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Wednesday, July 23, 2014


            For the past two years, I have been studying in a university and currently working at a primary school in London. During this period, I have encountered experiences, which had thought me several new learnings. These in turn have allowed me to become a better individual. Through the significant changes that happened to me, I was able to enhance my behavior and skills. The experiences I had during those years are also likely to help me develop into an effective professional in the future. In this paper, I will discuss the stages of my professional development including the specific learnings and changes that I was able to gain for the past two years. Furthermore, my professional development will be analyzed and evaluated through the use of relevant learning theories.
Knowledge and Understanding
            Presently, I am studying at a university while working in a primary school in London located in London. For the past two years of studying and working, I was able to achieve significant changes in my personal and professional life. During my first year, most of my focus was centered on adaptation, particularly to the academic demands of my chosen course. Considering that I would have to attend my classes, submit requirements and study for examinations, the first year of the professional development allowed me to develop my time management skills. Through this change, I was able to learn how to make study plans that works for me. Moreover, I was able to budget my time and allot sufficient attention to more important priorities. 
            This professional development was passed on to my second year; however, aside from developing the ability to budget my time and set priorities, I was also able to develop a certain degree of confidence and perseverance towards my studies and other responsibilities. This perhaps is attributed to the fact that I was able to employ studying and working pattern that suit my needs. Having been exposed to the actual work load that the university and my work site demand, I was able to perform without the need for adjustments. With this, I realize I am able to concentrate more on what I have to do and accomplish.

            Considering that it has been my second year, academic works have naturally become more challenging; nonetheless, compared to last year, I am more calm and organized in handling them. During my first year, I was able to develop study skills, personal capabilities and values through the different demands of my course. Having learned these important skills, I was able to utilize them easily to my second year academic demands. During this time, I have also become more sensitive to my inner strengths; I was able to make full use of my self-awareness and self-evaluation capabilities, especially in performing different tasks in school and at work. Through self-evaluation, I was able to clearly identify what my goals are and how I could improve myself to achieve them.

            Within two years of my professional journey, I was able to learn how to optimize various learning opportunities. One of which is through the participation to various seminars. Through this learning opportunity, I was able to learn by means of asking questions and discussing relevant topics. The seminars allowed me to become open to different ideas as well. Tutorial is another learning opportunity that contributed to my professional development. This has generally helped me to progress through my course; moreover, this has also taught me how to plan for the sessions. Setting and meeting deadlines are also additional skills that I gained from this learning opportunity.

One of the important skills I gained from doing tutorials is to integrate my studies and school experiences together with my work at the primary school. Specifically, I was able to understand more of the different situations I encountered at work and was able to resolve them through learning application. Likewise, I was able to understand my course more through my work experiences. In general, I was able to develop professionally during my second year as I was able to improve both my studying and working achievements by integrating my experiences and learned skills effectively.

            The description of my knowledge and understanding has clearly shown how I developed personally and professionally for the past two years. To support this description, certain learning theories can be used. Howard Gardner is one of the known theorist on learning styles and intelligence. Among his known works include the theory on Multiple Intelligence. According to Gardner (1983), intelligence is pertains to the ability of an individual to solve problems; in addition, intelligence can be defined through different categories. Some of these classifications of intelligence include spatial, musical, mathematical and linguistic abilities.

One of the intelligence types identified by Gardner was personal intelligence. Based from my professional development, much of my development had been through the use of this intelligence category. In particular, I was able to optimize my intrapersonal intelligence, which focuses on understanding one’s feeling and motivations. Through this intelligence category I was able to clearly identify my goals and work to achieve them. Aside from this, I was also able to use spatial intelligence to develop personally and professionally. Spatial intelligence refers to the generation of mental images to resolve certain problems. In order to overcome the issues I have encountered at work, I made use of my learnings at the university as a student. Through this, I was able to make practical applications of my studies. On the other hand, spatial intelligence also allowed me to understand my course more through my work experiences. Through Gardner’s theory, I could say that my journey towards professional development is enhanced through the utilization of my inherent skills and mental capabilities.

I recently took a learning style questionnaire assessment to understand my learning capabilities and potentials more. The result indicated that I am a reflector. According to Peter Honey and Alan Mumford (1986), learning styles can be classified in accordance to how individuals prefer to learn. These styles include the activist, theorist, reflector and the pragmatist. The theorists describe reflectors as those who learn from activities while listening and observing. These are the individuals who prefer to be given the chance to gather and analyze the information first before acting or commenting; they tend to spend time to review the situation before developing a conclusion.

