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Essays on Developing Effective Teamwork in Organisations by Considering the Organisational Structure - British Petroleum Case Study

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The paper "Developing Effective Teamwork in Organisations by Considering the Organisational Structure - British Petroleum" is a great example of a business case study.   British Petroleum (BP) is a multinational firm that is a foremost player in the oil and gas industry. BP produces a wide array of products that include fuel for transportation, energy for lighting and heat, lubricants, and many petrochemicals (BP 2014 p. 2). At present, BP operates in around 80 countries, and it employs over 83,000 people. BP’ s history began with the 1908 discovery of oil in a remote part of Persia by George Reynolds (BP 2015a).

The Anglo-Persian Oil Company, which would subsequently become BP, was on the brink of losing all financing before the eventual discovery of the oil. Further discoveries, the start of the automobile age, and reconstruction after the Second World War fuelled the growth of BP due to the increasing importance of oil. The firm has faced considerable challenges during its existence. For instance, the 1970s saw the nationalization of many of the firm’ s operations in the Middle East (BP 2015a).

Additionally, the firm had to deal with a major environmental disaster when one of its underwater exploded in 2010, leading to the spilling of vast volumes of oil into the Gulf of Mexico. As stated, BP operates in over 80 countries in the world. The firm has developed two main divisions to meet its organizational goals and the energy needs of people around the world. The first division is the upstream division which handles the exploration of natural gas and oil, production, transportation, storage and processing. On the other hand, the downstream division handles final products and services like lubricants, fuels, and other petrochemicals (BP 2014, p.

25). The firm’ s core brands include Castrol, Aral, BP, and Wild Bean Café , and ampm. It is worth mentioning that BP has developed an interest in the research and deployment of alternative sources of energy like wind power, biofuels, and solar energy (BP 2014, p. 37). This strategy is informed by a realization that fossil fuels will be depleted, and that the world will move towards more sustainable sources of energy. Understand the relationship between organisational structure and culture Task 1 According to Daft (2010, p.

244), organizing defines the deployment of the resources available to an organization in order to achieve strategic goals. An organizational structure defines the official reporting relationships that cover the chain of authority, a number of hierarchical levels, decision responsibility, and span of the manager’ s control (Daft 2010, p. 244). Two notable organizational structures are the functional structure and the divisional structure. The functional structure consists of groups that perform the same tasks. For instance, an organization can have marketing, human resource, engineering, and finance units that are controlled by high-level management.

It is notable that this organizational structure emphasises technical skills rather than final products. The benefit of a functional structure is that it maximises productivity since skills get consolidated into one part of the organization. Another advantage is that the structure fosters career development for people who want to be specialists. On the other hand, the functional structure has several disadvantages. These include poor accountability, limited organizational understanding, and slower response to changes in the external environment.


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Economides, M 2010. BP culture made gulf spill inevitable. Forbes. Viewed 15 January, 2015

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Working at BP 2015b. BP. Viewed 15 January, 2015

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