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Analysis of Leadership in Crisis-Mode: The case of BP and the 2010 Deepwater Horizon Disaster (Essay Sample)


Analysis of Leadership in Crisis-Mode: The case of BP and the 2010 Deepwater Horizon Disaster
For this assessment, you will deliver a short essay as an individual in which you analyze and comment on leadership during a crisis, focusing on the case of BP and the 2010 Deepwater Horizon disaster in the Gulf of Mexico. You will conduct research on this disaster and the response of Tony Hayward as CEO of BP at that time. This tragedy led to 11 deaths and widespread pollution, which affected health, wildlife, and the tourism industry in several states in the U.S.
1. You may do this assignment or assignment 2 A.
2. Complete background readings, listed below and/or any others you find relevant.
3. Conduct further research, using online and other appropriate sources, to investigate the responses and comments by Tony Hayward, the CEO of BP at the time of the Deepwater Horizon disaster in 2010.
4. In your short essay (approx. 600-800 w.) you should discuss Tony Hayward's actions and comments and whether they were appropriate to the situation in view of his role as a leader. Provide specific examples, including his responses at the Senate Investigations hearing in Washington under Senator Henry Waxman.
Your essay should also discuss how, in your view, a leader should respond to a crisis situation such as the Deepwater Horizon disaster. You may also discuss what an organization and its leaders can do to help address potential risks and communication issues with a view to preventing such crises. Thinking about prevention is very important, and many articles about Deepwater Horizon address this. Use the Internet to access some of them.
Justify your analysis, your discussion and your opinions by drawing on your research, course concepts and frameworks. You may also integrate your own beliefs about leadership. Cite sources as appropriate.
Background reading:
Timothy L. Sellnow. "BP's crisis communication: Finding Redemption through renewal" Communication Currents Vol. 5 Iss. 4 (2010)
Available at: http://www(dot)natcom(dot)org/CommCurrentsArticle.aspx?id=981
Maura Ciccarelli. BP's Bubbling Cauldron. Human Resource Executive Online, March 2011, Available at: http://www(dot)hreonline(dot)com/HRE/view/story.jhtml?id=533332933


Analysis of Leadership in Crisis Mode
Institutional Affiliation
Course Title
Analysis of Leadership in Crisis Mode
On April 20, 2010, the world witnessed the worst environmental disaster after BP, a leading Deepwater drilling company, was unable to contain a gas leak that led to a blast of massive proportions. The incident took place in the Gulf of Mexico, which is located 50 miles from the coastline of Louisiana. The occurrence received much media coverage after 17 people were injured and 11 more killed after the oil rig burst into flames (Ciccarelli, 2011). At the time of the event, Tony Hayward was the CEO of BP and was relieved of his duties since the company did not have a crisis management strategy. In regards to the reaction of the Deepwater Horizon crisis, the leadership, particularly BP's CEO, was not well prepared for such a disaster (Ciccarelli, 2011). Thus, it is essential to explore the how the CEO in BP, at the time, responded to the disaster and what can be learned from the crisis.
The Disaster
Transocean, an offshore drilling company, leased to BP the oilrig that burst into flames leading to loss of lives for workers and seriously wounding others. It was learnt after the explosion, on April 20, that a concrete core installed by Halliburton was not strong enough to contain a surge of natural gas that caused the explosion (Starbird et al., 2015). The event revealed that it was not the first time that BP was involved in exploded oil rigs. The concrete core was found not to be strong enough to contain the force of the gas because they were installed using a blend of concrete that contained traces of nitrogen gas to speed up curing. According to Starbird et al (2015), the explosion caused environmental effects and affected wildlife in the area surrounding the Gulf of Mexico.
BP Leadership after the Deepwater Horizon Explosion
While responding to a crisis that has particularly affected many people, characteristics of strong leadership are important when building confidence. Following the Deepwater Horizon explosion, Hayward failed to communicate on such leadership qualities (Ye & Ki, 2017). Inopportunely, BP's CEO failed to respond adequately to the warnings revealed by similar incidents that had happened

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