The preference of the reflectors to ponder on experiences or situations enables them to analyze things though various perspectives. Individuals considered as reflectors are thoughtful and take into account all possible options or angles of the situation before making a move. As they tend to collect situational data first and delay the generation of conclusions, they are often described as the cautious type. During meetings, reflectors often take the seat at the back; while people are in action, they appear to enjoy observing their movements. Whenever there is a discussion, reflectors tend to listen to others’ ideas first before formulating their own. In general, they are the individuals who are slightly distant and tolerant; moreover, they seem to prefer a low profile when tasked on group activities.

This learning style typology speaks so much of my professional development for the past two years. Specifically, the learning opportunities that I have participated in showed my features as a reflector. Rather than insist on my own ideas, I tend to listen and observe more. By means of the ideas of others, I am able to learn the different aspects of a subject matter; in turn, this allowed me to become more open-minded and knowledgeable on certain topics. Moreover, my preferred learning style allowed me to combine my own and other’s ideas, resulting to a generalization that I could easily understand and relate to.

A relevant learning theory is Kolb’s (1984) Experiential Learning Model (ELM). According this model, the learning cycle is made up of four modes of learning. These include concrete experience (CE), reflective observation (RO), abstract conceptualization (AC) and active experimentation (AE). These learning modes are placed at the ends of two interconnecting continua, forming quadrants. This then became the basis of Kolb for his learning styles, which are derived from the combination of two learning modes. These learning styles include the diverger (CE and RO), the converger (AC and AE), the assimilator (RO and AC) and the accommodator (AE and CE). Basically, the divergers prefer learning that involves imaginative problem-solving; convergers are more on practical solutions; assimilators prefer rational theory building; and accommodators are into hand-on experience.

Based from Kolb’s learning modes, my professional development and learning is more patterned on the reflector mode – one who learns through perception. Atkinson and Murrell (1988) described this learning mode further by stating that reflectors are observers who formulate ideas by incorporating their observations into logical theories. Similar to the theory of Honey and Mumford, Kolb (1985) noted that reflectors are learners who analyze situations and ideas through their different angles in order for them to form opinions. Reflectors are the type of learners who prefer lectures and other similar learning activities. In group tasks, they attempt to comprehend the different perspectives raised by their group members. When asked to write essays, reflectors would typically prefer to conduct preliminary research first before making the content of the paper. For examinations, reflectors tend to prefer compare-contrast and argumentative questions as these would require the analysis of both side of the issue. Among Kolb’s learning style, my professional development is characterized by the features of an assimilator. Holley and Jenkins (1993) stated that this learning style rely more on the use of logic and inductive reasoning to build theories. Assimilators are effective in understanding a wide range of information and organizing them into logical forms.

Kolb’s theories on learning styles emphasize that the development of a person is significantly dependent on their learning preferences and inherent capabilities. It is then my ability to observe and integrate my observations for my own development that serve as an important contributor to my development as a person and as a professional. The process of my professional development is also influenced by my own potentials as well as the learnings I gained from my experiences at work and in school. As a reflective learner, I was able to effectively integrate all these learning, which in turn allowed me to develop my own skills, behavior and values.

            From the description of my two-year experience as a student and worker, I was able to undergo various positive transformations. Most of these developments were centered on the improvement of my studying skills and attitude. Initially, I was more focused on adjusting and learning various methods to make myself a better student and individual. However, as time goes, I was able to concentrate more to my studies and work responsibilities as I was already able to develop ways on how to cope with such challenges. Using various learning theories I was able to realize that the use of inherent potentials and intelligence can greatly influence the outcome of ones professional development. Moreover, theories stressed that using my preferred learning style enabled me to integrate my learnings and experiences in my school tasks as well as in handling various work situations.

            Through all these, I was able to manage my time wisely, develop effective study plans as well as enhance my listening and observing skills. In general, it is then important that individual clearly determine their own inherent skills and learning preferences; these should then be used in order for them to adapt effectively to varying situations. By doing so, more useful skills can be obtained, leading to a more fruitful professional development. 

Wednesday, July 2, 2014

[Essay] Teaching Mathematics

This paper discusses the “Factors Affecting the Academic Performance of Children in Math particularly in counting”. Basically, the research will analyze and investigate the different variables that affect the learning capabilities of the students. This shall include a discussion on the positive and negative variables related to the academic performance of the students in mathematics; an analysis of performance of the Allfarthing Primary school students in relation to mathematics education stability was also conducted. Particularly, the research will focus on examining the impact of these variables to the progress of both the student and education system. 

