From its inception, Halliburton (in its varied corporate forms) has always prided itself as a political networking powerhouse first; with business practices a distant second. Unfortunately, this distinction has sometimes trumped quality control concerns, ethics and public responsibility. In fact, when asked about commercial ethics and practices, Eric Palmer Halliburton once said, “Don’t ever tell me I cannot do something because it will infringe on somebody’s patent. I started in business infringing.”
The 2008 exposure of Halliburton’s alleged criminal behavior in Iraq had still not been resolved when the company found itself in the center of yet another fiasco—the 2010 Deepwater Horizon disaster. Trying to repair an already tarnished image amidst a new calamity proved to be a profound challenge.
Focusing specifically on Halliburton’s involvement in the 2010 Deepwater Horizon spill in the Gulf of Mexico, this paper explores both crisis communication as well as corporate responsibility, especially when the business of “cementing” relationships becomes more important than the business of providing quality products and service.
|Keywords:||Halliburton, Deepwater Horizon, Communication, Corporate Responsibility|
Professor, Communication Department, Boston College, Chestnut Hill, MA, USA
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