Corporate Identity viewed through the documentary lens<br />Corporate Advertising & Image – COM 9655<br />Professor Alison...
Corporate identity shaped by documentary film<br />The Corporation and Enron: The smartest guys in the room are evaluated ...
the Corporation<br />The corporation is part of the jigsaw of society . . . [it has] extraordinarily powerful, it reaches ...
The documentary<br />A documentary lends itself to a sense of something being more objective “nonfiction” in strong contra...
Film treatments<br />The use of paraphrasing, and other visual     techniques can influence our view of events.<br />Both ...
Enron:The smartest guys in the room<br />At the center of the Enron case are <br />three senior executives: <br />Kenneth ...
Reckless behavior<br />Enron had developed a “culture of self-conscious greed and reward”, risk taking had become the domi...
Free market energy trade<br />Lay’s broad vision of the bureaucratic energy industry was revolutionary and included more f...
Free marketization of energy<br />Enron maximized the flow of energy to states<br />with power needs from areas with an ov...
Lapse in judgment<br />In 1987 rogue traders, Louis Borget and Thomas Mastroeni, almost bankrupted the company through a t...
Please keep making us millions<br />From the moment Key Lay decided to ignore out right deception and fraud is when the co...
Moral responsibility<br />The Enron traders totally rape California,  . . . exploiting every loophole in the State of Cali...
Explaining Enron<br />Enron was doing all sorts of questionable things, taking enormous risks . . . and performing terribl...
Abuses of power<br />Johnson (2002) attributed the collapse to a series of fundamental ethical lapses by Enron’s leaders. ...
Corporate responsibility<br />Enron’s management failed in their communication-based responsibility to both larger social ...
Fin<br />Thank you for your attention.  <br />
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Explaining Enron

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Explaining Enron

  1. 1. Corporate Identity viewed through the documentary lens<br />Corporate Advertising & Image – COM 9655<br />Professor Alison Griffiths<br />By Andrew Ciccone<br />
  2. 2. Corporate identity shaped by documentary film<br />The Corporation and Enron: The smartest guys in the room are evaluated in terms of how this medium shapes our attitudes and behavior of corporate identity. <br />The company’s image is a reflection of an organization’s identity . . . how each constituency views your organization (Argenti, 2002). <br />
  3. 3. the Corporation<br />The corporation is part of the jigsaw of society . . . [it has] extraordinarily powerful, it reaches everywhere . . . it transforms the lives of people . . . corporations are artificial creations . . . a monster . . . trying to devour as much profit as possible at anyone’s expense (Abbott & Achbar2004). <br />
  4. 4. The documentary<br />A documentary lends itself to a sense of something being more objective “nonfiction” in strong contrast with other mediums such as feature films (Corner, 2002).<br />“Documentary” is a category that has been defined and applied in relation to a sense of public values. <br />Ideals have been framed by a range of authoritarian, liberal, and radical perspectives. <br />
  5. 5. Film treatments<br />The use of paraphrasing, and other visual techniques can influence our view of events.<br />Both of these documentaries subtly employ a satiric style evidenced within the Enron film with titles as, “Enron’s Ride of Broken Dreams” . <br />Subtle musical undertones emphasize the biased voice-overs, utilizing corporate styling of radical and informed voices to pull apart the history, construction, ethics, even the very legal basis of a corporation.<br />Dramatically posed interviews are interwoven into this documentaries in streams of elegantly edited imagery. <br />
  6. 6. Enron:The smartest guys in the room<br />At the center of the Enron case are <br />three senior executives: <br />Kenneth Lay, CEO and founder; <br />Jeffery Skilling, Enron president and heir apparent; <br />and Andrew Fastow, chief financial officer (CFO). <br />Ken Lay, the son of a Baptist minister, was the force behind the initial transformation of a small, Houston-based pipeline company into an energy-trading giant. <br />Much of Lay’s success is attributable to state and federal legislation deregulating the energy industry (Fox, 2003). <br />
  7. 7. Reckless behavior<br />Enron had developed a “culture of self-conscious greed and reward”, risk taking had become the dominant value in the company. <br />As acting CEO, Skilling espoused a Darwinian corporate philosophy and a performance review standard that resulted in a 15% annual turnover.<br />Skilling planned and took trips where people could actually die, motocross, wild adventures – “ the trips were legend”. <br />
  8. 8. Free market energy trade<br />Lay’s broad vision of the bureaucratic energy industry was revolutionary and included more free-market commodity trading of natural gas and electricity.<br />The market price of Enron’s stock was everywhere, even in the elevator, everyone was consumed with it. <br />They were so good, they convinced the investment community that they were “new”, “different”, and “innovative”. <br />
  9. 9. Free marketization of energy<br />Enron maximized the flow of energy to states<br />with power needs from areas with an oversupply<br />of power that we may eventually see in the future. <br />
  10. 10. Lapse in judgment<br />In 1987 rogue traders, Louis Borget and Thomas Mastroeni, almost bankrupted the company through a trading subsidiary called Valhalla. <br />Lay, called a meeting explaining the situation to Enron employees, ‘I promise you, we will never again risk Enron’s credibility in business ventures’ It was a commitment he would fail to keep. (Eichenwald 2005, 39).<br />
  11. 11. Please keep making us millions<br />From the moment Key Lay decided to ignore out right deception and fraud is when the corporate identity of Enron was forever shaped. <br />Instead of firing the traders who had recklessly made poor judgments the response from Ken Lay’s office was, “Please keep making us millions”. <br />
  12. 12. Moral responsibility<br />The Enron traders totally rape California, . . . exploiting every loophole in the State of California. <br />Most people have a sense of culture, basic beliefs about how people should interact with each other. Such belief systems are a powerful force which shapes our behavior as society, and our business dealings (Fombrun, 1996). <br />
  13. 13. Explaining Enron<br />Enron was doing all sorts of questionable things, taking enormous risks . . . and performing terribly. <br />Leading financial institutions took part in what amounted to synergistic corruption. <br />Bad debts were hidden in partnerships creating conflicts of interests overseen by CFO Andrew Fastow who was involved in deception as well as conflicts of interest (Bryce, 2002). <br />This was consistent with a larger pattern of secrecy and outright deception common at Enron (Behr & Witt ,2002a, 2002b).<br />
  14. 14. Abuses of power<br />Johnson (2002) attributed the collapse to a series of fundamental ethical lapses by Enron’s leaders. <br />These include abuse of power, excessive privilege, deceit, inconsistent treatment of internal and external constituencies, misplaced and broken loyalties, and irresponsible behavior (Johnson 2002, pp. 7-10). <br />Enron should not viewed as a aberration . . . everyone was on the bandwagon, and it could happen again, (Abbott & Achbar, 2004).<br />
  15. 15. Corporate responsibility<br />Enron’s management failed in their communication-based responsibility to both larger social values and to their stakeholders.<br />Shrivastava (1995) points out the necessity of enlarging the scope of company responsibility towards less financial and more nature oriented issues. <br />http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aERv_sEjkXA<br />
  16. 16. Fin<br />Thank you for your attention. <br />

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