In this changing world, those who understand and can do mathematics will have significantly enhanced opportunities and options for shaping their future (NCTM, 2000). On the other hand, Mevarech, Z. and Bracha Kramarski (1997) developed the instructional strategy that can be applied to heterogeneous classrooms in their study "IMPROVE-Multidimensional Method for Teaching Mathematics in Heterogeneous Classrooms". The strategy, IMPROVE, (Introducing new concepts, Metacognitive questioning, Practicing, Reviewing and reducing difficulties, Obtaining mastery, Verification, and Enrichment) has been proven to keep mathematics progress at a constant pace throughout the school year. The academic group as a whole continued to progress, and the progress of one academic group does not come at the expense of the other groups. It is important for teachers to have consistent strategy they could use in their teaching. The study of Alsup, J.K. and Sprigler, M.J. (2003), shows that the classroom teacher's perspective should consider the cost and time being spent by teachers and school district to implement reform math. Moreover, a reform mathematics curriculum is expensive to implement; teachers must be trained and supplementary kits must be purchased. Such expenses, in the author’s opinion, are questionable, since a reform mathematics curriculum did not promote an increase in the student achievement. In classroom, a traditional mathematics curriculum was superior with regard to teaching skills and procedural competency and, thus, would help students at the high school level, since success in high-school math courses in school district is "built upon the foundation of facts and procedures." Alsup, J.K. and Sprigler, M.J. (2003). Basically, Alsup, J.K. and Sprigler, M.J. (2003) statement should be considered since it depicts the future of mathematics education. In connection to cost and time being spent to receive quality education, the teachers and school administrators should give extra effort in designing teaching strategies that is applicable to London education. On the other hand, in relation to the variables of learning, the school environment is the broader context of the school that allows for classroom instruction and student learning (Tunney, 1996). A transformation to a community should take place throughout the school wide environment by maximizing the number of positive interactions with students and parents. Teachers are capable of producing profound and positive changes in student behaviours and learning by effectively modeling the positive processes, skills, and attitudes that parents teach (Hindle, 1996). 

School Size
Recent research on the effect of school size on student achievement indicates that a small school strategy may be a powerful school improvement model. While there is no single definition of “smallness,” some research indicates that an effective size for an elementary school is in the range of 300-400 students and that 400-800 students is appropriate for a secondary school (Cotton, 1996). Lee and Smith (1996) argue that slightly larger secondary schools, from 600-900 students, are necessary for good curricular diversity. On the other hand, small school advocates such as Deborah Meier and Ted Sizer of the Coalition of Essential Schools, believe that no secondary school should exceed 300 students (Cushman, 1997). For both elementary and secondary students of all ability levels and in all kinds of settings, research has repeatedly found small schools to be superior to large schools on most measures and equal to them on the rest. A recent review of 103 studies identifies the relationship of school size to various aspects of schooling (Cotton, 1996): Academic achievement in small schools is at least equal, and often superior, to that of large schools. The effects of small schools on the achievement of ethnic minority students and students of low socioeconomic status are the most positive of all. Student attitudes toward school in general and toward particular school subjects are more positive in small schools. Student social behavior, as measured by truancy, discipline problems, violence, theft, substance abuse, and gang participation, is more positive in small schools. Levels of extracurricular participation are much higher and more varied in small schools than large ones. Student attendance is better in small schools than in large ones, especially with minority or low SES students. A smaller percentage of students drop out of small schools than large ones. Students have a greater sense of belonging in small schools than in large ones. Interpersonal relations between and among students, teachers, and administrators are more positive in small schools than in large ones. Student academic and general self-regard is higher in small schools than in large schools. Students from small and large high schools perform comparably on college-related variables, such as grades, admissions, and graduation rates. Despite the common belief that larger schools have higher quality curricula than small schools, no reliable relationship exists between school size and curriculum quality. Larger schools are not necessarily less expensive to operate than small schools. Small high schools cost more money only if one tries to maintain the big-school infrastructure (e.g., a large bureaucracy). Apparenlty, in order to provide an optimal learning environment for students, one must first work to establish a classroom community (Au, 1993). A classroom community provides each child with space to develop specific capabilities and to experience a sense of inner balance and wholeness in a community with others. The school environment is the broader context of the school that allows for classroom instruction and student learning (Tunney, 1996). A transformation to a community should take place throughout the school wide environment by maximizing the number of positive interactions with students and parents. Teachers are capable of producing profound and positive changes in student behaviors and learning by effectively modeling the positive processes, skills, and attitudes that parents teach (Hindle, 1996). Bringing members of a class together for certain activities engenders the feeling of belonging to a group and in turn establishes class spirit (Bergin, 1999). With this, students who feel that they belong to a group have power in decision-making and have freedom of choices (Tunney, 1996). The classroom community can be developed by a number of means. Students should develop a process of understanding, sharing, compassion and empathy. The classroom should be referred to by the teacher as "our classroom" rather than "my classroom". The development of a community is moving from doing things TO students to doing things FOR students (Tunney, 1996). 

