Corporate Advertising & Image – COM 9655 Professor Alison Griffiths By Andrew Ciccone
<ul><ul><li>Enron: The smartest guys in the room  evaluated how documentary film shapes our attitudes and behavior of corp...
<ul><li>The corporation is part of the jigsaw of society . . . [it has] extraordinarily powerful, it reaches everywhere . ...
<ul><ul><li>A documentary lends itself to a sense of something being more objective “nonfiction” in strong contrast with o...
<ul><ul><li>The use of paraphrasing, and other visual  techniques can influence our view of events. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul...
<ul><li>At the center of the Enron case are  </li></ul><ul><li>three senior executives:  </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Kenneth Lay...
<ul><ul><li>Enron had developed a “culture of self-conscious greed and reward”, risk taking had become the dominant value ...
<ul><ul><li>Lay’s broad vision of the bureaucratic energy industry was revolutionary and included more free-market commodi...
<ul><li>Enron maximized the flow of energy to states </li></ul><ul><li>with power needs from areas with an oversupply </li...
<ul><ul><li>In 1987 rogue traders, Louis Borget and Thomas Mastroeni, almost bankrupted the company through a trading subs...
<ul><ul><li>From the moment Key Lay decided to ignore out right deception and fraud is when the corporate identity of Enro...
<ul><ul><li>The Enron traders totally rape California,  . . . exploiting every loophole in the State of California.  </li>...
<ul><ul><li>Enron was doing all sorts of questionable things, taking enormous risks . . . and performing terribly.  </li><...
<ul><ul><li>Johnson (2002) attributed the collapse to a series of fundamental ethical lapses by Enron’s leaders.  </li></u...
<ul><ul><li>Enron’s management failed in their communication-based responsibility to both larger social values and to thei...
<ul><li>Thank you for your attention.  </li></ul>
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Explaining Enron

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Explaining Enron

  1. 1. Corporate Advertising & Image – COM 9655 Professor Alison Griffiths By Andrew Ciccone
  2. 2. <ul><ul><li>Enron: The smartest guys in the room evaluated how documentary film shapes our attitudes and behavior of corporate identity. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The company’s image is a reflection of an organization’s identity . . . how each constituency views your organization (Argenti, 2002). </li></ul></ul>
  3. 3. <ul><li>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). </li></ul>
  4. 4. <ul><ul><li>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). </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>“ Documentary” is a category that has been defined and applied in relation to a sense of public values. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Ideals have been framed by a range of authoritarian, liberal, and radical perspectives. </li></ul></ul>
  5. 5. <ul><ul><li>The use of paraphrasing, and other visual techniques can influence our view of events. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The film’s subtly use of satire effectively skewed the audiences’ attitudes of Corporate America, “Enron’s Ride of Broken Dreams” . </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Musical undertones emphasized 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 the corporation. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Dramatically posed interviews are interwoven into this documentaries in streams of elegantly edited imagery. </li></ul></ul>
  6. 6. <ul><li>At the center of the Enron case are </li></ul><ul><li>three senior executives: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Kenneth Lay, CEO and founder; </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Jeffery Skilling, Enron president and heir apparent; </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>and Andrew Fastow, chief financial officer (CFO). </li></ul></ul><ul><li>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. </li></ul><ul><li>Much of Lay’s success is attributable to state and federal legislation deregulating the energy industry (Fox, 2003). </li></ul>
  7. 7. <ul><ul><li>Enron had developed a “culture of self-conscious greed and reward”, risk taking had become the dominant value in the company. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>As acting CEO, Skilling espoused a Darwinian corporate philosophy and a performance review standard that resulted in a 15% annual turnover. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Skilling planned and took trips where people could actually die, motocross, wild adventures – “ the trips were legend”. </li></ul></ul>
  8. 8. <ul><ul><li>Lay’s broad vision of the bureaucratic energy industry was revolutionary and included more free-market commodity trading of natural gas and electricity. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>The market price of Enron’s stock was everywhere, even in the elevator, everyone was consumed with it. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>They were so good, they convinced the investment community that they were “new”, “different”, and “innovative”. </li></ul></ul>
  9. 9. <ul><li>Enron maximized the flow of energy to states </li></ul><ul><li>with power needs from areas with an oversupply </li></ul><ul><li>of power that we may eventually see in the future. </li></ul>
  10. 10. <ul><ul><li>In 1987 rogue traders, Louis Borget and Thomas Mastroeni, almost bankrupted the company through a trading subsidiary called Valhalla. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>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). </li></ul></ul>
  11. 11. <ul><ul><li>From the moment Key Lay decided to ignore out right deception and fraud is when the corporate identity of Enron was forever shaped. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Instead of firing the traders who had recklessly made poor judgments the response from Ken Lay’s office was, “Please keep making us millions”. </li></ul></ul>
  12. 12. <ul><ul><li>The Enron traders totally rape California, . . . exploiting every loophole in the State of California. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>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). </li></ul></ul>
  13. 13. <ul><ul><li>Enron was doing all sorts of questionable things, taking enormous risks . . . and performing terribly. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Leading financial institutions took part in what amounted to synergistic corruption. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>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). </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>This was consistent with a larger pattern of secrecy and outright deception common at Enron (Behr & Witt ,2002a, 2002b). </li></ul></ul>
  14. 14. <ul><ul><li>Johnson (2002) attributed the collapse to a series of fundamental ethical lapses by Enron’s leaders. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>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). </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Enron should not viewed as a aberration . . . everyone was on the bandwagon, and it could happen again, (Abbott & Achbar, 2004). </li></ul></ul>
  15. 15. <ul><ul><li>Enron’s management failed in their communication-based responsibility to both larger social values and to their stakeholders. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Shrivastava (1995) points out the necessity of enlarging the scope of company responsibility towards less financial and more nature oriented issues. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aERv_sEjkXA </li></ul>
  16. 16. <ul><li>Thank you for your attention. </li></ul>

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