What I want to do here is first explain my fears and then explore the Enron story from the standpoint of both social psychology and organizational behavior. My sense going in, at least, is that the social forces and selfish norms that emerge fairly naturally in highly competitive settings such as these dominate as behavioral influences over anything but high-powered legal controls. The kind of firm that I want to concentrate on is the "new economy" sort that requires a high rate of creative productivity from a large number of key managers and employees. Thus, I will put to the side the few remaining monopolistic public utilities, as well as firms with high rates of free cash flow from entrenched market power. The paradigmatic examples that I am interested in are knowledge and service-based firms in markets with relatively low barriers to entry and high rewards for innovation. Enron clearly was one of these.
70 Geo. Wash. L. Rev. 968-975 (2002)
Scholarly Commons Citation
Langevoort, Donald C., "The Organizational Psychology of Hyper-Competition: Corporate Irresponsibility and the Lessons of Enron" (2002). Georgetown Law Faculty Publications and Other Works. Paper 132.