Developmental Skills and Abilities of Children
Basically, knowledge of child development traditionally has been viewed as a core component for designing activities and evaluating curriculum in early childhood education (Charlesworth, Hart, Burts, & DeWolf, 1993 and Hyson, 1996). In addition, a considerable body of research indicates that teacher beliefs influence decision-making in the classroom (Fang, 1996). In addition, the consideration of the learning skills of the students in mathematics particularly to counting should be understood. Due to the considerable speed and interrelated nature of development during early childhood, early childhood educators tend to approach their mission from a more holistic perspective than do educators of older children. This philosophy of educating the whole child has led early education theorists to emphasize the importance of addressing children's social and emotional needs as well as their cognitive and physical ones (Biber, 1984 and Hendrick, 1996). Echoing these sentiments, the current dominant approach to early education (i.e., developmentally appropriate practice) stresses that education practice should be tailored to fit the developmental level of the children being served (Bredekamp & Copple, 1997). This approach argues that the educational outcomes that teachers focus on should change with children's developmental level, and it cautions against introducing academic content so early in the educational process that children have not attained the requisite developmental skills and abilities to allow comprehension of that content (Bredekamp & Shepard, 1989; Elkind, 1987; Katz, 1994). This early introduction of academic content is not only believed to be ineffective in terms of longterm learning goals, but also leads to increased levels of stress in children (Burts et al., 1992), and likely has a negative impact on their dispositions towards learning and the development of their self-conceptions, Katz & Chard, 1989). On the other hand, early childhood teachers' beliefs about educational practice are shaped both by the training they receive (Brown & Rose, 1995) and by their personal experiences working with children in the classroom (Williams, 1996). Examining these beliefs is important because research indicates that teachers' beliefs influence classroom practice. Measures of teachers' beliefs related to developmentally appropriate practice have been found to be related to their use of instructional methods that are consistent with that approach (Charlesworth, Hart, Burts, Thommason, Mosley, & Fleege, 1993). Similar relations between teachers' expressed beliefs and classroom practices related to literacy instruction (Wing, 1989) and children's play (Spidell, 1989) also have been observed. Despite these findings linking teachers' beliefs to classroom practice, it should be noted that this relation is often less than isomorphic, and that some studies report considerable inconsistency between teachers' expressed beliefs and the teaching methods they use (Sharp & Green, 1975;). Part of this inconsistency can be attributed to the fact that teachers do not always feel free to put their beliefs into practice because of constraints that they feel are imposed on them by administrators, parents, and the demands of standardized testing (Brown & Rose, 1995; Hitz & Wright, 1988). Insufficient professional training also may contribute to the observed inconsistency between teachers' expressed values and classroom practice, because teachers may not always have the skills and abilities they need to bring their beliefs to fruition. Apparently, knowing more about how teachers rate the importance of various developmental skills and abilities is crucial for several reasons. First, it helps researchers and policymakers consider how other factors affecting the early childhood classroom, such as administrative directives and assessment issues, either support or conflict with teachers' beliefs. Second, in that teachers tend to emphasize those skills and abilities that they consider important, knowing what those items are can provide us with valuable insights into teacher decision making. Third, policymakers and educators can highlight particular areas of teacher education and training programs, based on teachers' beliefs concerning the importance of various developmental outcomes. Finally, considering teachers' extensive clinical experience interacting with children on a daily basis, knowing which skills and abilities they see as important can help bring about valuable insights about children and child development (Zimiles, 1993). 

