Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Corporate Irresponsibility (Letter 3)

It’s not uncommon to see complaints these days about how the culture has changed into one of denying responsibility. This blame is often put on the young, who are seen as not having the backbone of our generation; or on lawsuits that allow people to blame everyone but themselves. Sometimes we even blame politicians who don’t take sufficient blame for their actions.

Perhaps, however, we take our cues from the corporate world. BP this week replaced its CEO, citing the need for a ‘new start’ after the oil spill. However, it replaced him with another board member, another individual present and making decisions when the mistakes were made. The old CEO, Tony Hayward – not fired, just transferred to another division of the company, and still blaming the media for his downfall. BP’s Vice President of Safety, Health and the Environment refusing to take any blame for the accident and the systemic failures of maintenance and safety evaluations prior to the blast that killed 11 people – still in his job, still denying any responsibility, while claiming that BP puts safety first.

Perhaps these are the people our society looks to – if we want to find a pattern of dodging blame in our society, the corporate world is where we should seek it.

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