The Aspects And Peculiarities Of British Petroleum (BP) Company

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Today, there are a lot of different industries and companies operating within these industries, each of which has its own special characteristics, history and future potential. Despite the fact that the market is constantly changing and there are new more modern and up-to-date companies that can impose competition on established market leaders, companies with a long history are able to resist new young companies and can make every effort to prevent the loss of their market share. Such companies can be called successful and in order to find successful companies, it is necessary to conduct a comprehensive analysis of the industry, its external and internal factors, as well as to analyze the strategy and work of individual companies, because a very large number of factors affect the success of its work. Periodically analyze the industry and individual companies is very important, as it allows us to identify the most problematic issues that may hinder the further development of the company, as well as to identify possible ways out of this situation, because if the company do not respond to the problems that arise, they can grow very much and then the whole company will suffer greatly from them (Johnson and Scholes, 2002). Moreover, the analysis helps to identify the most powerful aspects of the company within the studied industry and these distinctive features can be used when creating a company development strategy, because the advantages must always be used to improve market positions. Also, the analysis of the management strategy of the human resources has a great value and is very important for any company (Millmore, 2007). In this paper, we will look at the features and distinctive qualities of a British company like BP company.

Human resources are very important for the organization, because today there are a lot of theories on effective management of human capital, which becomes one of the main competitive advantages (Collings and Wood, 2009). Firstly, companies try to lure prospective employees away from their competitors by offering them higher wages and more comfortable working conditions. Secondly, companies invest very big amounts of money in the development of their personnel, willing to get a greater return on their work (Farnham, 2010). All this suggests that companies are trying to develop special models, strategic HR management models that take into account the specifics of the business and find the best ways to manage human resources (Storey, 2007). Among these models, we can distinguish the Guest model and Devanna models, each of which has its own distinctive features, although both of them perform the same business tasks.

Guest model allows us to describe the process of adopting and creating an HR management program as a result of forming a business strategy. According to the model, the HR manager should be guided by the overall strategy of the company, because it is necessary to make decisions in accordance with it, for example, it depends on the overall strategy whether to improve the professional qualities of existing employees or by hiring new personnel who already have the necessary knowledge and skills. It is worth noting that Guest created his own model, in which he pointed out the dependence of the company’s financial performance on the business strategy and HR strategy, which allows us to conclude that both of these concepts play a very important role in the performance of the company. What’s more, these two concepts stand in front of many others, which explains the high dependence, for example, of productivity and quality of services or goods on both the business strategy and the HR strategy. That is why these two strategies must match to each other so that the result is exactly what the company’s management expects to see.

The second model, which is the Devanna model, also suggests that the company needs HR management and business strategy to match, since in this case the company can resist external factors. This makes the two models very similar, but the second model also provides with a third condition, which is the organizational structure of the company, which must also correspond to the strategy and HR management. Most likely, this model is better in taking into account the different characteristics of companies of different sizes, because, for example, the HR management programs of large and small companies will differ significantly, at least because of the complexity and detailed hierarchy in large companies. However, we can’t say that either of the two models is better.

After examining the main models that allow us to link HR management and the overall strategy of the company, we can begin to analyze one of the most important industries of the UK, which is the oil and gas industry. The UK is an extremely important player in the black gold market, as this country produces approximately 1.4 million barrels of oil per day, and it is worth remembering that the total worldwide production is approximately 75-78 million barrels per day.

To analyze the volume of extracted oil in a more detailed way we can study the following diagram:

This influence on the oil market is directly related to the history of the Kingdom, because British companies have always sought to expand their territory of influence and develop new lands. Due to this desire, companies could expand their production, which had a positive impact on the development of the industry. To conduct a more detailed analysis of the factors affecting this industry, we will conduct a study using the modern PEST method.

Politics plays a special role among all other types of factors in this analysis. Today, there are a lot of interesting and intimidating processes related to the UK in the political sphere. Of course, we are talking about BREXIT, which calls into question the preservation of close and warm ties with many members of the European Union, in whose environment the business of the United Kingdom has worked for many years. This political upheaval will inevitably lead to the fact that the country’s authorities will have to re-establish diplomatic relations with many countries and now it is impossible to be sure that the influential position of the UK will remain in the form that we have known it for almost 50 years of being in the EU (47 years to be precise).