Student’s Readiness
In connection to the factors that lead to errors in counting of children, student’s readiness should be considered. Apparently, there are many factors that directly affect the learning capabilities of the students particularly in counting i.e. external factors (students background), individual differences, teaching methods, learning setting, and behaviour. Thus, the teacher should facilitate an appropriate teaching method that suits to the learning capabilities of the students. In providing a quality teaching method, the teacher should construct a very capable and appropriate lesson plan (see appendix for sample mathematics lesson plan). The term 'readiness in school' is used to describe a number of different understandings of what constitutes the ingredients necessary for a child to make a successful transition from preschool or other prior-to-school setting to the formal school environment. Initially it was regarded as a child characteristic (e.g. Ilg & Ames, 1969). Later, the role of environment in children's early learning became a focus of interest (Graue, 1993) with contemporary conceptions incorporating both views. Currently, the predominant view is that school readiness is an interaction of child characteristics and school capacity to be flexible in meeting the individual needs of children in their initial year(s) of formal schooling (May & Kundert, 1997; Peterson, 1994). Basically, preschool teachers are influential in determining the day-to-day experiences of children in the year(s) before formal schooling as well as in decision-making about whether a child should progress to school (Tanner & Galis, 1997). It is clear that many teachers believe maturation is crucial to the development of skills necessary for a successful transition to school, with many supporting delayed-entry for some and boys being more likely to be retained in preschool than girls (May & Kundert, 1997). Investigations of teacher views of skills considered to be important for successful transition to school have found an emphasis on language abilities, including listening skills, self-confidence and social skills, with academic skills having a relatively lower priority (Lewitt & Baker, 1995). Moreover, for preschooler, adults can nurture preschooler's positive self-esteem by helping them discover what they are good at doing. Part of a child's self esteem comes from feeling competent and skilled at something she or he enjoys. You can play a big role in helping children to be successful and feel good about themselves. A place to start is by creating opportunities for children to explore different objects, activities, and people. Early in life, children show personality traits and preferences for what they like and dislike. By planning learning opportunities with children's unique personality styles in mind, you nuture their positive feelings about themselves. In addition, children learn about the world in many different ways. One educator, Howard Gardner (1995), believes that children's ways of learning can be grouped into different categories. To help children discover their personal abilities and learning preferences, you can provide opportunities that cover the eight different types of learning. Some children have many interests and want to learn about a variety of things; other children are satisfied with one or two kinds of learning and want to focus mostly on them. All children are unique; what is important is that you help them to learn what they are good at, what they enjoy and what makes them feel good about themselves. Recognizing children's unique personality styles can help adults to better understand children and to plan activities that children can learn from and enjoy. Research shows that a child's emotional style, activity level and social nature are present during the first few months of life and are unlikely to change much over time. 

This world is a tremendously huge place. It is a fact that in your existence you will never identify all there is to recognize. But learning is the greatest gift you can give to yourself. Basically, by learning about the world around you, you’re giving yourself the chance to understand just how far we have come since the beginning of man. If it weren’t for learning, you wouldn’t speak or write, you wouldn’t be able to communicate through the use of language, you wouldn’t have the use of things like telephones, televisions, bicycles, cars, and any man-made invention that exists today. In connection to learning development, researches reveal that preschooling is one of the most important stages of brain development which is the considered factors in learning. There is more happening in colorful, wonderfully busy preschools than meets the eye. Fun, role playing, block building, finger painting, laughter, negotiating, singing and dancing are just a few of the types of activities you will see in good preschool programs. Basically, this simple program has a great impact to the learning process of the children. Children are developing the critical but important skills, which are the foundation for life. For the children, families and community it is very important to consider the quality childhood programs. A growing body of research indicates that children who attend high quality early childhood programs benefit socially, emotionally and cognitively. Research shows that children enrolled in good preschool programs tend to have a positive transition into kindergarten, are more successful in later school years and show higher verbal and intellectual development than children who do not attend high quality programs ( Moreover, these children (preschool learners) demonstrate high levels of social competence - self-esteem, social behavior, and motivation - a critical predicator of adult adaptation. Under the guidance of responsive and consistent teachers in a nurturing environment and communication with parents, children learn important social skills such as initiating and developing satisfying relationships with adults and peers; developing the ability to regulate emotions; communicating needs, desires and difficulties; and engaging in age appropriate problem solving; are all acquired. Socially competent preschool children are not only more likely to have success throughout their school years, but are also more likely to make positive contributions to our community. Social competence, along with intellectual and physical development is facilitated in high quality preschool programs by providing children with lots of opportunities to engage in play. Responsive teachers follow children's lead and provide them with developmentally appropriate opportunities to use their imagination, listen to stories, make choices, explore and understand materials and the environment, and exercise their bodies. Preschool programs experience maximum success when they support children and their families. High quality preschool programs make important contributions to our community by nurturing the unique strengths of each child thereby allowing children to reach their full potential. After successfully completing preschool we hope children will have an increased love for self and for learning, and be prepared for a promising future. Ultimately it’s up to the parent to decide what they believe is best for their child, but research shows that starting school at an early age will positively effect their learning process. 

An Evaluation: The Role of Corporate Social Responsibility Efforts of British Petroleum (BP) towards their Global Business Operations

The first chapter focuses mainly on the issue that the study explored which is the role of corporate social responsibility in the operation of British Petroleum. Main areas are covered herein including background, the problem, aims and objectives and importance of the conducted study. In this chapter, the researcher established the dimensions related to corporate social responsibility. 

