Motivation at Norsk Petroleum
Norsk Petroleum is a leading gas and oil exploration company based in Oslo, Norway. It employs 2564 people, and its business operations comprise the exploration, production and marketing of crude oil, natural gas and natural gas liquids. In 2007 most of its business was conducted in Norway and Canada, although its interests included ventures in West Africa, Australia, the Gulf of Mexico and Venezuela. When Usa Bohm, the human resources director for Norsk Petroleum, read an email message from Elizabeth Pedersen she knew she had another urgent issue to deal with that week. Elizabeth Pedersen was a petroleum engineer who had the task of deciding how to extract the oil once it had been found by geologists, and extraction had been estimated to be viable by the company's team of geophysicists. Elizabeth had requested a meeting with Usa for the next day, but she did not say what the purpose was. Usa suspected that Elizabeth was intending to tender her resignation. Usa's problem was not new, or unique to Norsk Petroleum. In the previous five years, the major oil companies such as Amoco, Bp, Exxon and Shell had accelerated their oil exploration and extraction operations. With the expansion of exploration and extraction in Iraq, following the US and British military intervention, many small independent gas and oil companies had also entered the market or stepped up their operations. After graduating from university, the 'knowledge workers' of the industry - geologists, geophysicists and petroleum engineers - need at least three years' field experience before they become fully qualified and valued professionals. There was a shortage of, and an urgent need for, qualified professionals. Many small companies had resorted to using executive recruitment agencies or 'head hunters’. In the previous 12 months, 18 (15 per cent) of the Norsk Petroleum scientists had resigned after receiving offers from rival companies. As Usa was pondering what she...
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