Jul 25, 2017

What should have been the role and responsibility of company leadership (the Board of Directors, the CEO Ken Lay and others)?

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The Influence of Company Leadership and Culture on Business Ethics: A case of Enron Inc.



In the Module 5 Case, you will be performing a critical analysis of the role assumed by an organization`s culture in determining the organization`s ethics. You may complete the Module 5 Case and SLP in any order you prefer.

Required Reading

Please read the following articles related to Enron:

Madsen, S. & Vance, C. (2009). Unlearned lessons from the past: an insider`s view of Enron`s downfall. Corporate Governance, 9(2), 216-227. Retrieved from ProQuest.

Free, C., Macintosh, N., & Stein, M. (2007). Management Controls: The Organizational Fraud Triangle of Leadership, Culture and Control in Enron. Ivey Business Journal Online. Retrieved from ProQuest.

Meisinger, S. R. (2012). Examining organizational ethics. Human Resource Executive Online (June, 2011). Retrieved on November 19, 2012 from: http://www.hreonline.com/HRE/story.jsp?storyId=533348507


In a well-written, 5-7 page essay, please address the following:

Discuss the ways in which a company`s leadership and culture influence its business ethics.

Keys to the Assignment

  • Define "organizational culture." Please be very specific (and be sure that you provide references for your description of culture).
  • Evaluate Enron`s sense of business ethics and business operations in the context of the organization’s culture? Specifically, what went wrong?
  • What should have been the role and responsibility of company leadership (the Board of Directors, the CEO Ken Lay and others)? In what ways did key executive players (e.g., Lay, Skilling, and Fastow) work to negatively reshape the culture, and with what adverse consequences?
  • How might Human Resource Management (HRM) have played a central role in setting the "moral compass" at Enron, helping to form and shape the organizational culture (perhaps avoiding the Enron debacle altogether)?

Assignment Expectations

Your paper will be evaluated on the following seven criteria:

  • Precision - Does the paper address the question(s) or task(s)?
  • Breadth - Is the full breadth of the subject (i.e., the Keys to the Assignment) addressed?
  • Depth - Does the paper address the topic in sufficient depth and include the background reading and other background resources as references?
  • Critical thinking - Is the subject thought about critically (i.e., accurately, logically, relevantly, and precisely)?
  • Clarity - Is the writing clear and are the concepts articulated properly? Are paraphrasing and synthesis of concepts the primary means of responding to the questions or are points conveyed through excessive use of quotations?
  • Organization - Is the paper well written? Are the grammar, spelling, and vocabulary appropriate for graduate-level work? Are headings included in all papers longer than two pages?
  • Referencing (citations and references) - Does the paper include citations and quotation marks where appropriate? Are the references from the background reading and assignment present and properly cited? Are all the references listed in the bibliography present and referred to via citation?

Tips and Suggestions

  1. For this final Case essay, use at least four additional scholarly sources.
  2. Cite all sources using proper APA style, and use proper in-text citations.
  3. Follow the Well-Written Paper guidelines.
  4. An excellent article on Enron`s culture as well, the following may also be useful to you in your analysis of the Case:

Sims, R. R. & Brinkmann. J. (2003). Enron ethics (or: Culture matters more than codes). Journal of Business Ethics, 45(3), 243-256. Retrieved from ProQuest.

  1. Finally, I highly recommend the movie Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room. You may be able to view parts of the movie on YouTube. Following is the movie trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0zMakN-EMLg
The Influence of Company Leadership and Culture on Business Ethics: A case of Enron Inc.Name:Institution:Course:Instructor:Date:The Influence of Company Leadership and Culture on Business Ethics: A case of Enron Inc.Introduction: Organizational CultureOrganizational culture represents an important aspect of a firm`s internal social and psychological environment. Up to date, no single definition of organizational culture exists but for purposes of understanding the underlying concept, this paper looks at the meaning of Culture (Dessler, 2011). Culture encompasses beliefs, values, attitudes and behaviors held by people in a given setting. Such social elements of culture present in an organization represent the organizational culture. An organization on the other hand, is a group of people working towards the achievement of a common goal. As such, an understanding of Organizational Culture enables the people under question to interact in harmony for purposes of realizing stated goals and objectives. It can therefore be said that Organizational culture refers to the scheme or design of collective actions, values, beliefs, attitudes and norms that people of an organization operate under.As such, Organizational culture refers to prevailing behavioral traits of an organization. It depicts the norms or usual ways of doing things within a firm. It determines influences and or directs the aspects of operations and general work life. Additionally, organizational culture determines the overall direction towards which a company is headed either success or failure. It also establishes the way people interact and associate with others within and outside the firm (Dessler, 2011). It is also important to note that Organizational Culture is built upon over years of the firm`s existence and is subject to undergo changes.Day-to-day routines characterize the Organizational Culture of a company in both formal and informal dimensions. These routines act as a basis of ritual and practic...

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