Background of the Study
As contemporary organisations move into a more ethical global business environment, trickling down of corporate social values and mission to the greater public is now deemed a requirement. Regardless of corporate beliefs and culture, the economic or productive value of modern organisations is nonetheless derivative from its worth and its extension of organisation’s profundity for wealth-profit index by which serves as the competitive measure to sustain its very existence (Henriques, 2003). In simpler terms, corporations are now perceived in the forefront to promote sustainable social development by sharing its resources for the projects, programmes and initiatives which have a social cause. Dubbed as corporate social responsibility or CSR, companies at present are obliged to act responsibly and expected to be sensitive about ethical issues (Carroll, 1979, p. 500). 
Businesses around the globe are continuously developing to respond to the needs of their customers. It is very vital for them to develop creative ways that will maintain their competitiveness.  The corporate world is characterised by paramount restrains, high demands and expectations on productivity, and excessive competition where management members necessitate the familiarity and importance of business ethics and social responsibility. Considering the trends in the corporate world, many employees are pressured to cut corners, break standards and rules, and engage in other forms of questionable practices so as to do away with a number of inconveniences and achieve outcomes the fastest way possible while neglecting the provision of appropriateness and fairness. With respect to this, this paper will evaluate and discuss the concept and role of business ethics and social responsibility in application to the business practices of British Petroleum or simply BP.

Brief Background of British Petroleum
Headquartered in London, BP Plc is considered as one of the world’s largest energy companies which provide consumers with fuel and energy as well as petrochemical products. Evidently, British Petroleum is one of the six “supermajors” or the International Oil Company (IOC) along with ExxonMobil, Royal Dutch Shell, Chevron Corporation, ConocoPhilips and Total SA. Since operating an oil company is too risky a venture, British Petroleum embarked on a frenetic growth strategy through continued divestiture and merger and acquisition. BP plc therefore transformed from being a local oil company into a global energy group wherein over 80,000 people are employed to main its operation on more than 100 countries worldwide. Today, there are three core strategies that British Petroleum commits itself such as exploration and production, refining and marketing and alternative energy.
Currently, there are six brands that make up BP plc namely BP, Castrol, Arco, Aral, am/pm and Wild Bean CafĂ© (BP online, 2010). BP plc, as an organisation, also claims to be structured for success through the two key business segments which are the exploration and production and refining and marketing and the alternative energy business known as the BP alternative energy. In line with these strategies are different business activities that include finding, extracting and moving oil and gas, making and selling fuels and products, generating low carbon energy and working responsibly. Of all these activities, working responsibly embodies BP plc’s commitment on the betterment of communities where it operates. Roughly, BP plc is operating in Africa, Asia, Australasia, Europe and North and South America (BP online, 2010).
BP plc is positioning itself to be a frontrunner in the future pertaining to the need to meet the world’s continued demand for fuel, energy and petrochemicals. BP plc intends to play a central role in creating long-term options for the future in new energy technology and low carbon energy businesses. Likewise, BP plc is enhancing its capabilities in natural gas which is regarded to be a vital source of relatively clean energy. This is more so because the goal is to transition to a lower-carbon economy and beyond. Desirably, BP plc wants to be recognised as a “green” company which consciously puts initiatives to eradicate climate change at the centre. In essence, BP plc is currently operating through environment-friendly technologies.

Statement of the Problem
Organisational characteristics unique to BP plc is opposing, however, wherein on one hand BP plc is recognised to be a key figure in addressing climate change and on the other hand BP plc is also accused of greenwashing because of its less environment-friendly operations. What is clear though is that BP plc is responsible and accountable for serious oil scandals in the history with the Gulf of Mexico oil spill as the most recent despite the ongoing initiatives to achieve sustainability. With the oil scandals that are glooming the confidence of the consuming public as well as the investors, BP plc can only rebuild its image while focusing towards becoming a green oil company. The last may seemed to be impossible for an oil company to green its entire operation. This may be also the reason why BP plc is likely to greenwash the media and the general public.     
In retrospect, BP plc was caught and perceived to be involved in “greenwashing” when in July 2006, after the media had discovered a 270,000 crude oil spill in Alaskan tundra, the company admitted that it is facing criminal charges. Relative lack of press coverage regarding the spill is a proof that BP plc had successfully greenwashed the image it is communicating with the public. BP plc was also subjected to criticisms after it was proven that it is involved in environmentally unsound practices. While BP plc is publicly affirming its commitment to investing in alternative energy sources minimally, in reality, majority of its investment is devoted to fossil fuels (Monbiot, 2006; Frey, 2007; Milmo, 2007; Green, 2007).        
In lieu with this, this research answers the following queries: 
What advantages are there for a company to be ethical? 
How important is it for British Petroleum to consider corporate social responsibility and be ethical?
How can unethical actions be prevented through the introduction of the necessities of corporate social responsibility efforts in British Petroleum?
How can BP implement corporate social responsibility in its strategy?

