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MIT Sloan > LearningEdge > Operations Management > BP and the Deepwater Horizon Disaster of 2010
BP and the Deepwater Horizon
Christina Ingersoll, Richard M. Locke and Cate Reavis
“Assurance is killing us.” – Tony Hayward, CEO, BP (The Guardian, 9/25/07)
The explosion and sinking of the Deepwater Horizon oil rig on April 20, 2010, resulted from a series of events and decisions involving employees of BP and its contractors. While there does not appear to be one clear culprit or reason that led to the disaster, the case explores issues of organization, information, and decision-making, as well as the ability or inability of individuals to voice their values as contributing factors.
Learning Objective
To engage students in what it means to act ethically in today’s business world; understand that decisions are strongly influenced by broader factors such as culture, organizational design, and decision-makers’ values; and think critically about ethical dilemmas and how to voice their values in response to those dilemmas.
Could be taught in the following course(s)
leadership, ethics, corporate responsibility, operations management