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Navigating Change: The Impact of Digitization, Innovation, and Globalization on ExxonMobil’s Workforce and Value Creation

Company Context

Currently, ExxonMobil is among the top manufacturers and suppliers of gas and oil worldwide. “Exxon Mobil Corporation is committed to continuing to be the top petroleum and petrochemical organization in the world. ExxonMobil aspires to consistently achieve and sustain improved economic and operational performance that consistently adhere to the highest principles for corporate behavior as part of its company strategy.”[1] In addition to offering the ability to empower millions of people, connectivity, digital transformation, and innovation have made it possible for businesses to take advantage of fantastic opportunities for value creation. With the aid of digital power, the oil and gas business may now redraw its boundaries. The oil and gas sector will soon have to deal with the risk of losing a significant number of its personnel to retirement.

Exxon Mobil Corporation operates in the production, marketing, refining, and exploration sectors of the oil and gas business, which is highly competitive. “The petroleum producer must contend with possibilities and difficulties brought forth by shifting market dynamics, regulations, and technology breakthroughs.”[2] I have decided to concentrate on ExxonMobil’s connection with its workers for this research. Workers are an essential stakeholder group whose expertise, commitment, and abilities are crucial to the success of the business. Because ExxonMobil works in a highly specialized and technological enterprise, its employees are essential to the company’s ability to innovate, achieve operational excellence, and uphold safety requirements.

Forces and Stakeholder Analysis

With the advent of digital technology, the oil and gas sector can take advantage of the potential in efficiency, cost, and safety. “Systems engineering may assist in seizing these possibilities by providing the oil and gas sector with a fresh perspective on issues and obstacles that have existed for decades.”[3] Employing methods like a DSM may assist in breaking down an organization to the job level and provide a straightforward means of illustrating complex processes.


ExxonMobil’s interaction with employees is anticipated to be significantly impacted by the company’s continuous digitalization of operations. “A growing number of elements across the oil and gas value chain, from production and refining to distribution and exploration, are using automation, data analytics, and artificial intelligence (AI). Although digitization presents prospects for augmenting efficacy and output, it also gives rise to apprehensions over the prospects of certain positions inside the organization.”[4] Certain employment groups within the workforce may experience job displacement due to the automation of repetitive activities or regular processes. But digitalization also offers up new avenues for retraining and upskilling workers to meet the demands of changing jobs and technology in the next five years. The oil and gas sector will be on the verge of digitization, especially in process and robotics. On the other hand, opinions differ over how this change will manifest itself in the following years. A lot of companies are pledging to be ready for a future with less carbon emissions. Australia is among the nations that have committed to achieving carbon neutrality by 2050. Some are attempting to phase out energy from fossil fuels totally. Future solutions like carbon capture, emissions reduction via flare technological advances, energy conservation through smart grids, and combining renewable energy resources with oil and gas will be investigated using digital innovations.


Innovation in ExxonMobil’s operations involves changing the nature of work and the skills needed from people due to advances in technology and procedures. “The corporation is spending money on R&D to create more environmentally friendly energy solutions, boost productivity, and lessen its negative effects on the environment.”[5] Employees will thus need to regularly pick up new skills and adjust to changing industry norms. Employees may also contribute to the creation of innovative solutions and help ExxonMobil stand out in the marketplace via innovation. “The theory of employee engagement in the innovation process will highlight the need to be fostered for digitization to be effective which expands upon prior views that maintain that a business should provide value for all parties involved, not only shareholders. Building solid connections with internal stakeholders is essential because their participation in a dynamic connection facilitates digital transformation.”[6] Moving forward, employee-led innovation helps the oil and gas sector become more innovative and improve performance analysis. “The upstream sector has a great deal of space for further advancements, especially in drilling processes. Future developments in robotics, data science, digital geometry, and artificial intelligence suggest that technology may make it possible for systematic architecture and the drilling realm of performance to have closer, more organic relationships.”[7] The public’s growing concerns about climate change are another issue the company sector must deal with.


“The oil and gas sector has changed as a result of globalization, which has raised market volatility, competitiveness, and geopolitical complexity.”[8] Because of ExxonMobil’s worldwide reach, workers must negotiate a variety of cultural, legal, and commercial situations. Additionally, globalization offers chances for cross-border knowledge sharing and talent acquisition, giving ExxonMobil access to a wide range of viewpoints and skill sets. It does, however, present issues with talent retention since workers may look for chances with rival companies or in other sectors of the economy that offer better terms. “Workers are essential in negotiating different cultural, legal, and commercial contexts worldwide.”[9] Because of ExxonMobil’s worldwide reach, staff members have to adjust to differing business customs, legal requirements, and cultural standards in the many areas where the firm does business. To ensure operational effectiveness and compliance with local rules and regulations, they must be able to comprehend and manage these intricacies.


In light of the above, and considering the current strategic focus for ExxonMobil, digitization, innovation, and globalization will have a significant impact on Exxon Mobil and its employee pool in the next half-decade in terms of creation and capture. Automation and digitalization may displace specific jobs, but they also provide chances for reskilling and upskilling. Innovation not only makes it necessary for workers to learn and adapt continuously, but it also gives them the ability to make significant contributions to industry improvements. Market dynamics and people management face both possibilities and problems as a result of globalization. In order to maintain value generation and capture in the ever-changing oil and gas business, ExxonMobil has to take proactive measures to mitigate the effects of these factors on its workforce.


ExxonMobil. “Digital Technologies.” ExxonMobil. Last modified December 14, 2020.

Fernandez-Vidal, Jorge, Reyes Gonzalez, Jose Gasco, and Juan Llopis. “Digitalization and corporate transformation: The case of European oil & gas firms.” Technological Forecasting and Social Change 174, no. 23 (2022), 121-193. doi:10.1016/j.techfore.2021.121293.

Perrons, Robert K., and Jesse W. Jensen. “Data as an asset: What the oil and gas sector can learn from other industries about “Big Data.” Energy Policy 81, no. 3 (2015), 117-121. doi:10.1016/j.enpol.2015.02.020.

Razmanova, Svetlana, and Olga Andrukhova. “Oilfield service companies as part of economy digitalization: assessment of the prospects for innovative development.” Journal of Mining Institute 244, no. 12 (2020), 482-492. doi:10.31897/pmi.2020.4.11.

Shukla, Amit, and Hamad Karki. “Application of robotics in onshore oil and gas industry—A review Part I.” Robotics and Autonomous Systems 75, no. 5 (2016), 490-507. doi:10.1016/j.robot.2015.09.012.

[1] ExxonMobil, “Digital Technologies,” ExxonMobil, last modified December 14, 2020,

[2] Jorge Fernandez-Vidal et al., “Digitalization and corporate transformation: The case of European oil & gas firms,” Technological Forecasting and Social Change 174, no. 23 (2022): 151.

[3] Svetlana Razmanova and Olga Andrukhova, “Oilfield service companies as part of economy digitalization: assessment of the prospects for innovative development,” Journal of Mining Institute 244, no. 12 (2020): 489

[4] Razmanova and Andrukhova, 491.

[5] Amit Shukla and Hamad Karki, “Application of robotics in onshore oil and gas industry—A review Part I,” Robotics and Autonomous Systems 75, no. 5 (2016): 501.

[6] Shukla and Karki, 504.

[7] Fernandez-Vidal, 160.

[8] Robert K. Perrons and Jesse W. Jensen, “Data as an asset: What the oil and gas sector can learn from other industries about “Big Data,” Energy Policy 81, no. 3 (2015): 119.

[9] Perrons and Jensen, 117.


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