Aims and Objectives
The study evaluates the corporate social responsibility efforts of British Petroleum (BP) towards their global business operation. Generally, the complexity of today’s global market is different from the past years but still, BP’s business efforts still shows positive impact to their consumers. To determine the various challenges that the company managed to solve is however, might contribute in the company’s action in their formulation of strategies. Through learning the strategies being implemented within the organisation, there is a positive approach on what are the factors that might contribute to the long-term success of the company. With this, the following are the objectives of the study.
Examine the corporate social responsibility efforts associated with the growth of British Petroleum (BP).
Understand how BP has developed and grown into very success business despite of the issues relating to business ethics. 
Determine how BP achieved growth and development through the process of efficient corporate social responsibility.

Organisation of the Thesis
This research study will be divided into five chapters in order to provide ease and consistency on the discussion of the topic. The first part will be discussing the problem uncovered by the researcher and provide sample background on the topic. The chapter will constitute an introduction to the whole research study, the statement of the problem in order to present the basis of the study, a discussion on the scope of its study, as well as its effects to individuals and its significance to the society as a whole. The second chapter will be discussing the relevance of the research study in the existing literature. It shall provide studies on the background of the company, corporate social responsibility efforts, and environmental issues. After the presentation of the existing related literature, the researcher shall provide a synthesis of the whole chapter in relation to the study.
The third part of the research study shall be discussing the methods and procedures used in the study. The fourth chapter will be an analysis of the collected information from the secondary sources. Secondary Information assessment will be made in order to uncover BP’s corporate social responsibility stance and to address the statement of the problem noted in the first chapter. The last chapter shall comprise of three sections, namely, the summary of the findings, the conclusion of the study, and the recommendations. With these three portions, this chapter will be able to highlight the implication of the findings in relation to the data obtained.        

