The Enron Case Essay Sample
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The Enron Case Essay Sample
The Enron case only proves how money, wealth, properties, luxury, ambition, and fame could make people act unjustly (Dembinski & Lager, 2005). The Enron case shows how company executives and bosses could arrive at selfish decisions for their own sake without considering how their decisions and actions could badly affect their subordinates and other stakeholders.
In the case, the executives primarily Ken Lay and Jeffrey Skilling were accused and proven guilty of fabricating fraud financial records and reports not only towards the constituents of the company but also to the investors. The reports also stated that other company executives and bosses besides Lay and Skilling were also involved with the fraud and conspiracy (Q&A: The Enron Case, 2006).
The Enron case can be compared with Thrasymachus concept of justice as the advantage of the stronger (Plato & Lee, 2003). This entails that that which possesses power and authority sets forth what is just and what is unjust. Those people who hold power are those who determine what is right and what is wrong, and what is good and bad (Dembinski & Lager, 2005). Furthermore, Thrasymachus principle suggests that being unjust could give more benefits and advantages. In short, injustice serves more than justice (Plato & Lee, 2003).
As what happened with the Enron case, the bosses and the executives have the power and authority over the whole company. They are the ones who make decisions. They tell issue commands and have the direct access on all company records. For this reason, it is undeniable that were able to do the scheme.
The executives and the bosses, upon knowing that their market sales were going down and that the company’s debts were getting higher, decided to go on a partnership which they consider their last hope to regain the company status (Q&A: The Enron Case, 2006). They asked for investors and offered bigger shares to them. And because the bosses and the executives of the Enron have the direct access to company files, reports, and records, they were able to falsify the records and eventually presenting a fabricated financial report which showed that the company was still in a good standing.
When the investors found out the scheme, it was too late because some executives together with the big bosses had already left the company and consumed the money that they give for their shares in the company (Q&A: The Enron Case, 2006). The stockholders were also surprised and enraged upon knowing that the company was bankrupt and had extreme losses. Ultimately, there were lots of employees who lost jobs because of the fraud and conspiracy perpetrated by the Enron executives.
This case only shows how abuse and misuse of power and authority can bring injustice to other people (Dembinski & Lager, 2005). The executives are the stronger primarily because they are the ones who have the power and authority. And they used this power to inflict injustices to the company’s stakeholders for their own sake. For these reasons, I believe that the Enron executives were really working with Thrasymachus principle – that injustice is more profitable than justice.
However, it does not always the case that injustice would benefit the unjust man. Being unjust imply not being considerate with other’s welfare. If for an instance, the stakeholders who were badly affected by the Enron scheme would also act unjustly in order to avenge what happened to them and pledge to take whatever actions that could compensate the injury or harm that is inflicted to them that would obviously a disadvantage for the Enron executives.
As Socrates refuted Thrasymachus for saying that injustice is more advantageous than justice itself, justice does not only apply to oneself or to a particular group of people; it applies to all. The common good that which benefits all serves justice. One agrees to be in cooperation with this common good in order to ensure that no other individual would act unjustly that would make his or her own disadvantage (Plato & Lee, 2003).
Dembinski, P. H. & Lager, C. (2005) Enron and World Finance: A Case Study in Ethics. Palgrave Macmillan
Plato, & Lee, D. (2003) The Republic (2nd ed.). Penguin Classics.
Q&A: The Enron Case. (2006, July 5)). Retrieved November 8, 2007, from BBC News: http://news.bbc.co.uk/2/hi/business/3398913.stm