Teaching Resources Library


BP and the Deepwater Horizon Disaster of 2010



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 Objectives

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.

Appropriate for the Following Course(s) 

leadership, ethics, corporate responsibility, operations management

BP and the Deepwater Horizon Disaster of 2010 

Educator Copy*

*An educator (non-watermarked) copy of this case is available only to individuals who hold teaching positions at academic institutions and want to use the case in a course.