British Petroleum in Southern USA coastal regions (Culture & CSR)



Module Title

“Marketing International Business: Branding, Communications, and Business Relationships”

Level 7

Title of Assignment

British Petroleum in Southern USA coastal regions (Culture & CSR)

This is an INDIVIDUAL assignment and should be presented in a REPORT style format with a word count of 3000 words (excluding appendices and references).

The editorial requirements for the assignment are:

Font type: Times New Roman

Font size: 12

Double line spacing

1. An INDIVIDUAL Report (50% of total marks)

To what extent and why should British Petroleum adapt its brand image to enhance its acceptability with the socio cultural and ethical requirements within the Southern USA coastal regions?

In your answer you should ensure that the following are discussed:

1. The role of cross cultural communications in stakeholder relationships.


2. Culture in ethics and corporate social responsibility (CSR)


3. The brand as a means of international communication


4. Spelling, grammar and references


Directed reading includes, but is not confined to:

Balmer, J. M., Powell, S. M., & Greyser, S. A. (2011). “Explicating Ethical Corporate marketing. Insights from the BP Deepwater Horizon Catastrophe: the Ethical Brand that Exploded and then Imploded”. Journal of Business Ethics, 102(1), 1-14.(

“The Deepwater Horizon oil spill and the Gulf of Mexico fishing industry”. Congressional Research Service, Library of Congress, 2011.(





British Petroleum in Southern USA Coastal Regions

British Petroleum is a multinational company with headquarters located in London. The main products sold by the company include the petroleum and gas. It is among the largest oil and gas companies in the world. The company operates in more eighty countries (BP, 2015, p. 1). Consequently, the company is dealing with stakeholders from different communities, ethnicity, and culture. It is essential for the company to ensure an effective coexistence in these diverse backgrounds. Such can be attained through cross-cultural communication and social responsibility. Cross-cultural communication is necessary for enhancing the relationship between the company and other stakeholders such as employees, government, customers, and suppliers. The company also needs to ensure ethical and social responsibility within the communities where its major plants are located.

British Petroleum had maintained a quality brand image since the 1920s until 2010 when there was an oil spill (BP, 2015, p. 1). The explosion had affected the sea creatures and importantly the tourism industry. The company had to deal with cases initiated by the states affected greatly by the oil spill. The company acted negligently in the effort to clean the sea, and the public turned against the company. Cross-cultural communication, ethics, and corporate social responsibility would help rebuild the brand name in the USA.

Role of cross-cultural communications in stakeholder relationships

The cross-cultural communication enhances the relationships between the company, employees, and the customers served by the company. Some of the states are found in the south USA include the Florida, Louisiana, Texas, Alabama, and Mississippi (BP, 2015, p. 1). The communities living in those areas come from diversified social grounds including Native Americans, Blacks, and people from the Asian community. The companies concentrating on the international business needs to ensure a good relationship between the subordinate workers and the senior managers. When the junior employee does not have similar origins with the managers, they are demotivated and possess negative perceptions towards contributing to the effective management. The company would have employees from the Southern coasts of the USA and other parts of the world.

The business managers should encourage the people from the different communities to behave with unity. The unity results into improved effectiveness and innovation. Training is necessary to encourage all the employees to acts and work harmoniously as members of a single community. The main brand of the British Petroleum is ‘BP’. The brand has been recognized all over the world since the 1920s for quality gasoline, fuels, and chemicals used in other industries. The British Petroleum should remind the employees that the company is devoted towards maintaining the good image sustained from the year 1920s (BP, 2015, p. 1). Therefore, cross-cultural communication is necessary to promote effectiveness in the company.

The cross-cultural communication will help the company to understand how it can remain socially responsible in the areas of operations. Besides, rectify the wrongs that have ever been done by the company against the communities living in the USA. The communication of the brand across many cultures in the South Coast of USA would make certain the increased sales of the British Petroleum. The exchange of the communication between the different managers of the company and the communities would facilitate the understanding of the each other needs. Understanding the needs of South Coast of USA communities will enable the company to be able to identify crucial areas that require corporate social responsibility (Aguilera-Caracuel, 2015, p. 325).

Naturally, different communities have varied needs depending on the availability of the resources. The famous brand of the British Petroleum would help the company to make easier the success on the south coast than when the brand was spoiled. The company adopts different messages in varied places to enhance the brand name of the company. For instance, in 2010 the company adopted different messages in Britain and USA in promoting the brand of the British Petroleum. In Britain, the company encouraged the consumers to reduce the carbon (IV) oxide emitted into the atmosphere. The company promoted British Petroleum brand in the USA by investing $15 billion in the effort to discover oil and gas in the Gulf of Mexico (British Petroleum, 2010, p. 25). The brand image is used to win the customers by tailoring the messages according to the needs of the community.