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Economic factors are also important for this industry. Among the most important are the prices of raw materials produced by companies from the UK, which show extremely high volatility. In addition, due to the turmoil in the oil market, when prices dropped from $ 100+ per barrel to $ 27 and then rose to $ 60-70 during 6 years, many companies experienced difficulties due to the unprofitability of oil at such extremely low values. Such major changes greatly affect the financial stability of companies. In addition, it is important to note the exchange rate of the national currency, which has also changed very much in recent years due to many political and economic news. All this has a certain impact on the oil and gas industry.

Social factors also have great impact on industry, as the working population seeks to achieve better working conditions, pay levels, and much more, and it’s all very negative effect on the profitability level of the companies.

Due to technical factors, the industry is developing on the one hand, and, on the other hand, faces certain difficulties. Today, every year new inventions appear that simplify the production and processing of oil, which can reduce the costs of producers. However, due to the fact that these innovations are beginning to be used by all companies in the industry, the market is experiencing an increase in incoming oil, which increases the supply of raw materials, and in conditions of constant demand, this situation leads to a decrease in revenue due to falling prices for raw materials. Therefore, technological factors have two sides of influence on the development of the oil and gas industry.

In the gas and oil industry of the UK, one of the market leaders is BP, which is known for its long history, which has allowed the company to go through many great difficulties. However, the company successfully copes with all the problems and forms a very good position in the market. Here we can see the market share allocation among the oil and gas industry companies presented in the UK (Statista, 2020):

So, the BP company has a big part of the UK oil and gas industry. This is due to the organizational strategy created by the company’s management. Firstly, the vision of the company is “providing the world with high quality energy’ (BP global, 2019). This means that the company values the trust of its customers and is ready to provide the quality of products that customers demand. In addition, mission of the company states the provision of a range of carbon energy including oil and gas, produced and processed by the most modern technologies, allowing to provide products in the required quality, at the prices that buyers can afford, as well as with additional preferences of buyers, which are constantly being improved, which allows to further optimize production and reduce prices for the offered products. BP company provides a large range of the carbon products used in various fields and for various purposes, which allows the company to have several groups of buyers. The company also wants to provide products that meet the high requirements of consumers, and in the long term, the company plans to develop and continue the process of reducing the cost of production, which will have a positive impact on the price. Corporate goals of the company include “to achieve a target of 3.5 million tons of sustainable greenhouse gas emissions reductions” by 2025 and to rewards 36,000 employees due to emissions reduction (BP global, 2019). Generally, if we summarize all this information, we can get the company’s strategy, which is long-term development, which can help to compete in the oil and gas market.

To indicate the position of the company we can use the relevant SWOT-analysis, which can help us to find out some features of the company. First of all, among the strengths we can indicate the desire to fit the modern ecological standards and even to overperform them. Also, we can speak of the big share of the UK market which helps the company to get big revenue and profit. The weaknesses of the BP company is overall sizes which may the dangerous and uncomfortable while making any innovations as it is hard to control the execution of all instructions. Among the company’s opportunities is the possibility of introducing new technologies for extraction and processing of raw materials, which will have a positive impact on the company’s work. However, there are also serious threats to the company, since due to the ambiguous political situation (mainly because of BREXIT), it is likely that relations with major foreign partners may undergo major changes, which may lead to the loss of key partners and some of the product sales market. As we can see, BP company is a very stable company that can achieve good results and significantly improve its position in the market if managers make the right decisions.

