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The Downfall Of Enron Essay

2073 words - 9 pages

Ethical behavior, in a general sense, is a definition of moral behavior in regards to lawfulness, societal standards, and things of that nature. In the business world, ethics commonly refer to acceptable and unacceptable business practices within the workplace, and all other related environments. The acceptance of colleges regardless of ethnicity, gender, and beliefs, as well as truthfulness and honesty in relation to finances within the company are examples of ideal ethical business conducts. Unethical business behavior would include manipulating procedures based on bias or discrimination, engaging in activities that promote political gain, as well as blatant fabrication of monetary factors within the company and “can affect organizational performance and is costly to employers, employees, shareholders, and other organizational stakeholders” (Cox 263). When a corporation practices proper ethics, it is representing not only itself in a positive manner, but its partners, shareholders, and clients as well. On the other hand, when an organization partakes in unethical activities, all parties are negatively affected. The collapse of Enron is a major case of unethical conduct in the corporate world, because the circumstances surrounding the firm’s chaotic plunge where so scandalous that it left “creditors wrangling over Enron's skeletal remains” (Helyar) long after the company had seen its demise. There are numerous instances to be mentioned, including deliberate failure to properly report fiscal losses, insider trading, and overall relentlessness. The inclusive purpose of this paper is to further explore the underlining factors that contributed to the downfall of the once powerful Enron, and how a new way of approaching business ethics emerged from the wreckage.
Enron stemmed from a small company by the name of Houston Natural Gas, joined by a former Exxon employee, Kenneth Lay, in 1984. As Houston Natural Gas was a relatively small firm, the progression of bigger companies and the stock market threatened to wipe the company off the map. However, with Lay in charge, the company was able to fend off any buyouts, as well as expand twofold. In 1985, Houston Natural Gas and InterNorth, a natural gas pipeline company, merged, and Lay became CEO of both houses. In 1986, after many changes and more growth, the firm changes its name to Enron and relocated to Lay’s hometown of Houston, Texas. At this time Enron was both a natural gas and oil company. The company specialized in the moving of natural gas through its pipelines, extending thousands of miles across the continental United States. As the firm continued to flourish, it reformed its commercial approach by becoming a leading producer and distributer of energy in both the United States and the U.K., as well as becoming more involved in the trading market. Ambition and determination truly carried Enron to new heights, helping it to become one of the most powerful and innovative companies in the United...

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