Literature Review
According to Robbins & Judge (2007), many employees are confronted with instances where they need to define and decide right and wrong conduct. The characteristics of good ethical behaviours have never been clearly projected in the recent management literatures where the line that differentiates right against wrong conduct has become even more blurry. Managers and leaders respond to ethical behaviour issues (De Mesa Graziano, 2002). 
It is provided that when analysing the role and meaning of ethics and social responsibility from the internal and external perspective of a company, Kline, (2006) states that, 
“There is a potential problem ...with attaching the duty of managers to the specific desires of shareholders. If anything, moral constrains are meant to constrain desires. Desires are fickle and not always moral”. 
Kline’s statement holds veracity and openness provided that business ethics and social responsibility is concerned. In a globalised economy, in both local and international setting where tough competitions occur among businesses, companies are exploiting the benefits of social responsibility and business ethics. These social activities: include charitable contributions, discounts to senior citizens, expenditures on employee alcoholism and substance abuse treatment, responses to customer complaints, product warranties, processes for exchanging purchases, community service in volunteer or governance capacities, employee education, child care or flexible hours for employees with children, advertising or promoting community events, sponsoring sports teams, recycling, special services to the handicapped, and so forth (Suderman,  1999).
Global corporations in which BP belongs view social responsibility as a corporate investment that will result in a long-run corporate profit and not a corporate expense. According to Cotton (1998) businesses supporting social responsibility activities claim that it is in the best long-run interest of the business to become intimately involved in and to promote and improve the communities in which it does its business.  Moreover, McCarty & Bagby, (1990) also argued that it can and should improve the corporate and local image of the company, and it is in the stockholders best interest. Further, companies believe that by making communities a better place to live in, it can entice superior and happier workers to the company who in turn will put out better products and increase profits (Michalos, 1995). However, it is important to point out that the primary reason why businesses turn into socially responsible activities is to maximize their profits; public interest comes in second.
The question now is why CSR is relevant today for companies. The answer lies in the four identifiable trends of CSR, which seem likely to continue and grow in importance: increasing affluence, changing societal expectations, globalisation and free flow of information and ecological sustainability. As customers are increasingly endowed with the access to various products and services, responding to affluence is now a strategic objective hence putting a premium to a trusted brand was realised. These customers expect more from the companies where they would afford products and services, implicating public trust and public confidence in the ability of companies to restrict and control own corporate excess. Media, further, are empowered in bringing the public the information of the lapses in CSR. Such situation also empowers activist groups and like-minded people in spreading messages and providing the means to coordinate collective action. Evidenced proved that earth has ecological limits with impacts on the environmental responsibilities that are likely to be criticised and penalised when not performed thoroughly (Werther and Chandler, 2006, pp. 19-20; McComb, 2002, p. 5).      
According to Epstein (1987, pp. 99-102), corporate social responsiveness focuses on the individual and organizational processes for determining, implementing, and evaluating the firm’s capacity to anticipate, respond to, and manage the issues and problems arising from the diverse claims and expectations of these stakeholders. The moral argument for CSRstates that CSR ‘broadly represents the relationship between a company and the principles expected by the wider society within which it operates’ (Werther and Chandler, 2006, p. 16; Lea, 2002, p. 10).
Word Business Council for Sustainable Development defines social responsibility as the continuing commitment to behave ethically and contribute to economic development while also improving the quality of life of its workforce, their families, and the local community and the society at large. Corporate Responsibility Index claims that social responsibility is achieved when a company has effectively and sustainably built a lasting, meaningful relationship within its sector where it belonged and its immediate community (Scott, 2007). In other words, social responsibility concerns the social environment and the ever-changing social contract. Importantly, the underpinning is that a company should consider the societal impacts of its decisions and actions. Sims (2003, p. 43) argued that companies must act to protect and improve the welfare of the general public. The businesses must aim not only on organizational effectiveness but on existence to address the needs of society.    
As social responsibility is intertwined with the issue of accountability, it can be considered as both critical and controversial. Critical because a for-profit company could be the largest and most innovative part of any free society’s economy as it can drive social progress and affluence. However, it is also controversial because the question – what is the purpose of business within a society? – remains to be unanswered (Werther and Chandler, 2006, p. 8). Having thought deeply of such a question, striking a balance between corporate and social responsibilities should be a strategic focus. To become accountable, a company has economic, legal and ethical responsibilities wherein not only the company has to make profit in order to survive, but the company is also obliged to its stakeholders to maximise earnings and operate efficiently, complying the best of the standards. The underpinning is that a company should provide a quality, sustainable living to both internal and external stakeholders.
Speaking of social contract, social responsibility transcends beyond mere obligation between a company and its workforce. Instead, the social responsibility of a company also extends to individuals, groups and other organisations, government and the society as a whole, comprising the stakeholders of a company. Sharplin (1985) states that social responsibility refers to the set of written and unwritten rules and assumptions in a corporate manner and these rules are applied to its immediate community including the people within that community. Gossy (2008, p. 6) also identifies primary and secondary stakeholders and active and passive stakeholders. Primary stakeholders have a vital in the company while those secondary stakeholders may not actively participate but the company could still exist. People who seek to participate in the activities of the company are considered active stakeholders such as managers and employees. Most shareholders, the government and the local communities are, in contrast, considered as passive stakeholders.
Proaction is considered as the highest level of responsiveness to social issues where companies actively seek to improve and contribute to society. Companies with proactive philosophy will try to carry out discretionary responsibilities (as cited in Harila and Petrini, 2003, p. 32). Proaction is an approach to corporate social responsibility that includes behaviours that improve society. Organizations that assume a proaction strategy subscribe to the notion of social responsiveness. Proaction according to Carroll (1979, p. 501); Joyner and Payne (2002, p. 298) involves actively addressing specific concerns of stakeholders and anticipating social problems before they arise or are officially recognized, and developing strategies to deal with these issues.
Lane, Mendenhall and McNett (2004) state that organisational values are found on vision and mission statements which drive strategy. Strategy and ethics are linked through the idea of purpose. Managers understand purpose in quite personal ways as a guide for their personal action. For the mutual benefit of the organisation, managers’ actions are activated by agreement with others especially that correlates with the organisation. It would be necessary to note that managers are put in their position to diffuse responsibility. Managers do understand the purpose of their organisational activities in terms of their own personal engagement with and responsibility for them. Likewise, managers also understand purpose as it applies to their connection to others, in and beyond the organisation, people who agree to responsibilities related to their shared goals. The purpose of an organisation is ethical in nature and is influenced by culture. When such assumption is left in tacit, misunderstandings could arise (Sharma and Bhal, 2004). To be effective then, values should reside at the operational levels in the thoughts and actions of those who implement the strategy whom are the managers. It is important then for managers to understand others and own implicit culturally influenced ethical assumption. 
Organisations are often structured as a collection of functions and roles that have decentralised operational responsibility. Holian (2002) relates that managers are then responsible on performance of subordinates’ performance. The diversity in functions and roles could have challenging ethical issue. Once the demarcation among these functions and roles became an issue, managers could miss the opportunity to make ethical decisions. Managers are in a response mentality as moral action may be a part of the problem’s solution of a different order than ethical decision-making. Because organisations are made integrated, managers are confronted with the challenge of the tendency to be problem-oriented which may confound ethical problems in the organisational level (Carroll, 1990).  
According to Casali (2007), organisations may encourage managers to be unethical in forceful and implicit ways via disincentives. The reward of quantity over quality is an example of this as well as the bottomline pressure for profits at any cost, open door policies but closed door practices, punishment for reporting policy violations, promotion of managers known to be less ethical and patterns of deception throughout management. As such, the way performance maybe measured may put pressure on managers to act for the short term rather than to choose what might be the right approach for the organisation in the long run. Hence, the lesson for managers is to set and manage reasonable performance expectations (Vardi and Weitz, 2004).  

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