Lehman Brothers Learning Team Reflection

Topics: Ethics, Enron, Management Pages: 4 (767 words) Published: January 23, 2015
Lehman Brothers - Learning Team Reflection
When an organization gets too large, the managers and employees begin to lose perspective on the organization’s mission, goals, culture, and everything vital for the company’s success. Managers and employees will focus their attention on profits and financial goals to satisfy their interests. When the emphasis is only on the individual, it creates an unethical work environment that ultimately leads to the collapse of the organization. The culture at the Lehman Brothers was that of careless and reckless behavior from their investing practices to the manipulation of their financial reporting. For many years, this was a very successful company, however, with success, comes the greed of demanding more money and power. This greed spiraled out of control by falsifying financial reporting and participating in risky and unethical behavior. The company repeatedly exceeded its own internal risk limits and controls and management made a wide range of bad decisions. The company’s reward structure encouraged excessive risk-taking by top management. When focus is placed on solely on money, judgment is often clouded. The unethical behavior from senior management channeled down the chain of command and repercussions from such behavior were non-existent. Employees were often rewarded monetarily for taking risks and making questionable deals. These employees were supported in their unethical decision-making and were treated as victorious heroes. And anyone who questioned them were ignored. This greed caused the downfall of the organization mainly because upper administration once did what they wanted without the moral obligations required as a leader. Upper management did not want to take sound ethical advice. This become the socially accepted norm by all employees. The desire to make money at all cost was more important than following basic ethical values.

The executives played a huge role in Lehman's collapse. The executives...
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