Enron's Organizational Culture : Enron

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Enron: [Don’t] Ask Why During the year 2000, Enron was exceeding all expectations, its stock was through the roof, and the company seemed to be on top of the world. The next year Enron declared bankruptcy. So how did a company rise and fall so quickly? The key in analysing this question lies in Enron’s organizational culture, which is defined as “a shared meaning held by members distinguishing an organization” (Robbins and Judge, Essentials of Organizational Behavior, 269). During its prime, Enron appeared to be a successful and innovative company, but in reality was a company rooted in an organizational culture of corruption and greed. The five culture dimensions of stability, risk taking and innovation, attention to detail, outcome orientation, and aggressiveness are key to understanding how unethical behavior became such a problem at Enron. Before going into an analysis on the organizational culture at Enron, I will first elaborate on the severity of the unethical behavior that existed at Enron. The problem can best be shown in the words of an Enron employee who said “If I’m going to my boss’s office to talk about compensation, and if I step on some guy’s throat and that doubles it, then I’ll stomp on that guy’s throat”(Enron: The Smartest Guys in the Room). This culture of greed and corruption can also be seen through Enron’s mark to market accounting system, in which Enron cashed in on ideas and “future profits” without actually making anything. Furthermore,
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