TheDeep Water Horizon Disaster


Poorcommunications among the various parties, including, BP, the MineralsManagement Service, and the Transocean drilling team led to ethicalproblems. The individuals compartmentalized information and resultedin the provision of insufficient facts to the decision makers.Consequently, the analysts ended up making critical decisions withoutenough background history. For example, the engineers who noticed thefailure in the first pressure test could have given the issue moreattention if they had the information that there was a problem withthe cement used to seal the well. The engineers’ assumptions leadto the accumulation of hydrocarbons in the oil drilling well thatresulted in an explosion (Brown, n.d).

Thekey decision makers should have paid more attention to the initialhardships and critically evaluated the possible outcomes of variousresolutions. Instead, it is indicated that the limited amount oftime, as well as the resultant pressure to complete the oil drillingprocess overwhelmed the main players. Consequently, they failed togive sufficient time to the exploration of all the available optionsthat could have helped in preventing the oil leakage disaster (Brown,n.d ).


TheBP team was in charge of ensuring that there was sufficientcommunication during the drilling project. It was also responsiblefor ensuring that the appropriate rules and regulations were followedby involving the regulatory authorities. The minerals managementservice team was responsible for the overall supervision, andensuring that adequate safety precautions were undertaken during theentire process. The Transocean drilling team was accountable forproviding appropriate oil drilling operations in line with theprovisions of the contract and the law. All the teams were fully andequally accountable to ensure the smooth exploration of the oil well(Brown, n.d).

Themineral management service team was in charge of auditing thedrilling process and ensuring that the primary company followed theright procedures and compliance with the law. On the other hand, theTransocean team was responsible for advising the BP Company on themost appropriate drilling processes since it is their area ofspecialization (Brown, n.d).


Bureaucracywithin organizations can help in making better decisions. However,there are necessary conditions required, such as open communicationsto guide in better decision making. Communication helps abureaucratic organization to work as a team. In the case of theDeepwater Horizon disaster, the senior management made unanimousdecisions without involving other partners such as the pressuretesting engineers. The lack of open communications made the teamignore the signs of disaster (Brown, n.d).


Betterdecision making in organizations is best implemented by eliminatingthe chances for assumptions. It is imperative for businesses toinstill a culture of responsibility between the employees and themanagement. Consequently, individuals will get a concern forconsulting on the best course of actions when stressful situationsarise. Besides, organizations should cultivate a culture of opencommunication between the main players. The management should informemployees about the basis for every critical decision that has thepotential to affect the reputation and operations of the organization(Brown, n.d).


Improvingcommunications within a complex organization structure requires thecreation of clear communications. Organizations can schedule meetingswhere everyone is informed on the milestones within the execution ofa project. Besides, there should be group communications such asemails where every individual continuously updates their dailyprogress, and every member can read them. A group platform enhancesdiscussions and collaborative decision-making. Besides, it ensuresunity of direction by enabling the various team members to be on thesame footing. Clear responsibilities and duties should support thecommunication structures. For example, BP ought to have clarified theresponsibilities of the service providers in the contract agreement.The contract ought to have specified ownership of liability in thecase any adversity happened within the process of drilling the oilwell (Brown, n.d ).


Brown,E. M. (n.d ). Challenges in ethical decision making. Thedeep water horizon disaster.Case study 17, 233-245