Scapegoating in Crisis Management: Unveiling Its Pitfalls

In crisis management, scapegoating is a common tactic that shifts blame to others. Instead of taking responsibility, it points fingers outward. But this approach isn’t wise and can harm credibility and trust. Ethically, it’s often seen as questionable.

While external factors might play a part when dealing with crises, it’s better to focus on understanding the root causes, fixing internal issues, and preventing the same problems. Being proactive and accountable shows learning and rebuilding trust.

Example: BP Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill

An example of scapegoating is the BP Deepwater Horizon oil spill in 2010. After the spill, BP tried blaming others like Transocean and Halliburton. They focused on the blowout preventer and cementing by these companies. But investigations showed BP had a big role in the disaster through decisions about safety, rules, and operations. The scapegoating didn’t hold up under scrutiny. BP faced big fines, environmental claims, and damage to its reputation.

This situation teaches us that scapegoating might help briefly, but it goes against transparency and accountability. It’s better, to be honest, and find real solutions in crisis management. The key lesson is that lasting trust comes from owning mistakes and taking meaningful steps to fix them, not blaming others.

Scroll to Top