The cross-cultural communication would be necessary to correct the vices that had been committed by the company to the people in the USA. Otherwise, the company would experience huge difficulties when entering the market in the United States on the south coast’s side. The impacts of the well explosions undersea that belonged to the British Petroleum in the Gulf of Mexico is still in the mind of the USA citizens. The oil had flowed into the sea for approximately eighty-seven days (Mobus, 2012, p. 36). The event found mass criticism from the members of the public as the tourism businesses were closed as well as the death of the sea creatures.

The event published a very negative brand image among the Americans. The company spent $28 billion in the clean-up activities while $20 billion were spent in setting a compensation kitty (The Telegraph, 2015, p. 1). The company needs to set out communication strategies across cultures in the USA to restore the glory of the company in the major parts of the USA. Otherwise, the people on the South Coast of the USA would not believe on the facts that the company would be ethical and courteous to prevent such a tragedy from taking place again. The BP needs to convince the USA citizens that the tragedy was accidental and not a fault of the company. The only way the company can attain that is by referencing to the positive side of its brand in other parts of the world.

The cross-communications builds an environment through which the government and Multinational companies can cooperate through mutual understanding. In a democratic environment, the government does according to the wills of the majority. The decisions made by the government are meant to benefit the many people in the society (Chernev & Blair, 2015, p. 1413). For instance, after the great tragedy of the oil spill, five states located in the South that include Florida, Texas, Mississippi, Alabama and Louisiana in collaboration with the justice department sued the British Petroleum.

British Petroleum had agreed to pay a fine of the $18.7 billion for the damage caused in those states. Nevertheless, the decision is yet to gain the court approval, and many environmentalists believe that the company is getting away easily without compensating all the stakeholders affected by the tragedy. The British Petroleum needs first to communicate effectively to people living in the USA before it can communicate with the government. The USA government does its activities in a democratic way. To succeed, the British Petroleum must effectively establish a positive relationship with the people living on the Southern coast in the USA.

Culture in ethics and corporate social responsibility

It is vital to consider the ethics and culture in the relationship between the people of Southern USA coastal regions and the British Petroleum. The conduct of the British Petroleum had been put in question at various times. The tragedy of the Gulf of Mexico revealed that the company had not established adequate precautionary measures to prevent the event of the oil spill. It is believed that the British Petroleum had only implemented measures that would help the company stay within the law. In fact, the activities done in response to the tragedy marked a huge betrayal to the people of the South Coast, cultural institutions, and creatures (Cherry & Sneirson, 2011, p. 989). The company was very reluctant in solving the miseries caused by the tragedy of the explosion.

It was ethical for the company to be committed to reduce the impact of the oil spillage. Nevertheless, the company made every effort to avoid the huge expenses that would be associated with cleaning up the mess quickly. Besides, the company avoided compensating all the stakeholders affected by the oil spillage. In the tragedy, people died, injured, and the environment destroyed. Many people suffered from the tragedy. The company took more time in cleaning up the oil spillage arguing that it was a great accident (The Guardian, 2010, p. 1).

Elsewhere, the company was seeking a lower fine than the amount the USA sought as the penalty. The British Petroleum argued that the huge fine would affect its profitability because the prices of the oil were declining. The company argued that it should receive a small fine since it had already made efforts to control the spillage and its effect on the environment (Bowers, 2015, p. 17). After that, the court in New Orleans that was hearing the case had concluded that the British Petroleum handled the spillage with negligence. The court decision put the British Petroleum on a risk to pay the maximum fine possible of $4300 for every barrel spilled according to the Clean Water Act (Financial Times, 2014, p. 1).

The failure of the company to handle the matter carefully resulted to huge loss to the USA. The unethical response of the British Petroleum was against the hospitality that has been expressed by the people of the gulf over the years the company had been operating in the region. More than 23 000 employees who worked with the company with origin in the USA lived in the Gulf. Therefore, the fact that the company did not address the matter seriously betrays the people who lived there and who gave the company opportunity to invest there (Werther & Chandler, 2010, p. 89). In the end, approximately 3.2 million barrels had been spilled into the sea over the extended period of 87 days that the company took to help clean the oil spillage. During the period of the spillage, the sea creatures including birds and fish have been soaked with oiled. Most of them would be forced to come to the shore to avoid suffocating to death. The death of the dolphins had been doubled for the whole period the oil covered the sea. It is estimated that approximately 335 dolphins died as a result of the incident. The British Petroleum acted in an unethical way when dealing with the oil spillage. The crucial impact is the deaths and suffering of the people living on the southern coast (The Telegraph, 2015, p. 1).

