_after_deepwater_horizon_can_bp_repair_its_reputa


Trefis: BP earnings review: Lower oil prices offset higher upstream production, thicker downstream margins (2015). . Chatham: Newstex. Retrieved from

Veil, S. R., Sellnow, T. L., & Wickline, M. C. (2013). British Petroleum: An Egregious Violation of the Ethic of First and Second Things. Business & Society Review (00453609), 118(3), 361-381. doi:10.1111/basr.12014


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For this project, you will write a research paper in APA format on a company that you are familiar with.  Include the following information in your paper:

Write a research paper on a company that you are familiar with.

Write a research paper on a company that you are familiar with.

  • Company Overview
    • What is the name and mission statement of the company?
    • What is the history of the company up through the present day? Summarize major events and discuss how those major events affected the company.
  • Marketing
    • Discuss their marketing and distribution strategies. Provide examples to support your statements.
  • Ethical Decision Making
    • Provide at least one example that demonstrates what you consider to be a good ethical decision this company has made in the past or is in the process of making/considering today. Discuss why they made this decision (What prompted them to make it? What do they hope to achieve by making it? etc). Discuss why you consider this a good ethical decision.
    • Provide at least one example that demonstrates what you consider to be a poor ethical decision this company made in the past or is in the process of making/considering today. Discuss why they made this decision (What prompted them to make it? What do they hope to achieve by making it? etc). Discuss why you consider this a poor ethical decision.
  • Financials
    • Where does the company stand financially? Are they losing money or making a profit?
    • Include at least one of the following financial statements: Income Statement, Balance Sheet, or Cash flow Statement. The statement must be within the last 3 years.
  • Discuss the good and/or bad effects that the current pandemic has had on the company thus far. Provide examples.

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