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Enron's Code Of Ethics Essay

1001 words - 4 pages

Introduction:The study of Enron and its code of ethics is an important case. It is a case which demonstrates on a large scale the implications of violating or ignoring a code of ethics. Ethics are a written set of rules and principles a corporation or group promise to follow and guide them in their decisions. It also consists of unwritten laws or rules which can be defined as simply the difference between right and wrong.Enron used to be the largest distributer and producer of electricity and natural gas in the country. The company was listed as the fifth largest of the fortune 500 companies. As the energy market declined at the end of the 1990's more of their financial and accounting processes came into the "limelight". This was the beginning of the end for the company and eventually filed bankrupt in 2002. Enron's failure to abide by its own and unwritten code of ethics had devastating effect on it shareholders and the economy as well. Although legislation such as the Sarbanes-Oxley act has been enacted since then to hopefully deter this from happening in the future, following a code of ethics still essential.It is not that Enron did not have a code of ethics, it is that they chose not to abide by them. Enron's code of ethics was a very well written and covered multiple subjects. It states that as a corporation it has a responsibility to conduct itself in a manner that goes beyond industry, economic and cultural boundaries (Enron, July, 2000). It started with expressing their vision or goal of the company which dealt more with the environment than corporate practices.The section on values are typical of most. Respect - We will treat others as we would like to be treated. Integrity - We work with customers and prospects openly, honestly and sincerely. When we say we will do something we will do it, if we cannot or won't, then we won't. Communication - We have an obligation to communicate and listen. Excellence - We are satisfied with doing nothing less than the very best in everything we do (Enron, July, 2000, p. 4). There is more to each of these stated values but I wanted to highlight the ones I feel they chose not to adhere to. There is not one category of the values they have listed that they did not blatantly violate. This is a theme that repeats itself over and over. It is as if they document was never read by any level of management and the author.The pamphlet states the company is expected to conduct business with employees, stakeholders and customers in accordance with its vision and values statements. They will always conduct their business according to all laws and regulations and in the highest professional and ethical standards. (Enron, July, 2000, p. 5).Under the section called business ethics it states " employees of Enron Corp., it subsidiaries, and its affiliated companies (collectively called the "Company") are charged with conducting their business...

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