• April 27th, 2016

Duty Ethics

Paper, Order, or Assignment Requirements

Duty Ethics
Evaluate the Enron debacle in the context of Corporate Social Responsibility. Specifically, socially responsible organizations behave in certain, ethical ways. Socially responsible organizations tend to go above and beyond the rules, mores, and expectations that have been established (and that are expected to be adhered to) by the general public, company employees, end customers, buyers and suppliers, and the government, for example. We will investigate the ways in which Enron defied the tenets of “socially responsible” behavior.
Required Reading
Read the following excerpt related to CSR. As you read, consider the benefits realized by socially responsible organizations, and how the leadership at Enron operated counter to CSR tenets:
Corporate social responsibility. (2013). International Institute for Sustainable Development. Retrieved from https://www.iisd.org/business/issues/sr.aspx

In a well-written, 2 page paper, discuss how the Enron case informs our understanding of what it means for companies to be “socially responsible.”

1. In the context of CSR, in what ways did Enron demonstrate – not social responsibility – but social irresponsibility? Consider how the company’s actions ran counter to the tenets of CSR through its neglect of duty to the company’s shareholders, its employees, and even the larger public trust. Be sure to cite specific examples.
2. What have been the long-term consequences of Enron’s actions, and how did the company’s implosion change our view of what it means for a company to be “socially responsible”?

Tips and Suggestions
Consider cause and effect when you discuss the longer-term consequence of the Enron case. Major corporate scandals – like the Enron scandal – most often result in increases in regulation, and in more oversight and scrutiny of other organizations. Consider, for example, how manipulation of the financial statements brought about vast increases in government regulation (e.g., Sarbanes-Oxley Act of 2002) and oversight of the financial reporting of publicly-held companies. Certainly, the Enron collapse spawned renewed attention to the efficacy of professional accounting standards and related-party transactions (and even Enron’s “mark-to-market” accounting practices). Alternatively, you might discuss how the complicity of the company’s auditors served to refocus the public’s attention on what it means for auditing firms to be truly “independent.”

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