ENRON AND THE DECISION MAKING FACTOR
Introduction – Students, analysts and critics of modern business practice will always consider the colossal Enron collapse as an important text book case about how a lot of different things inside the company can trigger a nearly overnight downfall of a once prestigious company. If there was any Cinderella story in the world of blue chip trading and high portfolio business, Enron was the ultimate opposite, if not the witch herself who was killed by her own lethal potion. The Enron collapse resulted in the formulating of many different opinions pointing to the many different possible reasons why Enron – with all the promise and potential that it has a few years before it went south – made the nosedive that made it one of the worst disasters in the history of trade, commerce and business. There is no doubt that most of the opinions that surfaced explaining the reason why such an eventuality befell Enron placed the blame on the wrong things that the top management echelon did for the company; they are after all the one which is responsible for the present and the future of Enron. Critics looking at the Enron debacle scrutinized what happened leading to the collapse using many different perspectives and considering many different factors, both in the professional capability of the company’s leaders as well as the impact of the surrounding factors beyond Enron’s control.
One of the most important facets in the debate regarding the fall of Enron is decision making. Evidently, a lot of wrong decisions were made, with one every wrong decision acting as a building block that eventually became an insurmountable wall of consequences all borne out of wrong or faulty decision making processes that yielded results that did the company more harm than good. Indeed, the decision making linchpins significant to the establishment of the case that the Enron collapse was due in some extent to the decision making aspect of the leadership strata of the company can be identified easily as it is scattered throughout the timeline of Enron’s very near and not so distant past leading to the eventual fall of the company that hid behind the façade of the building the ugliness created by the qualities of its leaders that caused the chaos that burned down Enron down to meager, worthless ashes. This paper will pick the significant moments wherein the decision making capabilities and abilities of its top management leaders were at play and use these moments to establish the ethical and other considerations coming to play during the analysis of the decision making efforts of the leaders and why the outcome of such exercises led to the fall of Enron and not towards the company’s betterment, which is the main task of the company’s top executives. The paper will utilize these occasions to stress its argument regarding the role of effective, ethical and sound decision making of top executives leading to either the success or bankruptcy of companies, in this case that of Enron, and discuss key aspects of this line of thought. The paper will not criminalize the actions of the executives of Enron; rather, it will infuse inputs from other professionals regarding important aspects in the discussion of corporate decision making (ethics, result-orientation, etc).
Background – Various angles have already been explored by many different individuals every time the topic of analysis is Enron and its collapse. Because of this, the paper is moving to focus on an aspect that is focused more on Kenneth Lay and the rest of his top executive clique’s personal characteristic that could have played an important role in the outcome of Enron’s operation. Decision making is both a personal characteristic as it is a professional credential, even an asset. Some people are being paid handsome amounts of money for their ability to transform decision making...
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