Enron didn’t rise to the power that it eventually became overnight. It began as a merger of two gas pipeline companies in 1985. Enron provided wholesale as well as retail sales of energy through natural gas and electricity. In the 16 years that followed the merger, the ethos of greed, arrogance and negligence set in place by Chairman Ken Lay, CEO Jeffery Skilling and CFO Andrew Fastow, was one that is unmatched to this day in Corporate American history. This apathetic culture, defined in Business Ethics: Ethical Decision Making and Cases as “showing minimal concern for either people or performance,” where the individuals focus on their own self–interest rather than the interest of shareholders is where a compa...
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...arian would not have allowed a rank and yank system because it creates more opportunity for the employee to act unethically in order to get ahead. The board of directors was caught selling off shares in order to cover themselves when in the future they would end up laying off 4,000 employees and destroying these employees’ retirement plans. A utilitarian would not have to make this choice because he or she would not allow things to escalate to this point.
Enron functioned as a company that failed at upholding the ethical values its board of directors initially attempted to instate. Over the course of its years in power the company’s board of directors failed to act ethically. The downfall of the corporate culture at Enron can be attributed to an apathetic culture, intense competition and an overall lack of ethical compliance, which ultimately destroyed the company.
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