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Published by:
MIT Sloan's LearningEdge (2011)
13 September 2011
28 pages
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The BP and the Deepwater Horizon Disaster of 2010 case traces the series of events involving employees of British Petroleum and its contractors leading up to the explosion and sinking of the Deepwater Horizon oil rig on April 20, 2010. 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, and individuals’ ability (inability) to voice their values as contributing factors. Learning objective is to get students to engage 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 leadership, ethics and corporate responsibility courses. This case is part of the MIT Sloan free case collection (visit for more information on the collection).
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