To solve the problem of the unethical behavior of the community, the company should make certain the improvement of the company brand by remaining socially responsible. The ethical approach requires the company to ensure a conducive environment for the community and the company. The company survival is largely dependent on ensuring the safety of the community (Schwartz, 2011, p. 26). The brand image of a company is dependent on the perception that the community has towards the activities of the company. The company should make certain that the building of the British Petroleum Brand name has been correlated with the needs of the community.

Currently, the company brand name has been spoiled by the failure of the company to act responsibly during the incident of the oil spillage. The Company needs to use the brand name in other countries to prove fully that the incident was accidental, and it did not result due to the company’s failure. The company need to set quality standards for protecting the people of the Southern Coast of the USA to restore their brand image. This inference can be proved by the relevant authority by the ability to maintain a quality brand in more than eighty countries. The increasing tragedies with the major companies have raised questions about the company’s interests in the corporate social responsibility and the ethical standards. Many people have questioned the devotions of the companies towards the protection of the community’s interests.

Recently, scholars have advocated for the companies to use the role in the social responsibilities in building their brand image. For instance, the brand image of the British Petroleum was affected negatively by the oil spill in 2010. The company image worsened among the Americans as a result of acting negligently in the efforts to clean the sea (Schwartz, 2011, p. 56). Similarly, the company can use the social responsibilities role to build its lost brand image in the USA. Marketers should always make certain that the company has adopted ethical standards when dealing with the community affairs.

Brand as a means of international communications

Companies use their brand image to communicate their capabilities. Once the company has established a positive brand image in one part of the world, it is easy to establish the same brand image in other parts. The brand has a direct impact on the business of the company. A positive brand image of a company helps the company to increase sales in other parts of the world. A negative brand reveals the weaknesses of the company to the customers. The British Petroleum brand has helped the company to spread in more than eighty countries in the world. The brand of the BP is associated with various capabilities. For instance, the company can meet changing needs of the world. Moreover,  the company has helped the customer relate the brand to the quality. The brand has also promoted the relationships between the company, government and the customers and the ability to meet their needs in future.

The BP brand has been recognized worldwide in terms of the quality of the products as well as the ease with which the product can be accessed. Today, the world has become a global village where communication about different products from different companies takes place. Therefore, communication of the company’s product through the brand is of importance (Reid & Mavondo, 2005, p. 16). Through the communication of the brand at the international level, the company gets to understand the needs of the different potential consumers of their products. In this case, the emotions experienced by the consumers with the brand become apparent for the company. They get to understand what the consumers like, the factors that motivate them, as well as how they interact with the products or the company.

Besides, through international communication using the brand, its value is created and assessed at the global level. Through the communication, the company can address its brand related problems to meet the needs of their customers (Reid & Mavondo, 2005, p. 12). Brand building communications contribute significantly to the creation of meaning and values that are vital to individuals as they make decisions regarding their purchasing power. The communication conveys messages relating to what things are important in life that in turn promotes the company’s sales and revenues.

As Silverblatt and Zlobin (2004, p. 217) states, using the brand as a means of international communication also helps to create needs on the side of the customer. With the features of the product portrayed in the brand, people are persuaded to purchase the product. In that case, they create consumption patterns that are consistent with the message they get from the brand name. More so, using the brand as a means of international communication shapes the lifestyles of different individuals across the brand. The communication puts the consumers in a position to integrate the use of the product into their lives. Therefore, the fact that the BP brand is known internationally through the communicative efforts of the company, there is a guarantee that there will be increased sales and revenues.

The international communication about the brand also helps to create a lasting positive relationship between the company and the targeted audience on the global level. More so the ethical standards of the company are communicated through the brand. The company gets into a position that allows it to win the trust of the customers (Silverblatt & Zlobin, 2004, p. 217). The issues of corporate social responsibility are communicated internationally through the brand. Consumers always develop positive attitudes towards the companies that engage in corporate social responsibility. Therefore, with the idea that the company is socially responsible towards the environment as communicated by the brand wins a significant amount of customers eventually increasing company sales.

