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Personal Case Study Reflection - Essay Example

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Assessment of a Decision-Making Process Introduction An international oil company, “A” Petrol Co. (hereafter APC) entered the Southeast Asian market with the intention of enhancing their profits in the high-growth emerging economies in the region. APC’s first projects was the construction of a number of depots in the southern Philippine island of Mindanao…
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Download file to see previous pages It decided, however, not to extend the same coverage to its local staff, providing them only with the standard life insurance. Despite precautions taken, a local rebel group captured three personnel, one American and two Filipinos. Without disclosing the facts, APC later announced the return of the American engineer; the two Filipinos, however, remained in captivity, and only subsequently were able to escape and return to their home base, unharmed but severely traumatized and weakened. This study intends to examine the decision-making process undertaken by APC wherein it was decided that only the expatriate engineers be given the higher insurance coverage, but that the local personnel be denied this policy. The issues that were considered in this process shall be discussed, followed by the process by which the issues were resolved and the decision arrived at. The outcome of the decision and its effects are thereafter assessed. A summary reflection follows, comparing the specifics of the decision-making process with academic theory, and a conclusion explains the propriety of the decision, or lack of it. A final generalisation concerning planning and decision-making under uncertainty is made in completion of the exercise. Issue and their causes There are a number of crucial issues considered in this situation: (1) Financial justification. Apparently, first and foremost issue considered, rightly or wrongly, is the need to pay higher premiums for personnel perceived to be of lower risk to the organisation. All employees are covered by the group life insurance coverage offered by the firm as a benefit. However, for those perceived in higher risk, they are given a more thorough coverage. The assumption was that foreigners are greater targets of kidnap-and-ransom (Risk Atlas, 2012) compared to the locals, because foreigners stand out in the crowd, perceived as rich, and are viewed with political clout, while locals blend in, are not particularly moneyed, and would not command the interest of the political authorities. As such, the added financial cost of higher insurance premiums is more justified for expatriates than for local personnel. (2) Morality of treating human resources above financial resources. The next apparent issue is that of treating people’s lives and safety as more important than whatever money the business may save from foregoing their protection. The morality of endangering human lives is put on the balance against enhancing profits by reducing spending, considering that APC placed the engineers in the same risky situation. This situation redounds to APC’s corporate social responsibility to ensure their employees’ health and safety (HSE, 2013). (3) Racial or ethnic discrimination – Closely related to the preceding issue is that of discrimination in providing personal protection based on differences in race. Differences in the first issue notwithstanding, the law provides equal protection to individuals regardless of race, creed, ethnicity, and so forth. The difference between this and the second issue above is that discrimination is based on the law on human rights rather than principles of morality or ethics. The decision-making process used The decision was undertaken by the regional operations manager for Asia and the Pacific (RMA). The RMA made the decision unilaterally and personally, based on a cost-benefit study he had ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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