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TOK IN BUSINESS & MANAGEMENT

LEENA PALEKAR
Queensland Academy for Creative Industries, Brisbane, Australia.

ABSTRACT
In this document, I have related the BP oil spill to TOK.
Tony
Hayward,
who joined
BP n 1982
took on
challenging
assignments
from North
Sea offshore
BP has
rigs to the
attempted to
BP’s CEO jungles of
avoid human
Tony South
rights
Hayward America
problems in
asked to guarding its
accept the oil-drilling
blame for the BP has invested
operations in
oil spill, in renewable
poor
being forced energies
countries
to resign

Does the study


of issues in
How has BP
Humanities
being
leave you with a
challenged?
responsibility?
(relate areas
of knowledge
and ways of
knowing)

Knowledge Claim – Methodology 1 (Ways of Knowing)

PERCEPTION: (live video images)


Useful: * evidence of failure of ‘Top Kill’ procedure

* ‘Static Kill’ procedure perceived as a permanent


solution

Bias: * BP’s top executives ‘uncertain’ about plugging the oil


spill

LANGUAGE: (media’s hasty generalisation, Barack Obama’s


comment)

Useful:* Communication, British Petroleum to BP, Beyond


Petroleum for BP

Bias:* Propaganda (picture of Hayward in baseball cap and


sunglasses, sailing around the Isle of Wight, his comment “I would
like my life back” – just six weeks after the oil rig explosion)
* Emotive wording of Barack Obama comparing the oil spill
to the 9/11 attacks

REASON: (logic/experiments)

Useful:* Scientific Method

Bias:* Rationalising bias

EMOTION (damage to beaches, marshes, wildlife and fishing)

Useful:* Rapid Cognition

Bias:* Prejudice
Knowledge Claim – Methodology 2 (Areas of Knowledge)

ETHICS – companies putting profits ahead of public good

POLITICS – United States versus United Kingdom, almost 23,000 of


its employees are American, compared with 10,000 Brits, American
firms owned the rig which exploded, the Board of Directors split
evenly between British and American nationals

MORALITY - putting at stake the livelihoods of innocent people

SCIENCE – implications on marine life, coastline, beaches,


environment