Also, the use of the brand as an international communication strategy allows for the maintenance of a long-term company reputation (Qiang, 2011, p. 4). The members of the communication teams work within the international brand teams to make sure that the brand image is build. They work closely with the marketing teams in building a strong public image of the company through the brand. Integrated communication campaigns are organized which help to manage international media as well as public relations (Andersen, 2004, p. 44).  Also, on the international communication platform, an international network of communicators is managed. More so, an online and offline communication apparatus are developed to be used by the subsidiaries. In that case, BP can maintain its competitive advantage against other related companies.

The brand image of the British Petroleum can be applied in many ways to enhance acceptability in the ethical and the social, cultural requirements. The brand image in other parts of the world can be used to help the employees understand the standards they should meet. Also, it could prove to the government and the community in the USA that the company had the capability to maintain quality standards necessary to prevent an occurrence of the oil spillage in the sea again. Moreover, the company can use the brand image to convince the people in the Southern Coast of the USA of the ability to be ethically responsible. Significantly, the brand can be used as a means of communication to customers, government, and other stakeholders in the USA. The company should make certain that it has built the brand image after it was spoiled in the USA in the incident of the oil spillage. The company should seek to maintain a good relationship between the community and the government. Recently, the company faced litigation from the various states that were largely affected by the oil spillage. A good relationship with other stakeholders would help the company to progress positively in its goal of profit maximization.




Aguilera-Caracuel, J, Guerrero-Villegas, J, Vidal-Salazar, M, & Delgado-Márquez, B 2015, ‘International Cultural Diversification and Corporate Social Performance in Multinational Enterprises: The Role of Slack Financial Resources’, Management International Review (MIR), 55, 3, pp. 323-353, Business Source Complete, EBSCOhost, viewed 12 October 2015.

Andersen, B. (2004). Bringing business ethics to life: Achieving corporate social responsibility. Milwaukee, Wisc: ASQ Quality Press.

Balmer, J, Powell, S, & Greyser, S 2011, ‘Explicating Ethical Corporate Marketing. Insights from the BP Deepwater Horizon Catastrophe: The Ethical Brand that Exploded and then Imploded’, Journal Of Business Ethics, 102, 1, pp. 1-14, Business Source Complete, EBSCOhost, viewed 12 October 2015.

Bowers, D 2015, ‘The Role of the Quality Professional in Integrating Social Responsibility Into Business Strategy’, Journal For Quality & Participation, 37, 4, pp. 11-18, Business Source Complete, EBSCOhost, viewed 12 October 2015.

  1. (2015). The BP brand. Retrieved from,

British Petroleum. (2010). BP’s Brand Image: The past, the deepwater horizon pdf.

Chernev, A., & Blair, S. 2015. Doing Well by Doing Good: The Benevolent Halo of Corporate Social Responsibility. Journal Of Consumer Research, 41(6), 1412-1425. doi:10.1086/680089

Cherry, M, & Sneirson, J 2011, ‘Beyond Profit: Rethinking Corporate Social Responsibility and Greenwashing After the BP Oil Disaster’, Tulane Law Review, 85, 4, pp. 983-1038, Academic Search Complete, EBSCOhost, viewed 12 October 2015.

Financial Times. (2014). BP seeks lower penalty for Gulf of Mexico oil spill. Retrieved from,

Mobus, J. L. 2012. Corporate social responsibility (csr) reporting by bp: revealing or obscuring risks?. Journal Of Legal, Ethical & Regulatory Issues, 15(2), 35-52.

Qiang, F. E. N. G, 2011. Brand Crisis Communication. Journal of Shanghai Economic Management College, 4, 004.

Reid, M., Luxton, S., & Mavondo, F,2005. The relationship between integrated marketing communication, market orientation, and brand orientation. Journal of Advertising, 34(4), 11-23.

Schwartz, M. S. (2011). Corporate social responsibility: An ethical approach. Broadview Press.

Silverblatt, A., & Zlobin, N. (2004). International communications: a media literacy approach. ME Sharpe.

Sims, R. R. (2003). Ethics and corporate social responsibility: why giants fall. Westport, Conn. [u.a.], Praeger.

The Guardian. (2010). BP chief Tony Hayward’s statement in full. Retrieved from,

The Guardian. (2015). BP set to pay largest environmental fine in US history for Gulf oil spill.  Retrieved from,

The Telegraph. (2015). BP oil spill: Five years after ‘worst environmental disaster’ in US history, how bad was it really? Retrieved from,

Werther Jr, W. B., & Chandler, D. (2010). Strategic corporate social responsibility: Stakeholders in a global environment. Sage Publications.

Looking for this or a Similar Assignment? Click below to Place your Order Instantly!