Enron’s Words “Loosely” Linked to Their Actions

When most people imagine the structure a successful company their first thought most likely is the CEO, then the other chief officers of the company, the rest of the upper management, and then hierarchy that divides the company into subunits (divisions and departments).   Some people would expect there to be links between all the divisions of the company and be organized in a rigid and simple structure.  Though some businesses are structured this way not all are.  Enron was neither, one of those companies nor successful in any legal sense. Continue reading


What was in the water at Enron?

While reading The Smartest Guys in the Room, I became increasingly angry about the Enron scandal and it disgusted me in terms of the level of corruption within the company.  In my oversimplified 7th grade memory of the Enron scandal, I thought that Ken Lay was a terrible person who was the cause of the downfall of Enron.  While reading Smartest Guys in the Room, I realized that there was no one person who was the downfall of Enron, but that so many people within Enron were just as responsible as Ken Lay.  I didn’t understand how so many people could act unethically and at times illegally, to increase profits.  What could possibly make a group of smart people with such high degrees from Ivy League schools act the way Enron did?  Why couldn’t they see any of the possible ramifications of their actions, or if they did why did they decide to ignore the signs?  What was in the water they were drinking that made some of the smartest guys in the room act so stupidly? Continue reading

Control and Enron

The concepts of control systems and power are useful to consider when further analyzing Enron. Control is important in any organizational setting because it creates the ability to pursue a company’s goals in a directed manner. Control systems therefore need to be clearly established in an organization to implement control properly. Based on the power  structures with in a company, these systems need to operate correctly to prevent abuses and inefficiency within an organization. Consequently it would be interesting to look into the control systems and power structures with relation to Enron.

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Organizational Populations: Conceptualizing a Sublevel of the Ecological Level of Organizational Analysis

Organizational Populations

The population of organizations is one of three distinct sublevels within the ecological level of organizational analysis.  It essentially identifies groups of organizations that are similar in some aspect.  W. Richard Scott and Gerald F. Davis in Organizations and Organizing: Rational, Natural, and Open System Perspectives equate organizational populations to biological species, arguing that in both cases “the most relevant occupants of the environment are other actors of the same kind” (Scott and Davis, 116).  These similar organizations compete most directly for limited resources, thus being the primary source of competition.  However, due to their similarities, these organizations may also occasionally associate and cooperate in order to protect their mutual interests, as well as look to one another for guidance on proper protocol.  Each organizational population is distinct and can be described based on various features that are unique to that population.

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