British petroleum is the largest oil company in the world on the basis of market capitalization and proven reserves. It was established in 1908 with oil found in the rugged Persian Gulf after a long and difficult such. Since then, it has transformed from a local oil company to a global energy group, which focuses on various forms of energy. Their businesses include exploration of oil, production, refinery and marketing chemicals. It is the largest energy producing companies in the world that provide fuel for transportation and manufacturing. It extends its services to marketing of petroleum chemicals with a growing presence in gas and solar energy. Due to the nature of its major product, oil, the company is mostly linked to ethical issues such as environmental challenges on a global scale. However, in recent years, the British petroleum company has embarked on reviewing its ethical issues both to its employees and the public. This move is aimed at improving public confidence and profit maximization for the company.
This is the use of business policies properly in regard to controversial related issues like corporate governance, corporate social responsibility (CSR), bribery, insider training and discrimination (Terry 2011). It applies to all aspects of business conduct and is relevant to the conduct of a particular individual and the entire organization. The work of business ethics is to implicitly regulate areas and details of behavior that lie beyond government control. Therefore, business ethics ensures good moral business practices in the society hence creating conducive environment for competitors, consumers, suppliers, the government and all other stakeholders in the business. Ethical theories Business ethical theories and principles are the foundations of ethical analysis of the business because they are the viewpoints of the society to the business. Through this analysis, the guidance on the ethical performance of the business can be found. These theories include utilitarian approach, rights ethical approach, justice approach, the common good approach and the virtue approach (Leonard, 2011). Utilitarian approach This is the oldest business ethics theory propagated by philosophers like Jeremy, Bentham, James Mill and Mill’s son John Stuart Mill (John 2002). This approach focuses on using ethical actions that would promote values among the societies while limiting the amount of harm as possible. It therefore incorporates the maximum number of stakeholders for it to succeed. In the recent past, the British petroleum company has not been able to limit the amount of harm caused by the company’s operations. Accidents due to human error and mechanical failures have been blamed on various occasions. For example, explosions in Texas in 2005 that killed workers.