Ethics refers to “the principles of conduct governing an individual or a group; specifically, the standards you use to decide what your conduct should be (Dessler, 2011).” Secondly ethical decisions always involve questions or morality (Dessler, 2011). Anyone that had anything to do with the meltdown at Enron had no ethical standards.
Enron had a lack of accounting transparency, which enabled the company’s managers to make their financials look much better than they actually were. I believe that Kenneth Lay got rid of several million shares of Enron stock and made over a billion dollars. While the Enron employees lost their jobs, the money in their pension funds as well as any money they invested into the company. Not only did Enron damage the lives of their employees, but they also affected the customers that were buying their products, and the outside investors who lost a significant amount of their money.
This all happened because of the unethical behavior and greed of those individuals involved in the meltdown. Even today there are greedy people out there that would do anything for money. They would not care if they had to lie, cheat, break the law, and ruin the lives of the people who stand in their way. But what can be done to stop them? As stated in the case by the executive director of the Ethics Officer Association, You can’t write enough laws to tell us what to do at all times every day of the week in every part of the world (Dessler, 2011).
#3. This case and chapter both had something to say about how organizational culture influences ethical behavior. What role do you think culture played at Enron? Give five specific examples of things Enron’s CEO could have done to create a healthy ethical culture.
The most persuasive explanation of how an apparently ethical company could go so wrong concerns