Decision making in an uncertain world

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Introduction Modern organisations operate within an environment of change. There are all sorts of factors that change within this environment – for example, the market price of products and raw materials, the level of competition, market opportunities, changing government legislation and, of course, technology. This case study focuses on the way in which the oil company, Chevron, developed flexible solutions to enable it to cope with the environment of change. In particular, it shows how Chevron has successfully developed flexible decision-making for the development of its North Sea Alba Field which lies 130 miles to the north east of Aberdeen. The study emphasises the way in which Chevron has progressed from a slow moving system of communications, based on functional lines in sequential stages, to an improved way of working, based on decision-making in empowered interdisciplinary teams. This approach allows quick, incisive thinking and adoption of appropriate technical solutions to oil extraction. Introduction to the oil industry The oil industry is one of the major sectors of the UK economy, employing, directly and indirectly, 380,000 people. Currently a fifth of all industrial investment in the UK (£4 billion per annum) comes from the oil and gas industry. Britain’s offshore industry…

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