If we study the link between the BP company’s HR strategy and overall business strategy, we will see that they are very strongly linked. This is reflected in many real examples where the company, for example, gives some benefits to its employees for working effectively and achieving the company’s strategic goals (Leopold and Harris, 2009). For example, the company thanks and rewards 36 thousand of its employees for their active actions to reduce the company’s emissions of harmful substances into the atmosphere, because the company recognizes the Paris agreement on climate protection and want to reduce the negative impact on the environment. As already mentioned, one of the corporate goals of the company is to reduce emissions to 3.5 million tons of gases by 2025. Employees take all possible actions to ensure that the company’s goals are achieved, and the world community understands that the company is ready to fight against air pollution. Although the year 2025 has not yet arrived, and the final goal of reducing emissions has not yet been reached, due to the advance of the schedule for reducing emissions, the company rewards its employees, which gives reason to believe that the HR strategy of the BP company really supports and correlates with business strategies. Moreover, we can analyze this example using the two models described earlier. When creating a business strategy, the company planned a certain level of financial results. In order to achieve the planned targets, the company decides to reward its employees if their actions lead to the achievement of the planned targets (Roper, Prouska, and Chatrakul, 2010). In addition, due to the fact that the company’s organizational structure assumes a clear hierarchy among its employees, they, who have competently cooperated, can consistently follow the orders of top managers and achieve the set tasks (Truss, Mankin and Kelliher, 2012).

BP company, being one of the leaders in the UK gas and oil industry, has a good business strategy that can allow the firm to occupy a large market share for a very long time. The company’s business strategy provides with development in several directions, however, when talking about the potential future of the company, it is necessary to take into account not only the desires and aspirations of the company’s owners and of the top-level management, but also the capabilities, quality of training and motivation of the company’s employees (Rees and Smith, 2017). Since companies have recently become much more appreciative of human resources, as they allow the company to achieve key business goals, organizations are extremely interested in developing a high-quality and detailed HR strategy (Boxall and Purcell, 2011). As we can see in the example of BP, compliance with the HR strategy largely determines whether the company’s goals will be achieved, because it is the capabilities of employees that determine how successful the company will be (Marchington, Wilkinson, and Marchington, 2012). If the company wants all the targets and expectations to be met in the future, it is extremely important to take care of the situation with employees who need to do a lot of work, so that they direct all their efforts in the direction that will allow the company to develop.

References

  1. Boxall, P. and Purcell, J. (2011) Strategy and Human Resource Management. Basingstoke: Palgrave, pp. 46-68.
  2. BP global. (2019). BP to support investor group’s call for greater reporting around Paris goals | News and insights | Home. [online] Available at: https://www.bp.com/en/global/corporate/news-and-insights/press-releases/bp-to-support-investor-groups-call-for-greater-reporting-around-paris-goals.html [Accessed 22 Feb. 2020].
  3. BP global. (2019). Investor presentations | Investors | Home. [online] Available at: https://www.bp.com/en/global/corporate/investors/investor-presentations.html [Accessed 22 Feb. 2020].
  4. Collings. D.G. and Wood, G. (2009) Human Resource Management: A critical approach. Abingdon: Routledge, pp.103-121.
  5. Farnham, D. (2010) Human Resource Management in Context: Strategy, insights and Solutions. London: CIPD, pp.24-29.
  6. Johnson, G. and Scholes, K. (2002) Exploring Corporate Strategy: Text and Cases. Harlow: Pearson Education.
  7. Leopold, J. and Harris, L. (2009) The Strategic Management of Human Resources. Harlow: Pearson Education, pp.49-57.
  8. Marchington, M., Wilkinson, A. and Marchington, L. (2012). Human resource management at work. London: CIPD Publishing, pp.138-162.
  9. Millmore, M., Lewis, P., Saunders, M., Thornhill, A. and Morrow, T. (2007) Strategic Human Resource Management: Contemporary issues. Harlow: Pearson Education, pp. 58-121.
  10. Rees, G. and Smith, P. (2017). Strategic human resource management. 2nd ed. California: Sage Publications, pp.361-402.
  11. Roper, I., Prouska, R. and Chatrakul Na Ayudhya, U. (2010). Critical issues in human resource management. London: CIPD, pp.32-38.
  12. Statista. (2020). Motor fuel market share by brand in the UK 2019 | Statista. [online] Available at: https://www.statista.com/statistics/312071/motor-fuel-market-share-by-brand-in-the-united-kingdom-uk/ [Accessed 23 Feb. 2020].
  13. Storey, J. (2007). Human resource management: a critical text. London: Thomson, pp.24-38.
  14. Truss, C., Mankin, D. and Kelliher, C. (2012) Strategic Human Resource Management. Oxford University Press, pp.119-135.

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