Self Management Theory

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Many people will argue over what they believe to be the main contributing factors to the largest corporate collapse in history that of the Texas based energy giant Enron. The consensus of authors, experts, reporters and basically anyone familiar with the story is that greed is ultimately responsible for the corporation’s demise. This is essentially true and self management theory explains why the Enron executive’s greed did not work out so well for them and the company.

Self management is a set of strategies such as self-reward, self-punishment and self-monitoring that a person uses to influence and improve his or her own behavior through identifying personal objectives and priorities and monitoring one’s own behavior and its consequences (Yukl, 2006). When an individual only uses a few of these strategies he is essentially setting himself up for failure because each strategy works as a sort of checks and balances of ones behavior. When self reward is the main focus of decision making without any regard to self punishment, ethics tend to be disregarded and the choices made, while resulting in beneficial outcomes for the executive, may not be the best for the corporation as a whole. This was true of the decisions made by Enron executives. To increase the value of their stock they used fraudulent accounting techniques allowing the company to be listed as the seventh largest in the United States ( These scandalous behaviors ultimately resulted in the bankruptcy and investigation by the SEC that destroyed the company and left 22,000 employees without a job. In this situation the executives continued to focus on self reward strategies knowing their practices were less than legal and were not using self punishment strategies to counteract their behavior. According to self management theory leaders are successful when they are able to maintain a consistent balance of one’s own behavior. They are able to identify their objectives, evaluate which...
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