Profile of Enron: The Rise and Fall

by: Scott Moore

Publication Date: December 7, 2010
Length: 20 pages
Product ID#: 1-429-058

Core Disciplines: Accounting/Finance, Ethics, Leadership/Organizational Behavior

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Teaching Note

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In 1999, Enron was the #1 company in innovation and quality of management. Less than two years later, it filed for bankruptcy in one of the most portent fraud cases of the decade. The story of Enron’s rise and fall tells a lot about manipulation of accounting and regulatory standards and about the disregard of ethics and law in pursuit of money and excellence. Against the backdrop of the company’s history and main players, the case explains the law-bending tactics used by Enron’s management and partners, eventually leading to speculations and the resignation of then-CEO Jeff Skilling. The stock price crash and resulting bankruptcy are also discussed, and the profile ends with the main findings of the ensuing SEC investigation.

Teaching Objectives

After reading and discussing the material, students should:

  • Explain why corporate governance is difficult to set up and maintain.
  • Assess the types of behavior required to support a company's formal policies.