Ethics and the Collapse of Enron Analytical Essay by SBurtis

Ethics and the Collapse of Enron
This paper briefly explores the causes behind the failure of Enron.
# 152662 | 864 words | 3 sources | APA | 2012 | US
Published on Apr 11, 2013 in Business (Administration) , Business (Management) , Accounting (Fraud)

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The paper discusses the impact of the unethical behavior of Enron executives on the culture of the organization and explains how they caused its eventual collapse. The paper looks at the warning signs that the company was heading towards disaster and describes how Enron employees suffered from groupthink; they placed too much trust in the collective morality and ability of the company, and overlooked discrepancies and contradictions for the sake of cohesion and conformity. The paper concludes that we see that while employees should be able to trust their leaders, those leaders are not always the best influence.

The Ethical Impact of Company Leaders
Warning Signs
Cultural and Structural Breakdown

From the Paper:

"Company leaders have a responsibility to set an ethical example for employees to follow. Charismatic leaders with much influence tend to encourage employees to follow their lead. If leaders are ethical, employees will follow suit. If unethical behavior is the example offered, employees are just as likely to fall into unethical patterns because such behavior becomes normal and acceptable within that company (Wienclaw, 2008). Such was the case at Enron.
"A company's moral culture links into its ethical strength and quality leadership. When company leaders are not fully committed to ethical control, like Enron, moral standards fall to the wayside. Because Enron was without moral control, the company experienced a breakdown, both structurally and culturally, causing the company to collapse altogether. Enron executives were not concerned with ethical standards. Instead, they created a culture where profits were the major focus, and this culture demanded that employees conform. Dissension was unacceptable, and because of this, employees embraced the culture of their work environment. Personal convictions were set aside as Enron employees found many reasons to remain quiet and passive about the unethical practices occurring right in front of them. Instead, they accepted this lack of ethics as a cultural norm and complied with company expectations (Wienclaw; Prentice, 2003)."

Sample of Sources Used:

  • Chima, F. O. (2005). Integrating traditional organizational behavior theories and issues for employee assistance practice. Journal of Workplace Behavioral Health, 21(2), 59-77.
  • Prentice, R. (2003). Enron: A brief behavioral autopsy. American Business Law Journal, 40(2), 417.
  • Wienclaw, R. A. (2008). Organizational behavior. Organizational Behavior--Research Starters Business.

Cite this Analytical Essay:

APA Format

Ethics and the Collapse of Enron (2013, April 11) Retrieved March 23, 2023, from

MLA Format

"Ethics and the Collapse of Enron" 11 April 2013. Web. 23 March. 2023. <>