Management styles in the oil and gas industry
An OPITO case study

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Page 2: Management and leadership

Management is about getting things done. Managers work in different ways to achieve many diverse and often specific objectives. Theorists have tried to identify the functions and processes that all managers carry out. The oil and gas industry contains many layers of management within many types of organisation. Hierarchies are organisations that are structured in layers. The managers in the higher levels have more seniority than those further down.

Everything from geological exploration, drilling, technical and scientific support, human resources, finance, maintenance, welding, sales, logistics, safety and emergency planning falls within management responsibilities.

Henri Fayol, an early theorist, said that management had the following elements:

  • Planning looking ahead, consulting with others, setting objectives for staff
  • Organising arranging people and things so that objectives can be achieved
  • Commanding giving instructions to workers
  • Coordinating bringing activities together into a common approach
  • Controlling measuring what is happening and adjusting activities to achieve goals.

The skills and aptitudes of oil and gas employees must be appropriate for their job roles at every level:

  • Technical and scientific skills are needed in drilling and exploration to manage complex equipment and processes.
  • Human skills are needed in managing staff.
  • Practical skills are needed in production operations, mechanical installation, electrical plant maintenance and instrumentation and control systems.

The Academy has created a learning supply chain to stimulate the movement of people within the industry and ensure they have the right learning, skills, competence, attitudes and behaviours to work safely and effectively. The supply chain starts by working with schools, colleges and universities to encourage new entrants into the industry. It then links with learning, training and development partners to ensure the employees have the required skills for roles throughout the industry.

Leadership differs from management. Leadership encompasses the skills and qualities needed to inspire others to achieve goals. Leaders can see the heart of a problem and suggest (sometimes unusual) solutions; they have a positive self image; they tend to be creative; they are often experts in a field and can sense change and respond accordingly. Many managers are also leaders, but people in the oil and gas industry are encouraged to show leadership at every level. The industry has an inclusive and involving culture so that even the newest Trainee Instrument Technician may spot a better way of doing something and will be able to influence positive change.

OPITO | Management styles in the oil and gas industry
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