Dot Thompson (and the rest) for Best People of the Week

Even though I had to meet with her on at least 2 other occasions for other classes, they were always in large groups and I mostly never paid any attention.  I am glad I went to see her by myself fairly recently to learn more about the opportunities that we students have at our disposal.  I went to the library not really knowing how to go about finding Dot, let alone any information that I needed.  After searching around and asking other people for a while, I finally found her, where we subsequently descended into the bowels of the library.  I didn’t make an appointment, but she wasn’t very busy and was more than happy to give me a hand.

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Power and corruption attributes to the fall of Enron

Power seems to be present in all types of organization, whether informal or formal. Depending on their internal structure, organizations tend to adapt diverse sources of powers and Enron is no exception. In my paper, I want to focus and finding the link between Organizations and Organizing and The Smartest Guys in the Room in the concept of power.

I believe power is evident in The Smartest Guys in the Room; several people had control over the company and they had a major influence not only to their employees but on Wall Street as well in very deceiving ways. I would like to analyze the different types of power within organizations and find which one applies to Enron. Organizations and Organizing discusses Emerson’s view of power as “the control or influence the other resides in control over the things he values, which may range all the way from oil resources to ego-support, depending upon the relation in question. In short, power resides implicitly in the other’s dependence,” (p.203). By doing some research (used index!) I found two very interesting books: Emerson and power: creative antagonism in the nineteenth century and Union power and the public interest which could give me more insights of power and its influence in organizations. Along those lines, I feel that the concept of corruption should be included when analyzing Enron’s power since it pertained to the company. I would like to explore how power and corruption are connected into the fall of Enron.

Organizations and Organizing gives me a wide array of sources for this topic. Among them, I found interesting the book The Modern Corporation and Private Property by Berle and Gardiner in which they argue “that as corporations grew large, ownership grew increasingly dispersed among disconnected (and therefore powerless) shareholders, while managerial control grew increasingly consolidated,” (p.354). I think this is very relevant to what happened in Enron, especially after Skilling took control of the majority company. I would be interesting to read some of Berle and Gardiner’s work and find the connection in The Smartest Guys in the Room. This could be a very interesting subject for the paper because it brings out a major flaw that Enron had.

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