The Early Management Organisation of British Petroleum and Sir John Cadman
Most organisations bear the stigmata of their origins on the conduct of their affairs and BP is no exception to this general rule. The early operations of exploration, production and transportation took place in remote Persia thousands of miles away from the supervising office in London when communications were still rudimentary, so reliance was placed on the initiative and ability of local management in an unfamiliar, if not hostile, environment, to take decisions and establish good local relations without which no progress was possible. The lack of facilities and amenities in the area necessitated the importation of everything required for mechanical effort and human comfort. In an area which was essentially a nomadic society with few settled communities, a large industrial enterprise was introduced requiring regularity of employment and engineering skills. Persia was then in a period of political instability. Such was the nature of some of the early problems encountered in South West Persia where the early concessionary work was undertaken. These problems of communications, co-ordination of effort, local collaboration, importation of supplies, different living standards, employment opportunities and education and government relations recurred frequently.
KeywordsManagement Committee British Petroleum Finance Committee Annual Programme Subsidiary Company
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