Before Robert Horton took over as CEO and Chairman of British Petroleum (BP) in 1990, the company's situation was difficult in terms of the lack of clearness of mission and strategic policy within the top 150 managers surveyed at the beginning of 1989. This survey revealed the managers feeling in relation to the company's structure, which obstructed collaboration and operational flexibility within different business (White 1992).
Additionally in the late 1980s, BP was described as a politicized, top-heavy bureaucracy, administrated throughout by a burdensome matrix structure. An example of this is the 15 signatures required before of any financial proposals could be accepted; also the working hours of top executives were absorbed in meetings of 86 committees (Roberts 2005).
When Horton took over the company's control, he announced the Project 1990, whose main objectives were to reduce organizational complexity in order to develop the speed and effectiveness of managerial decision-making, redesign the central organization, and cost reduction. This last goal was achieved thought the transfer of authority for numerous decisions, from the corporate centre to the business streams. During this process, management positions were eliminated, and office staff was reduced by over 80 percent (Roberts 2005).
Horton's plan to change the company culture from one of secrecy to one of openness was depicted by the acronym named OPEN, meaning: openness, personal impact, empowerment and networking (Varey 1997). Though the changes above were necessary, the plan introduced by Robert Horton was not completed under his management. He was replaced by David Simon who continued the transformation at BP but in a different leadership style.
[...] In the case of transformation at BP demonstrates the existence of two different types of leadership in the two people who carried out the changes in this company. It is possible to affirm that from the point of view of leadership behavior, Horton's leadership style is directive, also called authoritarian or autocratic leadership. This type of behavior is characteristic of a person who formulates all the decisions himself, and expects that all employees follow orders (Senior 2006). The result of Horton's style was that in 1991, as a survey showed, many employees had lost faith in project 1990 because the limitations it faced due to its failure to cope with basic measures to promote good communication. [...]
[...] While commenting on the different aspects of the environment and its extremely volatile and dynamic nature, scholars are generally in agreement with the fact that business organizations are likely to be most affected by the many powerful changes in the external environment. Internal forces The second set of changes is from the internal forces emanating from within organizations. Organizations have somewhat greater control over these forces and, in many cases, can be proactive in handling these forces. Proactive actions include training, development, redesign, recruitment, compensation, investment in plants and equipment, modernization, joint ventures, contracting, mergers and strategic reorientation. [...]
[...] 3rd edition. Italy: Thompson Learning. Pettigrew, A., 2003.Innovative Forms of Organizing International Perspectives. London : Sage Publications. Available from: http://site.ebrary.com/lib/bournemouth/Doc?id=10080932&ppg=201 (Assessed 14/04/08). Roberts, J Organizing for Performance: How BP Did It. Stanford Business. Available from: www.gsb.stanford.edu/news/bmag/sbsm0502/feature_bp.shtml (Assessed 14/04/08). Senior, B. & Fleming, J Organizational change. 3rd edition. Harlow: Pearson Education. The economist BP after Horton. 7/4/92, Vol Issue 7766 Available [...]
[...] An example of this is the description gave by Evans who described David Simon as a person with a smooth personality and diplomatic style The change that British Petroleum experienced was, as in the case of other organizations, due to forces from outside and some from inside, which should give the organization some power to cope with the changing environment (Martin 2005). The changes that BP experienced were: a change in culture, vision, and values, also involving cost reduction; all this to make the company more efficient in the new millennium and keep BP as an independent firm (Horton cited in Evans 2002). [...]
[...] New laws will probably have to be implemented to counter the actual crisis as China has done, coming up with the one child policy to control the population (BBC 2000). http://www.greenpeace.org/usa/press-center/releases2/companies-ngos-and- internatio External forces The impact of the external environment is relatively unchangeable in the short run, and these forces include increased competition, technological obsolescence and abrupt discontinuities. The turbulence of the external environment has been highlighted by numerous researchers. For example, Milliken (1987) and Thompson (1967) have asserted that uncertainty about the environment is the fundamental problem with which top-level organizational administrators must cope. [...]
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